If you haven’t already take a look at Andy Eide’s excellent piece on the potential impact an NHL club can have on youth hockey in the Greater Seattle Area. Coincidentally, earlier this month USA Hockey published their annual membership report. As such information, it seems like a good opportunity to take a look at how hockey is performing at a state level.
Even without the NHL, Washington state is continuing to see an increase in USA Hockey memberships. Last year USA Hockey player registrations grew close to 7% compared to a nationwide increase of 1.3%. The 7% increase was the 5th highest increase across the US.
Washington State has increased USA Hockey player participation at a higher rate than the nationwide average in 8 of the last 10 years and 5 out of the last 5 years.
A lot of this can be chalked up to the record population growth the Greater Seattle area is facing. As more people move here, it naturally increases the total quantity of hockey players living in the state.
Peeling back the onion one more layer, the growth is most prevalent 6 and under, 7 to 8, and over 19 age groups.
As Andy points out, the growth in youth hockey should accelerate at a much higher rate with an NHL Club coming to town. Should be fun to see the evolution of this movement over the next 10 to 15 years.
If you would like to take a look at other states’ performances over the years, there is an interactive dashboard located here.