Saturday, December 22, 2007

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.


Anonymous said...

do that study with NHL draft picks in the last 4 years, and than tell me Michigan has more high end guys.

Anonymous said...

Out of those 11 guys, how are there TEAMS doing?

Adam said...

And Chris - we'd love to have you write another one ... call me :)

Anonymous said...

Here come all of the Minnesota fans that feel personally insulted by this article. Go back into your ice shanties and have a few more beers.

Anonymous said...

Minnesoata kids are all too good and leave early...The dudes in your study are upper class man vs under classman in the WCHA....use your head a little buddy.... Oh course Porter will score a ton of goals as a senior.

Anonymous said...

We all know North Dakota is thee state of hockey.

Anonymous said...

The CCHA is weak, Throw Porter in the WCHA and you'd see a decline in his numbers.

Look at Turris when Wisconsin played their non conference schedule. (5G 7A)

Against WCHA opponents (2G 5A)

I do realize that Porter put up good numbers in the CH showcase (3G 3A) but on a weekly basis against WCHA opponents I think you'd see a decline.

Nothing against Porter or the CCHA

Anonymous said...

I thought all the high end players were playing in the NHL.

Kris said...

Yeah, it looks as though more athletes from Michigan are staying longer. Are you going to say that if Eric Johnson had stuck around till his junior and senior year that he would not be up there, even playing defense. I do believe that the WCHA has more early departures. I would like to see how many Michiganders are being taken in the first couple rounds of the draft compared with Minnesotans.

Anonymous said...

How many of these Minnesota boys are going to Minnesota?? Nice job Lucia. RESIGN!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Talk about an apples to oranges comparison. This analysis is about the most meaningless piece of garbage I have seen.

Anonymous said...

FYI, six Minnesotans left school early this past summer and opted to play pro (EJ, Goligoski, Niskanen, Wagner, McKensie, and O'Brien). A few of these are seeing regular NHL icetime. No Michiganders forfeited eligibility.

Anonymous said...

add Kyle Okposo to that list.