How the mighty have fallen. Massachusetts, the once-proud breeding ground of Olympic, NHL and Division 1 college hockey stars, has lost its place atop the pantheon of American hockey breeding grounds.
The numbers don’t lie. Despite the boasts of prestigious travel hockey programs throughout the Bay State, Massachusetts has dropped like a rock in terms of producing NHL and NCAA Division 1 talent. A generation ago, Massachusetts was the gold standard of American hockey states: 40 NHL players compared to 24 Minnesotans in the 2002-03 season. Today those numbers have flipped, with Minnesota producing more than twice as many NHL players as Massachusetts: 52-24.
If producing NHL players by state was an Olympic competition, Massachusetts wouldn’t even reach the medal stand, fourth behind Minnesota, Michigan and New York. Massachusetts narrowly scores a bronze in producing Division 1 college hockey players: 107 players compared to 201 Minnesotans and 150 Michiganders.