Even if you don't love hockey, you can always root for a Montana boy at the professional level.

The NHL season kicks off their 2023-24 season today, and many folks in Montana are thrilled. Even though Montana doesn't have an NHL team, there are hockey leagues, junior teams, and a few college teams. Many hockey fans in Montana love the NHL and rep their favorite teams in any of Montana's bars to watch games.

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You will find fans for the Colorado Avalanche, the Minnesota Wild, the Seattle Kraken, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, and more in Montana.

Photo by Maurice DT via Unsplash
Photo by Maurice DT via Unsplash

Even though watching professional sports is fun, it can be more entertaining if someone homegrown is represented in the league.

The NFL has several players from Montana, including Troy Andersen, and the MLB has one player from Montana, Codi Heuer.

Well, what about the NHL? Are there any players from Montana? There is only one.

Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers
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Who is the NHL's one player from Montana? 

The lone player representing the state of Montana is Jake Sanderson. Jake Sanderson was born in Whitefish, Montana, and plays for the Ottawa Senators. Jake was just 18 years old when he was drafted 5th overall by the Ottawa Senators. Instead of going straight to the NHL, he played for two years collegiately at the University of North Dakota. While in college, he also played for the United States at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Ottawa Senators v Boston Bruins
Brian Fluharty/Getty Images

At the end of his sophomore season, he decided to make his dreams a reality and commit to the Ottawa Senators. He made his debut and is expected to be a massive part of the team this season.

The Ottawa Senators don't play until tomorrow, October 11th, but every Montanan should be rooting for this kid. We wish you luck, Jake!

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