The Minnesota high-school state hockey tournament got underway last week, and while only a few teams were victorious in their quest for a state championship, some select individual players found glory in other another place — their hair.
The Minnesota State High School All Hockey Hair Team has become synonymous with the tournament thanks to a mysterious YouTuber who highlights the players (and coaches) with the best hair each year. The trend started in 2011 and has become more popular with each passing year, with the 2015 video garnering more than 2.5 million views. The creator hasn’t let the fame get to his head, or his hair.
The man behind it all keeps his name out of the limelight. Sporting shoulder-length dark hair that flowed under his stocking cap, he spoke with the Star Tribune over breakfast last week under the condition of anonymity, citing business reasons.
“Hockey and hockey hair is sort of our Minnesota super powers,” he said. “They make us different. When you have six months of winter you might as well have something awesome to do.”
Part of the video’s charm is its cable-access grade production value. He films the television introductions from his East Metro basement. Selecting the All Hockey Hair Team is a family affair. His wife takes notes. His son works the remote control and his daughter adds her feedback.
The process of making this year’s video not only including mystery man’s family, but also some special hockey guest stars — Islanders winger Matt Martin and ESPN analyst Barry Melrose, both of whom have been known to sport some luscious locks.
Last year’s video was sponsored by Warrior Hockey and helped raise $15,000 for the Hendrickson Foundation, which works with hockey programs for military veterans. This year, Warrior (and some other sponsors) are on board, so hopefully the money keeps flowing, pun intended.
Let’s take a look at some of this year’s standouts.