Skip to Main Content
facts & figures

Facts and Figures: Hockey Day in Canada

Country, province of Ontario well-represented in NHL @NHLdotcom

In honor of Hockey Day in Canada, here's a look at the country's representation in the NHL.

A total of 398 Canadian nationals have skated in at least one NHL game this season (365 skaters, 33 goalies). That's 43.2 percent of the 921 players who've played in the League during 2018-19, by far the most among the 18 nationalities represented. The United States is second with 258 players.

Of the 398 Canadian nationals, 393 were born in Canada. Five were born in the United States. They are Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier (Phoenix), Minnesota Wild forward Marcus Foligno (Buffalo), Anaheim Ducks defenseman Josh Manson (Hinsdale, Illinois), Winnipeg Jets defenseman Tyler Myers (Houston) and Vancouver Canucks center Brandon Sutter (Huntington, New York. Six players born in Canada are citizens of other countries (four U.S., two Sweden).

Ontario is the biggest supplier of NHL talent among Canada's provinces; 172 players (161 skaters, 11 goalies) hail from Ontario. That's more than the next three provinces combined: Alberta (55), Quebec (51) and British Columbia (49). Among Nova Scotia's six players are two of the NHL's highest scorers, centers Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche (73 points) and Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins (61).

However, Crosby is No. 2 among Nova Scotians in career points (1,117; 434 goals, 743 assists), 97 behind Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Al MacInnis, who had 1,274 points (340 goals, 934 assists) in 1,416 NHL games.

Two members of the Edmonton Oilers dynasty in the late 1980s, Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier, are the all-time scoring leaders from their respective provinces. Gretzky (Ontario) has 2,857 points, the most in NHL history. Messier is No. 1 among Alberta-born players with 1,887. Gordie Howe tops all players born in Saskatchewan with 1,850. Other provincial leaders with more than 1,000 points include Marcel Dionne (Quebec; 1,771); Steve Yzerman (British Columbia; 1,755), MacInnis (Nova Scotia; 1,275) and Bobby Clarke (Manitoba; 1,210).

A Canadian player has won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's top scorer in five of the past six seasons; center Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers took home the title in each of the past two seasons. Players born in Canada have won the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs 45 of the 53 times it's been awarded; the most Canadian winner recent was Crosby in 2016 and 2017.

Geoff Sanderson is a one-of-a-kind player. Sanderson, from Hay River, Northwest Territories, is one of seven players born in a Canadian territory to play an NHL game -- but the only one to skate in more than seven (1,104). His 355 NHL goals are the only ones in League history by a player born in a Canadian territory, and he has 700 of the 702 points scored by the seven players.

View More