The NHL has the highest share of international players among American sports leagues

Alex Ovechkin
There is strong international representation in the NHL. Photo from CBS.

The National Hockey League is one of the most popular hockey tournaments and is also very popular for betting.

Even if placing bets on sports is not as easy as some other activities like gambling on Blackjack games or enjoying board games, many people can’t imagine their lives without betting on NHL or enjoying hockey matches.

And this is despite a fairly short regular season. And the interesting fact is, the NHL has the highest percentage of international players among the four major leagues in North America now.

The NHL is the most international league in US Sports

The NHL is now undoubtedly the most international league in North America, with foreign players influencing the sport like never before.

Which countries do NHL players come from? Aside from the numerous players from around the world over the past 50 years, it’s hardly surprising that Canadians still make up the bulk of the NHL.

With 24 of the 31 NHL teams based in the U.S., it’s no surprise that sportsmen from America are the second-largest group in the National Hockey League. By the way, players from North America remain the largest group in the NHL, because more than 60% of the NHL players come from either from the United States or Canada.

And the dominant European countries in the NHL are Sweden, Finland, Russia, and Switzerland.

International players in the NHL compared to other leagues

An increasing number of international players is not a phenomenon limited to field hockey. However, the National Hockey League has a higher percentage of international players than any of the other major American sports leagues.


In conclusion, as we look to the future, there are indications the number of international stars and players in the NHL will continue to grow.

Over the past 20 years, this number has continued to grow.

So, by the start of 2000, the number of international players in the NHL had more than tripled, and this trend looks likely to sustain. It makes the NHL the most international American sports league.

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