In 1950, Colorado got its first professional hockey team.
And no, it wasn’t The Colorado Avalanche (1995) or the state’s first NHL team, the Colorado Rockies (1974).
It was the Denver Falcons—a member of the United States Hockey League.
Over the years, The Centennial State has had several pro hockey teams come and go.
The question is, what hockey teams are in Colorado… right now?
In this article, I’ll show you what pro hockey teams are in Colorado and what college and junior teams compete in the state (including multiple D1 hockey teams).
Pssssst! Are you curious about hockey teams in other U.S. states? You can learn more by checking out our other posts: What Hockey Team Is in Florida, What Hockey Team Is in Arizona, and What Hockey Team Is in Pennsylvania.
Let’s dive in.
Here’s What Hockey Teams Are In Colorado:
Colorado has two professional hockey teams: Colorado Avalanche (NHL) and Colorado Eagles (AHL). The top D1 college hockey teams include Colorado College, the United States Air Force Academy, and the University of Denver. The top junior ice hockey teams are Northern Colorado Eagles and the Pueblo Bulls (USPHL Tier III).
Does Colorado Have a Hockey Team?
So, does the Centennial State have a hockey team?
Yes! The top hockey team in Colorado is the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League (NHL).
Colorado also has one other professional team: the Colorado Eagles of the American Hockey League (AHL).
The top college hockey teams in Colorado include Colorado College, the United States Air Force Academy, and the University of Denver(which are all NCAA D1 teams).
The top junior ice hockey teams in Colorado are the Northern Colorado Eagles and the Pueblo Bulls (USPHL).
How Many Hockey Teams Are in Colorado?
Colorado has had professional hockey for more than 70 years. Over the years, they’ve had dozens of different pro teams come through the state. In total, the state currently has two pro hockey teams, fourteen varsity college hockey teams, and two junior ice hockey teams.
Does Colorado Have an NHL Team?
Wondering if you’ll find an NHL hockey team in Colorado?
Absolutely! In 1995, Colorado got its (second) NHL team: The Colorado Avalanche.
The Avalanche compete in the Central Division of the NHL’s Western Conference. The team was originally founded in 1972 as the Quebec Nordiques as a part of the Western Hockey Association (WHA). In 1979, they joined the NHL. 1997 and had its inaugural season in the 1998-99 season. In 1995, the Nordiques were sold and relocated to Denver, Colorado.
The Avalanche is the only team to win the Stanley Cup in their inaugural season in a new city. In the 1995-96 season, the Avalanche ranked first in the Pacific Division and went all the way to the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals against the Florida Panthers. The Avalanche swept the Panthers in 4 games to win the championship.
The Avalanche is actually the first major professional sports team based in Denver to bring home a championship. In 2001, the Avalanche won their second Stanley Cup when they defeated the New Jersey Devils in seven games.
The Avs’ most recent championship was in 2022 when they defeated the defending Stanley Cup Champions—the Tampa Bay Lightning—in six games. The Avalanche are the only active NHL team to win the Stanley Cup in every Finals appearance.
Some of the most famous Colorado Avalanche players include:
- Joe Sakic
- Peter Forsberg
- Patrick Roy
- Adam Foote
- Rob Blake
- Ray Bourque
- Peter Stastny (Nordiques)
- Nathan MacKinnon (Active)
- Cale Makar (Active)
- Gabriel Landeskog (Active)
- Mikko Rantanen (Active)
- Milan Hejduk
- Alex Tanguay
- Paul Stastny (Active – Carolina Hurricanes)
- Claude Lemieux
What Hockey Teams Are in Colorado?
So, what hockey teams are in Colorado?
In total, The Centennial State has two professional ice hockey teams. Colorado also has 14 college hockey teams and two junior ice hockey teams as listed below:
Colorado has one team in the National Hockey League (NHL): The Colorado Avalanche.
So, where do they play? The Avalanche play their home games at the Ball Arena located at 1000 Chopper Cir, Denver, CO 80204 in downtown Denver.
In addition to Colorado’s NHL team, they also have a professional team in the American Hockey League (AHL). The AHL is a high-level professional hockey league just one step below the NHL.
The Colorado Eagles are an AHL team located in Loveland, Colorado. They’re the minor league farm team of the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.
So, where do they play? They play their home games at the Budweiser Events Center located at 5290 Arena Cir, Loveland, CO 80538.
D1, D2, D3 College Hockey
Colorado has fourteen varsity college hockey teams that compete within the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA):
- Colorado College (NCAA Men’s D1)
- United States Air Force Academy (NCAA Men’s D1)
- University of Denver (NCAA Men’s D1)
- University of Colorado (ACHA Men’s D1)
- Colorado State University (ACHA Men’s D1)
- University of Denver (ACHA Men’s D2)
- University of Colorado (ACHA Men’s D2)
- University of Northern Colorado (ACHA Men’s D2)
- Colorado State University (ACHA Men’s D2)
- Colorado Mesa University (ACHA Men’s D3)
- Western Colorado University (ACHA Men’s D3)
- University of Colorado-Colorado Springs (ACHA Men’s D3)
- United States Air Force Academy (ACHA Men’s D3)
- Colorado School of Mines (ACHA Men’s D3)
While Colorado is better known for its college hockey, it has some great high-level junior hockey teams as well.
Colorado has two junior hockey teams spread in the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL):
- Northern Colorado Eagles (USPHL – Premier Tier III)
- Pueblo Bulls (USPHL – Premier Tier III)
In addition to the two current teams in the USPHL, Colorado is getting a new junior team in the NAHL (Tier II league) in the 2023-24 season: The Colorado Grit. They’ll play their home games at Greeley Ice Haus in Greeley, Colorado.
Is There High School Hockey in Colorado?
Yes, there is high school hockey in Colorado. The governing body for high school hockey in the state is the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA).
Within the CHSAA, there are 35 teams split up into 6 leagues: 4A Mountain, 4A North, 4A South, 5A Central, 5A Metro, and 5A South.
4A Mountain League:
- Mountain Vista
- Castle View
- Dakota Ridge
4A North League:
- Colorado Academy
- Kent Denver
- Air Academy
4A South League:
- Cheyenne Mountain
- Woodland Park
- Pueblo County
5A Central League:
- Resurrection Christian
- Standley Lake
- Pine Creek
5A Metro League:
- Valor Christian
- Denver East
- Ralston Valley
- Cherry Creek
- Regis Jesuit
- Fort Collins
5A South League:
- Mountain Vista
- Castle View
- Dakota Ridge
Is Hockey Popular in Colorado?
So, do they play hockey in Colorado?
Absolutely! But.. just how popular is hockey in the Centennial State? To find out just how popular hockey is in Colorado, let’s look at some data!
In 2022, WalletHub crunched the numbers to determine which hockey cities were best for fans of the sport. In the study, WalletHub ranked the top 72 cities in the U.S. They worked with 21 key indicators of what made a city a “good” hockey city. Different indicators included stadium capacity, ticket prices, and the performance of major teams, among many others.
Colorado had two cities that ranked in the top 72:
- Denver (#6)
- Colorado Springs (#45)
Are you curious to know more about hockey in other states across the U.S.? Don’t forget to check out our other full guide: Hockey Teams in Every U.S. State: Complete NHL & College List (2023).