I think it's a lot of smaller factors. One is, hockey is THE sport in the state. And as such, it attracts more and better athletes than our pool here. Two, having lived there the hockey culture runs deep and the level of coaching at the youth level comes from some of the best hockey guys in the US. Also, every park has an outdoor rink or two or three where the kids can play for hours a day - similar to what may have been here years ago. And like here, the kids from ex-players are given a leg-up to get into the family business and they just have a lot of ex-players. The interesting thing in the upper Midwest is they're starting to get the pull into 'club teams' but it is rare that a kid feels the need to spend the $. Midwest sensibility trumps the need to buy their way toward their dreams.
Boys, Great Thread!!
Lots of great insight!!
Lol, I like the Viking v Leprechaun theory from the previous poster and he may be on to something! But clearly other states, with Minnesota leading the way, are doing something right developmental wise. This is the first thing that pops up when you google US born NHL players.
"Minnesota has produced the most U.S.-born NHL players with Michigan and New York state trailing close behind. Massachusetts was briefly ranked first in the early 1990s, but its share has since then dropped to under 10 percent."