Minnesota-bred hockey players are all over the NHL right now, and many of them are fueling their teams as the push toward the playoffs reaches its peak. No state in the union could put together a better all-star roster from current NHLers than Minnesota. ¶ But that's to be expected from the State of Hockey, right? ¶ So, what would such an All-Minnesota 20-player roster look like? No, we're not including guys who parachuted in from Canada or California and played at Shattuck in Faribault. No Sid the Kid on this list. Now, let's take a shot and see whether this roster of current Minnesota-bred talent in the NHL is on goal or clangs off the post:
Name Hometown or Current team
high school roots
W-Zach Parise Bloomington Wild
C-David Backes Spring Lake Park St. Louis
W-Dustin Byfuglien Roseau Winnipeg
W-Blake Wheeler Breck Winnipeg
C-T.J. Oshie Warroad St. Louis
W-Nick Bjugstad Blaine Florida
W-Brock Nelson Warroad N.Y. Islanders
C-Anders Lee Edina N.Y. Islanders
W-Kyle Okposo St. Paul N.Y. Islanders
W-Derek Stepan Hastings N.Y. Rangers
C-Matt Cullen Moorhead Nashville
W-Ryan Carter White Bear Lake Wild
Nick Leddy Eden Prairie N.Y. Islanders
Ryan McDonagh Cretin-Derham Hall N.Y. Rangers
Matt Niskanen Virginia Washington
Jake Gardiner Minnetonka Toronto
Jordan Leopold Robbinsdale Wild
Paul Martin Elk River Pittsburgh
Alex Stalock South St. Paul San Jose
John Curry Breck Wild-*
*-Curry is in the minors of the NHL right now, with eight games of NHL experience since 2008-09
Obviously, the netminding is a serious concern, with only Stalock in The Show right now. The forward corps is impressive, while the defense is particularly deep, with several solid blue-liners deemed "healthy scratches."
It's that blue line depth that pushes Byfuglien to forward, where he is a proven force.
What say you? Who got snubbed? Who should come off? What about the lines and D pairs?
What power play and penalty kill packages can be made from this roster?