Detroit takes the lead: Study reveals Hockeytown is No. 1 major city where NHL athletes are born

41 NHL athletes born in Detroit, 190 born in Michigan

Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin (71) celebrates his goal during the overtime period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes) (Jeffrey T. Barnes, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

DETROIT – You’ve got Mark Howe, Kevin Hatcher, David Legwand, and so many others who were born in Detroit and had the chance to shine on the professional stage.

A study by the Online Betting Guide found that Detroit ranked No. 1 for most NHL athletes born in a major city. According to the study, over the 105 years of the NHL, 41 players have Detroit registered as their birthplace.

Below are the top 5 major cities where NHL players have been born:

RankCityStateNumber of NHL athletes born in city
4St. PaulMinnesota34

Detroit isn’t the only Michigan city represented on the list. Hockey Reference says about 190 players during the lifespan of the NHL have been born in the state. Some other cities include Clawson, Grand Ledge, Kalamazoo, Wyandotte, East Lansing, Redford, Lapeer, and Lincoln Park.

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Below is the list of NHL players born in Michigan, according to

Fun fact: The Detroit Red Wings were among the first teams to help form the NHL.

The Wings began as an expansion team called the Detroit Cougars in 1926. The NHL stated that the Cougars didn’t have a home rink in Detroit and would play in Windsor, Canada. In 1932, James Norris renamed the team the Red Wings, and their first home was Olympia Stadium. The name Detroit Cougars lived on as an American professional soccer team based in Detroit formed and took the name in 1967. According to Glentoran Football Club, the team folded a year later.

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About the Author:

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital News Editor and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.