Hockey

The popularity of hockey in Minnesota is pretty well established. Most in Minnesota are introduced to skating and hockey at an early age on the frozen ponds, lakes and rivers that dot the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”.

The following is a partial list of hockey players (Men, Women) who were born in Minnesota and have gone on to leave their mark in the world of hockey. For an updated list of players from Minnesota who have played professional hockey, check out the list of NHL Players from Minnesota at the hockeyDB.com web site.

Men’s Hockey

  • Miracle On Ice Hockey Team (13 of 20 players from Minnesota)
    The “Miracle On Ice” 1980 Olympic hockey game between the U.S.A. and Russia is regarded as one of the greatest upsets in sports history. 13 of the 20 players were born in Minnesota and most of those played for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, under Head Coach Herb Brooks.
  • Women’s Golden Gopher Hockey Team (Minneapolis, MN)
    Winners of six NCAA National Championships (2004, 2005, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016). In 2013 thy became the first team in the history of NCAA women’s hockey to go an entire season without a loss. As of March 2016 this record remains in place after defeating an unbeaten Boston College team in the 2016 NCAA National Championship.
  • David Backes (Minneapolis, MN)
    Member of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Hockey team. Plays for the St. Louis Blues in the National Hockey League.
  • Bill Baker (Grand Rapids, MN)
    Attended the University of Minnesota Played on the 1980 Winter Olympic “Miracle on Ice” hockey team and received the Gold Medal. Played on four NHL teams over three seasons.
  • Keith Ballard (Baudette, MN)
    Played with the University of Minnesota. Drafted 11th in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft by Buffalo. Made his NHL debut with Phoenix in 2005. Traded to Florida Panthers in 2008. In 2010 he went to the Vancouver Canucks. His family owns the well known Ballard’s Fishing Resort in Lake of the Woods, MN.
  • Jason Blake (Moorhead, MN)
    Made his NHL debut as a free agent with the Los Angeles Kings in 1999. Played in the 2006-07 All-Star Game. Started making an impact in the 2002-03 season with 25 goals and a total of 55 points. Received the Bill Masterton Trophy in 2007-08, for exemplifying the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.
  • Frank Brimsek (Eveleth, MN)
    Goaltender – Won Calder and Vezina trophies in 1939. First U.S. born player named first-team NHL All-Star. Played 10 NHL seasons from 1938 to 1950. Helped the Boston Bruins win the Stanley Cup in 1939 and 1941. Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966.
  • Herb Brooks (St. Paul, MN)
    Coach of the 1980 Gold Medal “Miracle on Ice” U.S. Olympic Hockey Team. Silver Medal Coach in 2002. Member of 1964, 1968 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team. Guided the University of Minnesota to three NCAA titles in the 1970s. Coached in the National Hockey League. 1990 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. Died in car accident in 2003.
  • Aaron Broten (Roseau, MN)
    Former Minnesota North Star and played on four other National Hockey League teams; U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, 2007.
  • Neal Broten (Roseau, MN)
    At the University of Minnesota, won NCAA hockey title in 1979 and Hobey Baker Award in 1981; Olympic gold in 1980; led Minnesota North Stars to the Stanley Cup finals in 1991, played for the 1995 Stanley Cup winning New Jersey Devils. Was first U.S. born NHL player to achieve a 100 point season.
  • Dustin Byfuglien (Born Minneapolis, MN; grew up in Roseau, MN)
    Signed by Chicago in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Extremely versatile player who can play defense or forward. Has played in over 260 games in the NHL. Key player for the Chicago Black Hawks in their 2010 Stanley Cup Championship. Shortly after the Stanley Cup win in 2010, Byfuglien was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers who moved to Winnipeg, Canada in 2011. Dustin continued his NHL career with the Winnipeg Jets for the 2011-12 season.
  • Jack Carlson (Virgina, MN)
    Played in the NHL from 1979-1987 with the Minnesota North Stars and the St. Louis Blues. He was a fan favorite with his hard-hitting style, piling up 1111 penalty minutes in 508 professional games. One of three brothers (Jack, Jeff, and Steve) who are the real life brothers and inspiration for the hockey movie “Slapshot” as the “The Hanson Brothers”.
