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  • Writer's pictureShelly Peterson

Minnesota Wilderness Hockey - Junior League Hockey

Updated: Oct 26, 2022

The Minnesota Wilderness was founded by regional leaders several years ago to establish an area junior league team, to provide a hockey feeder program that develops and prepares players for Division 1 hockey. How lucky we are that they picked Cloquet to do so? General Manager, Dave Boitz, says the biggest misconception of the Minnesota Wilderness is most people think this is a semi-pro team.

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) is a tier II junior hockey league program. The Minnesota Wilderness is a part of the Midwest Division and calls the Northwoods Credit Union Arena home, located in Cloquet’s Pine Valley Park. All players on the roster play at no cost to them. Under USA hockey sanctioning, The Minnesota Wilderness cannot charge players to play, and they also must provide players with uniforms, team clothing, and select equipment such as sticks, gloves, and helmets. Players without local families live with a Minnesota Wilderness Billet Family. A billet family is a host family and a house for an NAHL hockey player during the hockey season, which is around eight months long.

The program costs approximately $25,000 per player per year to participate in the program. Costs are funded by ticket sales, advertising, fundraisers like raffles, and the annual golf tournament, along with corporate sponsors and a commitment from our local community.

“This community is so great, their support is unbelievable,” said Boitz.

Local sponsors are updated on the team website and currently include: St. Lukes, B&B Market, Carmens, the Buffalo House, the River Inn, Family Tradition, Sammy’s Pizza, Pedros, The Jack, Community Memorial Hospital, Park Avenue Therapies and Fitness, Community Printing, USG, Super One Foods, FDLTCC, Kiminski Paving, Great Lakes Insurance, Farmers Insurance, Subway, Wells Fargo Advisors, Little Caesars, Perkins, Duluth Sign, Halvor Lines, Johnson Mertz, Adolphson Real Estate, Hunt Electric, Superior Beverages, and sitelogiq.

Players are recruited from all over the United States. Of the current roster of 23, three players are local, and the rest have come from other areas.

Attend a Wilderness game today and show your support. You can purchase season tickets or single-game tickets in person at Super One and B&B Market or online at If you are interested in being a billet family, you can find more information on the team website. If you are interested in sponsoring the program by advertising or donating, reach out to Dave to learn more about your options.

Minnesota Wilderness (612) 360-8405

General Manager: Dave Boitz

Northwoods Credit Union Arena

1102 Olympic Drive

Cloquet MN 55720

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