In 1846, Iowa became the 29th state in America.
Fast-forward just over 100 years later and Iowa got its first semi-pro hockey team in 1958: The Des Moines Ice Hawks.
While the Ice Hawks are long gone now, Iowa now has two professional hockey teams! Plus, Iowa has an incredible junior hockey program. They have the most Tier I Junior teams in the United States Hockey League (USHL) of any state in America.
In this article, I’ll show you what pro hockey teams are in Iowa and what D1 college and junior teams compete in the state.
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 Maine, What Hockey Team Is in Pennsylvania.
Let’s dive in.
Here’s What Hockey Teams Are In Iowa:
While Iowa doesn’t have an NHL team, they do have two pro hockey teams: The Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League (AHL) and the Iowa Heartlanders of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). They also have some great D1 college hockey teams like Waldorf University. Iowa has the most Tier I Junior hockey teams in America with five teams competing in the USHL.
Does Iowa Have a Hockey Team?
So, what is Iowa’s hockey team?
Iowa has dozens of ice hockey teams. However, they don’t have an NHL team as the state is relatively small compared to NHL markets (almost 3.1 million people).
The top hockey team in Iowa is the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League (AHL).
The Iowa Wild are the affiliated farm team for the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League (NHL).
Iowa is also home to a mid-level pro team: The Iowa Heartlanders of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). They’re the affiliated farm team for the AHL’s Iowa Wild.
The top college hockey team in Iowa is Waldorf University (ACHA Men’s D1).
Here are the top Tier I junior hockey teams in Iowa:
- Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL)
- Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL)
- Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)
- Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)
- Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)
Does Iowa Have an NHL Team?
So, will you find an NHL hockey team in Iowa?
The short answer is, no. Iowa’s population is just about 3 million people which is simply too small for an NHL market. Plus, with the Minnesota Wild next door, it’s likely that the Wild wouldn’t want a competing franchise so close.
What NHL Team Does Iowa Root For?
Iowa has never had its own NHL team. However, the Hawkeye State still has a very active NHL fanbase.
It’s simple: The Minnesota Wild.
The Minnesota Wild are the closest NHL franchise to Iowa (they’re located just north of Iowa). Plus, Iowa’s AHL team – the Iowa Wild is the minor league farm team for the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, so it makes sense that Iowa would root for their major league affiliate.
However, despite the fact that The Minnesota Wild are the consensus favorite among Iowans, there are definitely Chicago Blackhawk and even St. Louis Blues fans in the state (since they’re both neighboring states to Iowa).
What Hockey Teams Are in Iowa?
So, what hockey teams are in Iowa? The Hawkeye State has two professional hockey teams and several college and junior teams as listed below:
While Iowa has two professional hockey teams, they, unfortunately, don’t have an NHL team. NHL fans in Iowa typically cheer for the Minnesota Wild since they’re the closest geographical NHL team and the Minnesota Wild are the major league NHL affiliate of the Iowa Wild (AHL).
Iowa has one professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League (AHL): The Iowa Wild. This is a high-level professional sports league just one step below the NHL. They’re the minor league farm team for the Minnesota Wild.
So, where do the Iowa Wild play hockey?
The Providence Bruins play their home games at the Wells Fargo Arena located at 233 Center St, Des Moines, IA.
Iowa also has one professional ice hockey team in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL).This is a mid-level professional sports league just one step below the AHL.
What is the name of the Iowa ECHL team? The Iowa Heartlanders.
The Heartlanders are the affiliated farm team for the AHL’s Iowa Wild and the NHL’s Minnesota Wild.
So, where do the Iowa Heartlanders play? The Iowa Heartlanders play their home games at the Xtream Arena located at 200 E 9th St Ste 100, Coralville, IA.
D1, D2, D3 College Hockey
While Iowa doesn’t have an NHL team, they do have some great high-level college hockey. The state has a variety of college hockey teams within D1, D2, and D3 levels that compete within the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA):
- Waldorf University (ACHA Men’s D1)
- Iowa State University (ACHA Men’s D2)
- University of Iowa (ACHA Men’s D2)
- Dordt University (ACHA Men’s D3)
- Iowa State University (ACHA Men’s D3)
Iowa is well known for its junior hockey. Within the United States Hockey League (USHL)—the top junior hockey league in America—Iowa has the most teams of any state (five teams).
In addition to its 5 Tier I junior teams, Iowa also has some Tier II and Tier III teams within other leagues.
There are a total of 7 junior ice hockey teams in Iowa:
- Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL Tier I)
- Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL Tier I)
- Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL Tier I)
- Sioux City Musketeers (USHL Tier I)
- Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL Tier I)
- North Iowa Bulls (NAHL Tier II)
- Mason City Toros (NA3HL Tier III)
Is There High School Hockey in Iowa?
Iowa’s top high school hockey league is the Midwest High School Hockey League. The league is spread across three states: Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri.
There are 13 total ice hockey teams broken up into 3 divisions: West (5 teams), Central (4 teams), and East (4 teams). Each team has a Varsity and Jr. Varsity team.
- Fremont Flyers
- Kansas City Jets
- Lincoln Jr. Stars
- Omaha Jr. Lancers
- Sioux City Metros
- Ames Cyclones
- Des Moines Capitals
- Des Moines Oak Leafs
- Mason City Mohawks
- Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
- Dubuque Saints
- Quad City Blues
- Waterloo Warriors
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).