  • Jeff Carlson (Virgina, MN)
    Played one season in the World Hockey Association with the Minnesota Fighting Saints. One of three brothers (Jack, Jeff, and Steve) who are the real life brothers and inspiration for the hockey movie “Slapshot” as the “The Hanson Brothers”.
  • Steve Carlson (Virgina, MN)
    Played five seasons in the WHA and one season in the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings. Steve is one of three brothers (Jack, Jeff, and Steve) who are the real life brothers and inspiration for the hockey movie “Slapshot” as the “The Hanson Brothers”. All three brothers played together one year in 1973-74 with the Marquette Iron Rangers hockey team, a semi-pro U.S.H.L hockey team based in Marquette, Michigan.
  • Ryan Carter (White Bear Lake, MN)
    Played for Minnesota State University – Mankato, MN and on the Stanley Cup winning Anaheim Ducks in 2007.
  • Dave Christian (Warroad, MN)
    Attended the University of North Dakota Played on the 1980 Winter Olympic “Miracle on Ice” hockey team and received the Gold Medal. Played in the NHL for 14 years.
  • Bill and Roger Christian (Warroad, MN)
    Brothers led U.S. to hockey gold at 1960 Olympics; Bill’s son, Dave, did same in ’80 before playing in NHL. Went into business manufacturing quality hockey sticks under the name of Christian Brothers.
  • Steve Christoff (Richfield, MN)
    Attended the University of Minnesota Played on the 1980 Winter Olympic “Miracle on Ice” hockey team and received the Gold Medal. Played in the NHL for 5 years.
  • Matt Cullen (Virginia, MN)
    Drafted 35th overall by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. Won his first Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. Currently 2nd among active Minnesotan skaters in scoring with 428 points and counting, and has played more than 1000 games throughout his professional career.
  • Natalie Darwitz (Eagan, MN)
    University of Minnesota. Member of the 2002, 2006 and 2010 U.S. Women’s Olympic Hockey Team. Has won 2 Silver, 1 Bronze medal in the Olympics.
  • Dick Dougherty (International Falls, MN)
    Considered one of the top-five players in the U.S. in the 1950s. He holds the NCAA Tournament record for most points scored (9) in two games. Dougherty was a first-team All-American in 1954 and was named to the All-WCHA first team in both 1953 and 1954. Also played with the silver medal winning 1956 U.S. Olympics hockey team.
  • Tom Gilbert (Bloomington, MN)
    Selected by Colorado Avalanche in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Traded to the Edmonton Oilers in 2004 and has played in over 20o NHL games. Solid defensiveman with a powerful shot from the point.
  • Frank “Moose” Goheen (White Bear Lake, MN)
    One of the finest players produced in the state of Minnesota. Member of the 1920 U.S. Olympic Hockey team that won the silver medal. Turned professional with the St. Paul Hockey Club beginning in the 1925-26. Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1952, elected to Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame in 1958, and the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1973.
  • Alex Goligoski (Grand Rapids, MN)
    Drafted in the second round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins. He completed 3 years of collegiate hockey at the University of Minnesota, then began his professional career with the Penguins AHL affiliate. He was a member of the 2008-2009 Stanley Cup winning Penguins team. In February 2011, he was traded to the Dallas Stars.
  • Laura Halldorson (Plymouth, MN)
    Team USA Assistant Coach. Former Coach of the University Minnesota Lady Gophers, guiding them to three national championships (2000, 2004, 2005) during 10 seasons. She departed Minnesota with an impressive record of 278-67-22 (.787) and is considered one of the most successful women’s hockey coaches in the nation. Women’s Coach of the Year in 1998 (American Hockey Coaches Association).
  • John Harrington (Virginia, MN)
    Attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth Played on the 1980 Winter Olympic “Miracle on Ice” hockey team and received the Gold Medal.
  • Bret Hedican (North St. Paul, MN)
    Defenseman; 19 season veteran in the NHL. Member of Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. Played his college hockey at St. Cloud State. He is married to figure-skater Kristi Yamaguchi.
  • Darby Hendrickson (Richfield, MN)
    Named Minnesota Mr. Hockey in 1991. Played for the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team in the 1994 Winter Olympics. Played in the NHL from 1994-2004.
