Minnesota has never been lacking in the hockey talent pool. High-end development beginning in our youth associations and up to our coveted Minnesota High School State Hockey Tournament have always caught the attention of NHL scouts.
Minnesota's Division I schools draw even more interest. Since 1963, 236 players from the state's five DI men's programs have been selected in the NHL draft -- the majority of them met with great success on the professional stage.
Here's a look at the breakdown:
Erik Johnson is the Gophers highest-ever pick in program history. He was the first overall selection in 2006.
UMD's Matt Niskanen was drafted by the Dallas Stars with the 28th overall pick
Matt Cullen was welcomed back home when he joined the Wild in 2010. He was originally drafted by Anaheim in 1996.
David Backes was taken in the second round by the St. Louis Blues