What nation will join the Elite 7 of Hockey?

Discussion in 'International Tournaments' started by Jazz, Dec 15, 2005.

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  1. Jazz

    Jazz Registered User

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    We currently have 7 elite nations in hockey, namely:
    1. Canada
    2. Sweden
    3. Czech Republic
    4. Slovakia
    5. Russia
    6. USA
    7. Finland
    (listed according to the 2005 rankings).

    So the question is: which of the countries in the poll above will be the next to join the Elite group (ie consistenly contend for a medal) and why do you pick this nation? How far in the future will this be?

    Post your answer plus any reasons below.

    Optionally (and not the poll question): Which of the countries listed has the best opportunity to pull off an upset medal (like Belarus almost did in '02)

    Note: The countries are listed according to the current IIHF World Rankings.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2005
  2. Predatore

    Predatore Registered User

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    I voted Denmark (50% "homer" vote), although I honestly do not see another "elite" hockey nation emerging in the near future.

    While countries like Germany and Switzerland are still ahead in terms of overall strength, I like what is going on in Denmark. Interesting prospects are popping up, several of which I have seen play here in Sweden and I think they will in 5-10 years have a national team that once in a while could upset and perhaps reach the semifinal. Who knows what will happen in 10-20 years, but if the danes keep improving like they have for the last years there might be another hot rivalry in Scandinavia.
     
  3. Pepper

    Pepper Registered User

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    Switzerland, they have good junior programs and steadily developing talent.
     
  4. Mr Kanadensisk

    Mr Kanadensisk Registered User

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  5. calgarylen13

    calgarylen13 Registered User

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    Another homer vote here, Denmark...i've been here one month and they hockey is clearly on the way up. If only we could get rid of those old North Americans who are clogging up the league and not letting the juniors perform, we really would be a solid contender in 5 years...the youth is there, the development isn't the best, and the opportunities aren't high but that may change if a few things go the right way, and Peter Hirsch retires (finally)
     
  6. Shane

    Shane Registered User

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    Germany is already a step ahead of the rest and should only get better.
     
  7. sunb

    sunb Registered User

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    Although Germany is far from contending for an Olympic medal, they are easy choice for the #8 spot.

    They have some NHL players, some quite quality actually.

    Olaf Kolzig - Bona fide #1 goalie (Vezina winner)
    Jochen Hecht - Two-way second-line center
    Marcel Goc - Second / Third line two-way center
    Christian Erhoff - Top three defenseman
    Marco Sturm - Two way top six winger
    Dennis Seidenberg - Top four defensemn
    Sven Butenschon - Some NHL experience
    Christopher Schubert - Currently undergoing some winning with Ottawa

    That is decent. Guys like Hecht and Sturm have yet to hit their prime and guys like Goc, Erhoff, Seidenberg and Schubert are all young and have tremondous potential.

    And if a guy like Dany Heatley, who has dual citizenship (born in Germany), suddenly has a change of heart and starts playing for Germany as their star winger, they will be favorites for #8.
     
  8. Shane

    Shane Registered User

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    I think we're actually discussing the teams in terms of a U20 capacity.
     
  9. Safir*

    Safir* Guest

    He grew up and learned to play hockey in Canada. I don't know why Dany would play for Germany. Should Kolzig play for South Africa just because his mom was there when he was born?
     
  10. sunb

    sunb Registered User

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    Canada has experienced the likes of Adam Deadmarsh and Brett Hull. Although extremely unlikely, this is in the realm of possibility.
     
  11. Shane

    Shane Registered User

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    Especially since he'll probably be a lock for Team Canada for the rest of his playing days. Maybe if he couldn't make Team Canada he might have opted to play for Germany (ala Hull for the US), but not now.
     
  12. GKJ

    GKJ Global Moderator

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    Agreed, this is the nation, not Germany, who is in the top division of the WJC's every year. Germany has more veteran talent, but the Swiss have a much better junior program.
     
  13. wilka91*

    wilka91* Registered User

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    Japan, definitely
     
  14. Belizarius

    Belizarius Registered User

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    Switzerland is already the 8th. Won bronze a few years back and managed to keep this 8th spot year after year.
     
  15. ALF AmericanLionsFan

    ALF AmericanLionsFan Registered User

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    I say Germany. Such big potential with such a large pool to develop and pick from. Although the Swiss are right there as well.
     
  16. TORRUS

    TORRUS Registered User

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    I think people are underestimating Latvia and Belarus. They will just grow and develope plus there is hockey tradition in those small coutries. With better days ahead and financial situation getting better year after year I expect them to do some good things. On the other side I don't see the Swiss for example improving a lot. They are great, they have the money and good junior program but they hit the peak and I don't think they have potential to improve even more.

    Latvia has great potential.

    1) Hockey is religion and #1 sport
    2) They know how to produce great players unlike Switzerland (where are all those Swiss first rounders?). They all seem to choke somewhere down the road.
    3) The country is becoming wealthier and wealthier and they will invest more and more money.
     
  17. xMenace

    xMenace Registered User

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    I am cheering for Germany and Saint John Sea Dog Felix Shutz who's projected as a 2nd round NHL draft pick in 2006.
     
  18. ALF AmericanLionsFan

    ALF AmericanLionsFan Registered User

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    What position does he play?
     
  19. Kitsune

    Kitsune Registered User

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    Switzerland. They've been in the elite group of the WJC for a while now, and have a very nice junior program. They also have a very cold climate... :) I often go for the Swiss except for when they face Canada....
     
  20. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    Right, but how many out the Swiss have gone on to any sort of success at the NHL level? Several high draft picks and nothing to show for it. Conversely, Germany hasn't done as well junior wise, but has faired pretty well sending players to the NHL
     
  21. xMenace

    xMenace Registered User

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    He started at center in SJ, but he was moved to wing because of his faceoff performance. He's #5.
     
  22. J17 Vs Proclamation

    J17 Vs Proclamation Registered User

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    Its not a country, dear god.
     
  23. Lefty

    Lefty Registered User

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    Go Hungary!

    Seriously though, I'd say Switzerland or Germany.
     
  24. 12# Peter Bondra

    12# Peter Bondra Registered User

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    Switzerland.
     
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