For those that don't know, I'm a huge hockey fan. I recently did a search online to find out how many Idaho hockey players have actually logged minutes in a professional game, and the results were a bit surprising.

Historically, Canada has proven to be the birthplace for the most athletes to get drafted into the National Hockey League. In the United States, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut have produced the most NHL players in the country, according to data found on

While Idaho's minor league team, The Steelheads, has had a number of Gem State-born athletes make it onto NHL opening-day rosters, for some reason the Internet only acknowledges two players to have actually logged substantial minutes in a pro game. Those two players were both born in the small city of Potlatch, Idaho.

Potlatch, which has a population of roughly 820 people, is located in the northwestern panhandle of the state, and less than 10 miles from the Washington border. The name of the city translates to an Indian ceremony where food is eaten and gifts are given in a showing of prowess.

The names Pat Shea and Guyle Fielder are the only two that yield results when attempting to find information on Idaho-born hockey players that have skated in NHL games. Combined, they played in less than 20 games in their professional careers, according to information shared by

Potlatch was known for its mining in the early twentieth century, and nowadays houses many students from the University of Idaho, which is located in Moscow just 18 miles south.

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