How Many Professional Hockey Players Are There? [Facts!]

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Hockey, as we know it today, was originally played in Canada and the United States. The sport has really taken over the world, and for good reason! It’s a lot of fun, and a great way to stay fit in the winter. There are now over 200 countries that play the game, with over 20,000 registered players. The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) estimates there will be over 300,000 hockey players worldwide by the year 2050.

How Does Hockey Work?

In hockey, two teams of four players each take on a one-on-one battle on the ice. There are several different rules and formats, but the basic premise is the same. The object is to score more goals than the other team. After a goal, rallies are common, with players switching sides and skating together to gain an advantage. Penalties are enforced for tripping, holding, elbowing, and fighting. If a player is called for too many penalties or is sent off the ice for a major infraction, then they are ejected. The last player left standing wins!

The IIHF tracks records of several different categories, such as regular season and playoff games, both professional and amateur levels, international games, and more. They compile all this data to create an overall record for each country.

The Top Countries In Hockey

With over 200 countries playing the game, it’s no wonder that hockey is such a popular sport. It’s tough to break down the numbers, but here are the top countries in hockey based on the last IIHF World Rankings.

  • Sweden: 12th (178.3 points)
  • Canada: 11th (183.7 points)
  • United States: 6th (234 points)
  • Finland: 4th (240.3 points)
  • Russia
  • Netherlands
  • Austria
  • Norway

The Top Players In Hockey

It’s not just the overall popularity of the game that makes it so appealing. The athletes who play it are also highly skilled and well-known for their talents. Here are the top professional hockey players based on their last two seasons in the NHL.

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