Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Greatest Hockey Player from Each State

Remember, it's not where they were born, it's where they were trained.

Alabama: Nic Dowd.
Alaska: Scott Gomez.
Arizona: Auston Matthews.
California: Brooks Orpik.
Colorado: Ben Bishop.
Connecticut: Brian Leetch. (Max Pacioretty is unlikely to catch him.)
Delaware: Mark Eaton.
Florida: Shane Gostisbehere.
Georgia: Eric Chouinard.
Illinois: Chris Chelios.
Indiana: Jack Johnson.
Iowa: Scott Clemmensen.
Maine: Brian Dumoulin.
Maryland: Jeff Halpern.
Massachusetts: Jeremy Roenick.
Michigan: Mike Modano. (Ahead of Mark Howe.)
Minnesota: Phil Housley.
Missouri: Pat LaFontaine.
Nebraska: Jed Ortmeyer.
New Hampshire: Deron Quint.
New Jersey: Jim Dowd.
New York: Patrick Kane. (From Buffalo. Joe Mullen is still NYC's best.)
North Carolina: Ben Smith.
North Dakota: Paul Gaustad.
Ohio: Bryan Smolinski.
Oklahoma: Tyler Arnason.
Oregon: Jere Gillis.
Pennsylvania: Mike Richter.
Rhode Island: Chris Terreri.
South Carolina: Ryan Hartman.
Tennessee: Blake Geoffrion. (Of the Morenz/Geoffrion family of Ontario.)
Texas: Seth Jones. (No, you can't claim Brian Leetch.)
Utah: Steve Konowalchuk.
Vermont: John LeClair.
Virginia: Eric Weinrich.
Washington: T.J. Oshie.
Wisconsin: Phil Kessel.

Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming haven't yet produced an NHL player.

Tucker Alspagh of Louisiana plays in the minor leagues. Zeb Knutson is from Kansas, but is the best player for a minor league team in South Dakota, so he counts as their best player. Jon Booras of Montana and Bryan Ewing of West Virginia played in the minor leagues.

Kevin Kantee of Idaho and Kenneth Greer of New Mexico played in Finland. Jared Brown of Kansas has played in France and Poland. Andrew Peterson of Nevada plays in Sweden.

Dan Weiss of Mississippi had a decent college career. Trey Lowry is the best player yet produced by the University of Arkansas, but he's still there, not in the pros. Thayne Trumbull, from Indiana, plays in college in Wyoming. Paul McAvoy of Kentucky, a high school senior headed for Colgate University, is considered a good prospect.

Hawaii's only professional player to date has been a woman: Jessica Koizumi, of the National Women's Hockey League's Connecticut Whales.

Canada's Provinces:

Alberta: Mark Messier. (Jerk.)
British Columbia: Joe Sakic.
Manitoba: Bobby Clarke.
New Brunswick: Gordie Drillon.
Newfoundland and Labrador: Michael Ryder.
Northwest Territory: Geoff Sanderson.
Nova Scotia: Al MacInnis. (Yes, ahead of Sidney Crosby.)
Ontario: Bobby Orr. (Yes, ahead of Wayne Gretzky.)
Prince Edward Island: Brad Richards.
Quebec: Maurice Richard. (Yes, ahead of Mario Lemieux.)
Saskatchewan: Gordie Howe.
Yukon Territory: Peter Sturgeon.

Nunavut Territory has not yet produced an NHL player.

For countries with at least 10 NHL players -- keeping in mind that, if they were great for their country before players from that country began regularly arriving in the NHL, I can't count it:

Czech Republic: Jaromir Jagr.
Denmark: Mikkel Boedker.
Estonia: Leo Komarov.
Finland: Teemu Selanne. (Ahead of Jari Kurri.)
France: Antoine Roussell.
Germany: Marco Sturm.
Latvia: Sandis Ozolinsh.
Lithuania: Dainius Zubrus.
Russia: Viacheslav Fetisov.
Slovakia: Peter Stastny. (Stan Mikita grew up in Ontario.)
Sweden: Nicklas Lidstrom.
Switzerland: Mark Streit.
Ukraine: Peter Bondra.

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