LOS ANGELES, CA — The Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings each have one. So, we can’t be talking about Stanley Cups.
The Chicago Blackhawks have a pair. No, this has nothing to do with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.
In San Jose, they have a trio. While the Penguins have four.
Yet in L.A., the Kings have six and one more an injured reserve.
You see, every defenseman on the Kings’ roster is from a U.S. college hockey program – with one exception, Drew Doughty.
It’s a rather surprising statistic considering outside of a few pockets – Boston and Minnesota, for example – most Americans don’t even have college hockey on their radar. In fact, casual hockey fans in the U.S. probably just think that hockey players come from…um, Canada. While that may be true historically, there is a major shift underway.
College sports news tends to come in two waves. Right now it’s bowl season, so it’s college football 24/7. This gives fans of the Raiders, Giants, Cowboys, etc. a chance to see some of the best up and coming grid iron warriors.
In the spring, it’s March Madness – featuring non-stop college hoops news. Again, giving fans of the Lakers, Celtics, Heat, etc. the opportunity to check out future NBA ballers.
But, what about hockey?
It’s become a big time part of hockey development.
The Kings are not only stacked with former college hockey players at the NHL level, they’re betting big on the future too – having taken Derek Forbort in the first round of last June’s draft. He’s currently a freshman at the University of North Dakota, one of the top college programs in the country.
Equally as impressive as the sheer numbers on the Kings’ roster are the accomplishments of those players while in school…
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