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States of Hockey

I wrote an article for College Hockey News last summer comparing the differences in development systems between Minnesota and Michigan.

The genesis of the article was that the top four scorers in the country at the time, all hailed from the state of Michigan, while the state of Minnesota only had 5 players total in the top 50, and none in the top 25 in national scoring. I put forth the hypothesis that the development system in Michigan was better suited towards developing a few high-end talents, while Minnesota's system produced more players, but not necessarily as many high-end players.

How does that hypothesis look midway through this college hockey season? So far, it looks like more of the same.

Michigan-born players in the top 50 nationally in scoring:
1. Kevin Porter, Northville, Michigan
T-2. Bryan Marshall, Livonia, Michigan
T-8. Erik Condra, Livonia, Michigan
T-10. Nate Gerbe, Oxford, Michigan
T-10. Eric Ehn, Dexter, Michigan
T-18. Aaron Palushaj, Northville, Michigan
T-33. Alec Martinez, Rochester, Michigan

Minnesota-born players in the top 50 nationally in scoring:
7. Brian Kaufman, Shoreview, Minnesota
T-13. Luke Flicek, Burnsville, Minnesota
T-18. Chad Rau, Eden Prairie, Minnesota
T-26. Mark VanGuilder, Roseville, Minnesota

There are some conference considerations. The CCHA, which draws more heavily from Michigan, is much higher-scoring than the WCHA, which draws more heavily from Minnesota. But actually, the WCHA had 9 players among the top 50, with only one of them coming from Minnesota, while the CCHA had 17 players in the top 50, with 5 of them coming from Michigan.

As I said in the original article. That doesn't mean that one path is better than the other, but it is interesting to see the types of results that each route produces.