  • Paul Holmgren (St. Paul, MN)
    Rugged winger for Flyers in 1980s; first U.S. born player to get hat trick in Stanley Cup finals.
  • Phil Housley (St. Paul, MN)
    Former Calgary Flames defenseman. Six-time All-Star; ranked second for total NHL points scored among U.S.-born players. He won a Silver Medal with the 2002 U.S. Olympic Team and played in the NHL for 21 years. U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, 2004.
  • Jack Jablonski (St. Louis Park, MN)
    High School Hockey; Jablonski suffered a paralyzing back injury during a high school hockey tournament on Dec 30, 2011, and the injury left him with complete lower body paralysis. On Novemebr 11, 2012 he received the CBS “Courage in Sports” award which recognizes individuals who have overcome monumental challenges to achieve greatness in the world of sports.
  • Donald “Don” Jackson (Minneapolis, MN)
    Defencemen. Played in 140 games at Notre Dame with 18 goals and 44 assists for 62 points. Selected third round, 39th overall by Minnesota in 1976 NHL Draft which (at that time) was the highest draft pick that any Notre Dame player had acheived. Played 10 seasons in the NHL with Minnesota, Edmonton and New York. Played on three Stanley Cup champion teams with Edmonton.
  • Steve Janaszak (White Bear Lake, MN)
    Attended the University of Minnesota Played on the 1980 Winter Olympic “Miracle on Ice” hockey team and received the Gold Medal. Played with the Minnesota North Stars and Colorado Rockies in the early 1980’s.
  • Erik Johnson (Bloomington, Minnesota)
    Defensemen currently playing for the Colorado Avalanch. Johnson is one of the few Americans to have been the number one pick in the NHL Entry Draft and was chosen in 2006 by the St. Louis Blues. He played one season at the University of Minnesota before transferring to the NHL.
  • Mark Johnson (Minneapolis, MN)
    Played on the 1980 Winter Olympic “Miracle on Ice” hockey team and received the Gold Medal. Appeared in 669 NHL regular season games between 1980 and 1990. Head Coach of the 2010 U.S. Women’s Olympic hockey team.
  • James “Jamie” Langenbrunner (Duluth, MN)
    Captain of the 2010 United States Olympic Team, has been a regular player in the National Hockey League since the 1996-97 season. Has played with two Stanley Cup Championship teams.
  • Reed Larson (Minneapolis, MN)
    Played for Minnesota’s 1976 NCAA hockey championship team; high-scoring Red Wings defenseman from 1977 to ’86.
  • Mike Lundin (Burnsville, MN)
    Selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Lundin played his high school hockey at Apple Valley High School, and is a graduate of the University of Maine. He played in 81 games with Tampa Bay, but was traded to the Minnesota Wild in 2011.
  • John Mariucci (Eveleth, MN)
    Known as the Godfather of Hockey in Minnesota; had 215-148-18 record as Gophers coach for 15 years; played five seasons with Black Hawks. Mariucci Arena at the University of Minnesota is named after him.
  • Paul Martin (Minneapolis, MN)
    Began his NHL career in the 2003-2004 season with the New Jersey Devils. Martin played on the 2006 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team, and was named to the 2010 team, but had to sit out in 2010 because of an injury. In 2010 he signed a five year, $25 million contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
  • Gigi Marvin (Warroad, MN)
    University of Minnesota. Member of the 2010 and 2014 U.S. Women’s Olympic Hockey Team. Has 2 Silver Medal from the Olympics. Until the eighth grade, the only hockey teams at her level that she could play with were the boys teams in Warroad’s high-powered youth hockey system. She went on to play college hockey at the University of Minnesota.
  • John Mayasich (Eveleth, MN)
    Played on four state championship hockey teams at Eveleth High; three-time All-America at Minnesota; won gold with 1960 Olympic team.
  • Jamie McBain (Edina, MN)
    Defenseman; drafted 63rd overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes. Played for the University of Wisconsin in 2006-09 and was a Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalist in 2009. In 2011 he was chosen as one of 12 NHL rookies to participate in the 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend.
