What percentage of NHL players are American? [2022-23]

Hockey is a worldwide sport that is played in different countries. The players in the NHL come from all over the globe from various countries. In this regard, America has one of the largest proportions of NHL players worldwide.

What percentage of NHL players are American? For the 2022–2023, NHL season, (28.1%) of the skaters are Americans by birth. Overall, in the NHL, there are 208 players of American nationality. It will make them the second-highest demographic after Canadians with (42.3%) and in front of Swedes (9.9%).

Why and how hockey has gained a lot of popularity in America? What is the level of American talent? To get the answers, go below. 

How many NHL players are American?

Although the NHL is based in North America, many of its players were from either the United States or Canada. If you are an NHL enthusiast who lives in the United States, you might be wondering how many skaters on the team are from the United States. 

How many NHL players are American

Also, a large proportion of the entire squad is American. In recent years, around (28.1%) of the NHL players have been made up of Americans. 

Over time, the difference between American and Canadian skaters has been rapidly reducing. This has increased the proportion of NHL players of American background.

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Percentage of Americans in the NHL over the Decades

Over the various seasons, the proportion of American players hasn’t been noteworthy. This can be a surprise considering that two-thirds of the NHL’s squads are U.S.-based and four of the six teams are American based. 

Percentage of Americans in the NHL

For example, only 2.3% of NHL players at the beginning of the 1970s were Americans. On the other hand, the Canadian NHL squad was in the large bulk with a percentage of 96.1%. 

At the start of the 1970s, the team had very few American players when the hockey game first began. The number of American skaters in the NHL has grown significantly and steadily since 1970. If you talk about recent years, there are more than 28.1% of NHL players from America. 

How has hockey increased in popularity in the US?

After gaining popularity, the next question was how has hockey increased in popularity in the U.S. Thus, a few things have contributed to hockey’s increased popularity in the United States:

  1. NHL Expansion 
  2. Miracle on Ice 
  3. Gretzky was dealt to the Los Angeles Kings i1988’s

1. NHL Expansion

  • 1967 – Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Minnesota, Los Angeles, Oakland)
  • 1970 – Buffalo 
  • 1972 – Atlanta, New York Islanders 
  • 1974 – Washington, Kansas City

Now the NHL has all of these additional clubs. These clubs bring the total number of clubs up to 15 in the US. What all these clubs accomplished was to expand American awareness of the sport of ice hockey. Additionally, it has been demonstrated that once people get to know this game, they will begin to participate in the game. 

NHL Expansion

This idea comes into reality. Due to the awareness, people began to play in these cities. Their young people started to play hockey and some of them were selected for the NHL. 

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2. Miracle on Ice 

The biggest accomplishment in American hockey might be Miracle on Ice. In 1980, the USA Olympian squad made a quarterfinal victory over the widely preferred Soviet Union squad. They achieved the Olympic gold Medal and it is known as the “Miracle on Ice” for those who are unfamiliar with hockey.

Miracle on Ice

3. Gretzky was dealt to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988’s

It is a deal that brought Wayne Gretzky from Alberta to Los Angeles in the summer of 1988. It had the biggest effect on American hockey. Hockey was pushed into the public light when Wayne was moved to LA. Then it quickly earned popularity as one of the hot sports.

Gretzky was dealt to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988’s

What has USA hockey done to increase the number of players at higher levels?

The US has improved its development projects and boosted the young generation in hockey involvement. They have done two main things effectively.

  1. Levels of Involvement in Game
  2. Development Approach

1. Levels of Involvement in the Game

The United States ranked second in terms of qualified ice hockey players in 2018–19. The United States got this rank all over the world. In comparison to Canada’s 621026 eligible members, the US had 567908 members. When you see those big figures closely, the sum will be effectively the same.

2. Development Approach

In comparison to Canada, the U.S. did not perform well for a very long time when it came to its development and training systems. In 2009, USA Hockey developed a state-of-the-art development program. 

This program included age-appropriate training developments and training certificates. They also created elite hockey players, such as the USA Under-18 Development Team. 

Numerous current NHL players were selected from this club. They can also be found in the NHL selection statistics.

What is the talent level of the Americans in the NHL?

It is essential to know that USA hockey is not only producing more skaters but also producing players with excellent ability levels. They all are highly qualified and professional in their skills. 

For this, you can look at the roster of young American all-stars in the NHL. There you will see names like Auston Matthews, Matthew Tkachuk, Brady Tkachuk, Seth Jones, Johnny Gaudreau, Charlie McAvoy, Jack Hughes, John Gibson, Quinn Hughes, and Jack Eichel.

Americans in the NHL

It is predicted that the United States will continue to produce more top-tier, talented players. They might displace Canada as the premier hockey nation in another ten years or more. 

They would come in second place to Canada according to current rankings. They currently possess more options than Swedes or Russians. 

Conclusion: What percentage of NHL players are American?

Now that you might be aware what percentage of NHL players are American, right? At the start of the 1970s, America did not gain much popularity and after that when America started some coaching classes for hockey development, it gained popularity. Now 28.1% of NHL players are American-based. 

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