The Top Five Players in the NHL From New Jersey

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The Five Best NHL Players from New Jersey

Evan Habeeb-US Presswire

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that hockey-mad Minnesota is the state where the majority of American-born NHL players come from.

Over 200 residents of the Gopher state have pulled on jerseys for NHL teams over the years with Massachusetts as the next highest.

However, New Jersey, yes New Jersey, has produced its fair share of professional players and like hockey in the Garden State that number is on the rise.

While the whole state doesn’t shut down for the high school championship like they do in Minnesota, New Jersey hockey has been growing in leaps and bounds over the years.

More and more youngsters are learning the game at an early age. There are more ice rinks available as well as development programs.

Not every high school is able to field varsity ice hockey teams, but the amount has increased with more public, private and parochial schools putting together teams. The state has also recently opened the New Jersey High School Hockey Hall of Fame.

In addition to rinks offering in-house recreation hockey for children and adults of all ages, there are also several very competitive travel programs at the double and triple A level from mites to midgets as well as junior programs.

The New Jersey Devils have also been a strong supporter of high school as well as youth hockey throughout the state. For the past few years, the championship for each division has been held at the Devils home ice, the Prudential Center.

This summer, the Prudential Center will be hosting the NHL Entry Draft in Newark, putting New Jersey hockey front and center. It will be the first time a hockey draft has been held in the tri-state area which is nice since more and more Jersey boys have been getting picked in the draft.

Four out of the five players who made the list were first round draft picks.

While cover boy, Bobby Sanguinetti did not make the top five, the Trenton native was a first round pick of the New York Rangers in 2006 and is quickly becoming a vital part of the Carolina Hurricanes' offense.

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Number 5-George Parros of the Florida Panthers

Robert Mayer-US Presswire

Tough guy George Parros of the Florida Panthers leads off the list at number five. Parros was born in Pennsylvania, but grew up in Randolph, New Jersey. The Princeton University graduate won a cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007 and is a member of the New Jersey High School Hockey Hall of Fame.

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Number 4-Kyle Palmieri of the Anaheim Ducks

Kelvin Kuo-US Presswire

Kyle Palmieri of the Anaheim Ducks grabs the number four spot. He was born in New York, but considers Montvale, New Jersey and the Garden State home. The right wing attended Notre Dame University for one year before being selected in the first round of the 2009 draft by the Ducks.

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Number 3-Bobby Ryan of the Anaheim Ducks

Matt Kartozian_US Presswire

Number three honors go to forward Bobby Ryan of the Anaheim Ducks. The talented twenty-five-year old was born in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and grew up in Collingswood. Ryan was the number one pick of the Ducks in the 2005 Entry Draft and was a member of the 2010 Olympic Hockey team that took home the silver medal in the Vancouver games.

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Number 2-John Carlson of the Washington Capitals

Geoff Burke-US Presswire

Defenseman John Carlson of the Washington Capitals grabs the number two slot. The twenty-three-year old grew up in Colonia, New Jersey and played travel hockey for the New Jersey Rockets. He also played high school hockey for Saint Joseph’s of Metuchen for three years before transferring to a school in Indianapolis. The youngster was a first round pick of the Capitals in the 2008 draft and is rapidly becoming one of the team’s best blueliners.

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Number 1-James van Riemsdyk of the Toronto Maple Leafs

van Riemsdyk
Eric Hartline-US Presswire

The number one spot belongs to James van Riemsdyk of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The twenty-three-year old hails from Middletown, New Jersey and played high school hockey for Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft, New Jersey before entering the US National Team Developmental Program in Ann Arbor Michigan. Van Riemsdyk was originally a first round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers. He was the second player chosen behind Patrick Kane in the 2007 draft. After being traded to the Leafs this summer after an injury-prone season with the Flyers, van Riemsdyk has found new life. The young forward has been on fire for the Leafs this season. He is also a member of the New Jersey High School Hockey Hall of Fame.