In Division I college hockey, Minnesotans lead the way—in leadership. The captains of all five in-state men’s and women’s hockey programs are Minnesotans (one of whom we claim through high school hockey).
And throughout the country, there are 24 Minnesotans captaining men’s and women’s programs. The growth of hockey in America, specifically in non-traditional areas like California and Florida, means more competition for Minnesotans. That is a good thing.
Kids notice the ‘C.’ Their eyes tend to gravitate toward them when watching them play. They are role models.
“Being a captain for Minnesota State University is a huge honor and responsibility that I take pride in,” said Anna Keys, a Cottage Grove native and senior Maverick defender. “As a youth hockey player I looked up to people like Krissy Wendell, Jenny Potter, or any female athlete that would strive to better themselves both on and off the ice, field and track.”
Captains take responsibility for more than just themselves. They shoulder the load for the entire team.
“Being a captain means taking accountability for yourself and your teammates, on and off the ice,” said Jimmy Schuldt, a Minnetonka native and junior blue-liner for St. Cloud State. “It means doing the right thing when people aren’t watching and setting a good example every day.”
Leadership is a challenge.
“Your teammates and coaches look to you for leadership through your actions and what you say, which I think is an awesome challenge to lead and foster a positive hard-working environment that brings the team together,” said Emma Terres, a Robbinsdale-Armstrong alum leading Bemidji State.
But you don’t have to wear a letter to be a leader.
"The best advice I have for young players who want to be leaders is just to be yourself,” said Schuldt. “No two leaders are the same. Lead by example by working hard, encouraging your teammates positively and coming to the rink with a good attitude every day.”
Some leaders are less vocal.
“Leading by example can show much more than words,” said Keys.
Leaders are relentlessly hard workers, who most importantly, love what they do and have fun coming to the rink every day.
“My advice to young ladies is to be yourself, have that confidence, and always do everything to your best of your ability and with passion,” added Terres. “Enjoy it. You are always going to play better or enjoy life more if you are having fun. So embrace the process, do your best, and have fun!”
Without further ado, here are your Minnesotans proudly wearing the ‘C’ this season. Editor’s note: Shout out to all the alternates out there.
Hometown: New Hope
Major: Health Education
Fun Fact: Two-time captain and MVP for Robbinsdale-Armstrong High School. Also played softball and tennis.
Major: Business Administration
Fun Fact: Team MVP his senior year at Bemidji before continuing development in the NAHL for two years.
Major: Health Services Management
Fun Fact: Led Minnetonka to three-consecutive Class 2A state tournament titles in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Major: Business and Marketing
Fun Fact: First Team All-American, Big Ten Player of the Year and Hobey Baker Award Finalist in 2016-17 season.
Hometown: North Oaks
Fun Fact: Three-year captain at Mounds View High School, where she helped lead the Mustangs to two state tournaments.
Major: Organizational Management
Fun Fact: As of press time, has not missed a game since joining the program in 2014-15, the longest streak in Division I hockey.
Hometown: Cottage Grove
Fun Fact: Excelled in golf and soccer at Park High School, where she served as captain in all three sports.
Hometown: Forest Lake
Major: Business Marketing
Fun Fact: Voted Minnesota State captain by his teammates for the second year in a row.
ST. CLOUD STATE
Fun Fact: Jimmy’s dad, Steve Schuldt, was a captain for the St. Cloud State football team in 1984.
Fun Fact: Led the Duluth Marshall Hilltoppers to the state tournament his senior year of high school.
Hometown: Hudson, WI
Fun Fact: OK, she’s from Wisconsin. But she played her high school hockey at Hill-Murray, and helped the Pioneers win the 2014 state title.
Fun Fact: Ms. Hockey Semifinalist and Herb Brooks Award Winner her senior year at Mounds View. Former teammate of UMD captain Sydney Brodt.
Fun Fact: Served as captain of St. Paul United high school team for two years and named all-state twice.
Major: Business/Management and Psychology
Fun Fact: Anoka High School’s all-time shot blocker, two-time captain and four-time all-conference.
Hometown: Ham Lake
Fun Fact: Decorated three-sport athlete at Blaine, collecting honors in hockey, soccer and track and field.
Hometown: Eden Prairie
Major: Economics and Business
Fun Fact: Helped Eden Prairie win the high school state title in 2011.
Hometown: St. Cloud
Fun Fact: Tallied 156 points at St. Cloud Cathedral High School.
Major: Mild to Moderate Intervention
Fun Fact: Captain of the Brainerd High School hockey and football teams his senior year.
Fun Fact: Uncle Dave Christian was a member of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” team, grandfather Bill Christian a member of the 1960 Olympic gold medal team and cousin Brock Nelson stars for the New York Islanders.
Major: Political Science
Fun Fact: Notched 73 career points and served as team captain for Lakeville North High School his senior season in 2011-12.
Major: Electrical and Computer Engineering
Fun Fact: Helped Harvard reach the 2017 Frozen Four in Chicago.
Fun Fact: Two-time all-conference at Hermantown High School.
Hometown: Long Lake
Fun Fact: Three-time all-conference in hockey and two-time all-conference in lacrosse at Benilde-St. Margeret’s High School.
Fun Fact: Helped Hill-Murray to two state high school championships. Also lettered in volleyball and softball.
Hometown: St. Michael
Fun Fact: Pioneer Press Player of the Year as a senior for Cretin-Derham Hall in 2015.