  • John (Jack) McCartan (St. Paul, MN)
    Won Gold medal as the goalie for the 1960 Olympic hockey team. Played in the NHL with the New York Rangers. Also hit .438 in his senior season on the University of Minnesota baseball team.
  • Rob McClanahan (St. Paul, MN)
    Attended the University of Minnesota Played on the 1980 Winter Olympic “Miracle on Ice” hockey team and received the Gold Medal. Played in the NHL for the Buffalo Sabres, New York Rangers and Hartford Whalers.
  • Lou Nanne (Sault St. Marie, Canada)
    Although not a native Minnesotan, Lou has been adopted as a native son because of his support, dedication and hard work related to the promotion of hockey in Minnesota. For more info, see Honorary Minnesotans page.
  • William Donald Nyrop (Washington, D.C.)
    Nyrop was a three time Stanley Cup winner with the Montreal Canadians in 1976, 1977 and 1978. He gew up in Edina, Minnesota and took his high school team the Edina Hornets to a State Championship in 1969. He played for Notre Dame from 1970-74 and was drafted by The Montreal Canadians in 1972. He retired from the NHL in 1978, but came back to play for the Minnesota North Stars from 1980-81.
  • Timothy Leif “T.J.” Oshie (Everett, Washington)
    Oshie is a NHL forward with the Washington Capitals and U.S. Olympic Team player. He lead his high school team, the Warroad Warriors, to two state titles and then played three collegiate years at North Dakota. Oshie was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in 2005. He and his family moved to Warroad, Minnesota when he was about 16 years old.
  • Zach Parise (Minneapolis, MN)
    Made his debut in the NHL in the 2005-06 season for the New Jersey Devils. Played in the 2009 NHL All-Star Game, and the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals. Outstanding player on 2010 Olympic Team USA with five goals. Parise played his high school hockey at Shattuck-St.Mary’s in Faribault, MN. He then went on to play at the University of North Dakota, and signed with the New Jersey Devils after his sophomore year in 2004. On July 4, 2012 he signed a 13-year contract worth $98 million with the Minnesota Wild.
  • Mark Parrish (Bloomington, MN)
    Started in the NHL in 1998 with Florida Panthers. Best years with the New York Islanders in 2001-02. Has posted 7 seasons with 30 points or more and scored 20+ goals 4 times. Gutsy player in front of the net. Played for the Minnesota Wild from 2006-08. He was the first Minnesota born player to score a hat trick for the Minnesota Wild on December 9, 2006.
  • Mark Pavelich (Eveleth, MN)
    Attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth Played on the 1980 Winter Olympic “Miracle on Ice” hockey team and received the Gold Medal. Played in the NHL for New York Rangers (1981-86) and Minnesota North Stars (1986-87).
  • Shjon Podein (Rochester, MN)
    Left Winger with a 699-game NHL career. Over his 13 years in the NHL he played for the Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers, Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues. He played on three U.S. World Championship teams (1993, 1994, 1998). Played collegiality for the University of Minnesota-Duluth (1997-1990).
  • Jenny Potter (Edina, MN)
    University of Minnesota – Duluth. Member of the 2002, 2006 and 2010 U.S. Women’s Olympic Hockey Team. Has won 2 Silver, 1 Bronze medal in the Olympics.
  • Nate Prosser (Elk River, MN)
    A defenseman, Prosser made his National Hockey League with the Minnesota Wild on April 5, 2010. He played the remaining three games to close out the 2009-10 season. In June 2010 he signed a one year deal with the Minnesota Wild to play the 2010-11 season.
  • Mike Ramsey (Minneapolis, MN)
    Led Gophers to 1979 NCAA hockey title; played on the 1980 U.S. Olympic “Miracle on Ice” hockey team and received a Gold Medal; 18-year NHL defenseman.
  • Buzz Schneider (Babbitt, MN)
    Attended the University of Minnesota Played on the 1980 Winter Olympic “Miracle on Ice” hockey team and received the Gold Medal. Also a member of the 1976 U.S. Olympic hockey team. Played in the WHA.
