Former NHL player Doug Zmolek recounts playing with Shjon Podein in high school

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(ABC 6 News) — A recent study concluded that Minnesota has seen more players reach the NHL than any state in the country. A notion that will probably not surprise many Minnesotans.

Rochester has played a role in that from the Stuart Brothers to Shjon Podein and Doug Zmolek.

Zmolek remembers being Podein’s teammate when they were both at John Marshall High School and how Podein’s professional career was a key influence on local hockey.

“I got to play with Shjon my freshman year at John Marshall when he was a senior,” Zmolek said. “So, it was kind of strange when you look over at warm-ups and he’s out there. A proud way, but in a strange way, you know, it’s unique and it was fun. And he had a great career and won the Stanley Cup. So he did a lot of great things for Rochester and the hockey community here.”

ABC 6 News will go further into Minnesota’s representation in the NHL later this week.