The numbers are in for the 2013-14 season, and Minnesota tops the chart with the most hockey players of any state in the U.S.! With over 45,000 players under the age of 20, Minnesota would actually rank 5th in the world among all countries for U-20 players, trailing only Canada, United States, Russia and Sweden.
Even better news is that the number of players in Minnesota is once again trending upwards. After a two year decline at the 8U level, Minnesota Hockey had a resurgence of new players in 2013-14, bringing in 510 (12.2%) more new boys and 236 (16.6%) more new girls than the previous season. Those numbers represented the largest new player increase seen over any of the last five seasons.
Significant growth was also apparent on the national level as USA Hockey set a new record for total registered players at 519,279. The number of 8U players also grew across the country by 1,005 players, indicating the total membership will likely be growing for many years thanks to a larger base of players at the youngest levels.
Much of the growth over this past season can be attributed to the commitment of our local volunteers and community associations to spreading interest in hockey at the grassroots level. During the 2013-14 season, Minnesota set record numbers of host sites and participants for both the fall and winter Try Hockey For Free Days. Nearly double the previous record of associations completed USA Hockey’s 2 & 2 Challenge. Plus, Minnesota Hockey has helped fuel the frequency and effectiveness of local events through improved communications and the implementation of Growth Workshops across the state.
There are several other factors that play into the popularity of hockey in Minnesota, but here’s a closer look at a couple of the biggest reasons:
Minnesota Hockey would like to take this time to express its never-ending appreciation for the time, effort and money devoted by all of our parents, coaches, volunteers, partners and communities to making hockey in Minnesota one of the best youth sports experiences possible!