  • Derek Stepan (Hastings, MN)
    Forward. In his NHL debut (Oct 9, 2010), Stephan became only the fourth rookie in NHL history to score a hat trick in a first game. He was drafted in the second round by the New York Rangers in 2008. He attended Shattuck-St. Mary’s High School in Faribault, MN from 2006-08
  • Eric Strobel (Rochester, MN)
    Attended the University of Minnesota Played on the 1980 Winter Olympic “Miracle on Ice” hockey team and received the Gold Medal.
  • Mark Stuart (Rochester, MN)
    Defense; Selected 21st overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Member of Team USA in 2008 World Championships. Plays for the Boston Bruins.
  • Phil Verchota (Duluth, MN)
    Attended the University of Minnesota Played on the 1980 Winter Olympic “Miracle on Ice” hockey team and received the Gold Medal.
  • Krissy Wendell-Pohl (Brookly Park, MN)
    Played for the 2003, 2004 NCAA D1 W. Ice Hockey Champion Minnesota Golden Gophers. and U.S. Women’s Olympic teams. Won Olympic Silver (2002) and Bronze (2006). Recipient of the 2005 Patty Kazmaier Award for best female collegiate hockey player. She also led her H.S. team to the State Championship and won the 2000 Minnesota Ms. Hockey Award. Her husband John Pohl from Red Wing, MN was the 1998 Mr. Hockey recipient.
  • Blake Wheeler (Robbinsdale, MN)
    Forward. Played at the University of Minnesota from 2005-2008. 5th overall selection in 2004 Entry Draft (Phoenix Coyotes). Signed as a free agent in July 2008 by the Boston Bruins.
  • Thomas “Tom” or “Tommy” Williams (Duluth, MN)
    NHL Forward who first played with the Boston Bruins in the 1960 season, and played for other NHL teams including the Minnesota North Stars, California Golden Seals, and the Washington Capitals. His NHL career spanned over 16 years. He is well known for his appearance on the “I’ve Got a Secret” game show in which he proclaimed “I’m the only American playing in the National Hockey League” which aired on February 7, 1966.

Women’s Hockey

  • Women’s Golden Gopher Hockey Team (Minneapolis, MN)
    Not one person, but an entire team. In 2013 they became the first undefeated team in the 13-year history of NCAA women’s hockey and went on to win their second straight national championship. As of March 2013, their winning streak extended to 49 straight games. In 2013 they went 41-0 to became the first college hockey team (men or women’s) to complete a season without a blemish since Cornell’s men’s squad did so in 1970.
  • Natalie Darwitz (Eagan, MN)
    University of Minnesota. Member of the 2002, 2006 and 2010 U.S. Women’s Olympic Hockey Team. Has won 2 Silver, 1 Bronze medal in the Olympics.
  • Laura Halldorson (Plymouth, MN)
    Team USA Assistant Coach. Former Coach of the University Minnesota Lady Gophers, guiding them to three national championships (2000, 2004, 2005) during 10 seasons. She departed Minnesota with an impressive record of 278-67-22 (.787) and is considered one of the most successful women’s hockey coaches in the nation. Women’s Coach of the Year in 1998 (American Hockey Coaches Association).
  • Gigi Marvin (Warroad, MN)
    University of Minnesota. Member of the 2010 and 2014 U.S. Women’s Olympic Hockey Team. Has 2 Silver Medal from the Olympics. Until the eighth grade, the only hockey teams at her level that she could play with were the boys teams in Warroad’s high-powered youth hockey system. She went on to play college hockey at the University of Minnesota.
  • Jenny Potter (Edina, MN)
    University of Minnesota – Duluth. Member of the 2002, 2006 and 2010 U.S. Women’s Olympic Hockey Team. Has won 2 Silver, 1 Bronze medal in the Olympics.
  • Krissy Wendell-Pohl (Brookly Park, MN)
    Played for the 2003, 2004 NCAA D1 W. Ice Hockey Champion Minnesota Golden Gophers. and U.S. Women’s Olympic teams. Won Olympic Silver (2002) and Bronze (2006). Recipient of the 2005 Patty Kazmaier Award for best female collegiate hockey player. She also led her H.S. team to the State Championship and won the 2000 Minnesota Ms. Hockey Award. Her husband John Pohl from Red Wing, MN was the 1998 Mr. Hockey recipient.

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