Olympics: 2022 Predictions for the Mid-Majors (AUT,BLR,DEN,FRA,GER,KAZ,LAT,NOR,SLO)

Discussion in 'International Tournaments' started by kabidjan18, May 15, 2018.

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  1. kabidjan18

    kabidjan18 Registered User

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    For AutHockeyTXReports I recently wrote two posts trying to predict which mid-major countries will be prominent in 2022 and how they will stack up against each other then, when Beijing rolls around. Of course it's early, but my rankings are below.

    Mid-Major Rankings
    1. Denmark
    2. Latvia
    3. Germany
    4. Austria
    5. France
    6. Slovenia
    7. Belarus
    8. Norway
    9. Kazakhstan
    To find the articles, just search up "Authockeytxreports" and it should be the first result.

    Edit: The "Looking Ahead to 2022" has analysis of all other nations. "Where Austria fits in" is just Austria.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  2. GX

    GX Registered User

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    Considering their ranking and recent results, I would consider also Slovakia to be, at least currently, in the mid-majors group.
     
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  3. Namejs

    Namejs The Buffalo Dahlins

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    On a quick glance, I'm not sure why Slovenia ranks so high. The core of their team is going to be on the wrong side of 30 by 2022. There's not a lot of prospects growing up. Their junior team plays in the third tier.
     
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  4. Faterson

    Faterson Delayed Live forever Sponsor

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    Very (too) flattering for Slovakia not to be listed here. They should be, given no play-offs since 2013. The situation in Slovak hockey (and society) is so bleak we can consider ourselves lucky to be included in a list of "mid-major" countries rather than below them, on the level of Hungary or Great Britain or Ukraine.
     
  5. Namejs

    Namejs The Buffalo Dahlins

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    There's quite a lot of prospects coming out of your hockey system, so if you were included, you would probably sit at the top of the rankings.
     
  6. Sofaw

    Sofaw Registered User

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    I think you are too optimistic on Denmark's behalf. There are good young players on the way forward, which we have not seen at this World Cup. For example, Jonas Røndbjerg (Växjö, SHL), Alexander True (AHL), Joachim Blichfeldt (AHL), Mathias From (AIK, Allsvenskaen), Malte Setkov (Malmö, SHL), but, conversely, some of our high end players e.g. Nielsen, Regin, J. Hansen are getting old. In short, Denmark's depth will be better, but we will have fewer high end players...
     
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  7. kabidjan18

    kabidjan18 Registered User

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    When at full strength, like Namejs said, Slovakia sits at the top of the Mid-Majors, or the bottom of the Majors.

    A lot of Slovenia's athletes are 28-30, which means that in 4 years if they are 32, 33, they'll be regressing noticeably but they will still have some utility yet. Belarus loses more athletes and they've yet to prove that they can translate success in junior tournaments to legitimate prospects. Norway I might be underrating, but they're going to be led by two Anthony Rech-caliber athletes, and a few Defensemen who could stick in the Allsvenskan. Without Thoresen, Olimb they don't really have a "star".
     
  8. kabidjan18

    kabidjan18 Registered User

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    I noted this in the article, that Denmark is not going to be able to replace all that they are losing. I also noted each of the younger ones, and some others like Oliver Joakim Larsen.

    At the end of the day, it's the mid-majors. If they can build some chemistry, skill is something they will have a shortage of...
     
  9. ThaiTanicDK

    ThaiTanicDK Registered User

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    Denmark will be missing centers in a few years. We used to excel at centers, but now we mostly produce wingers and the one D-man Setkov.
     
  10. Namejs

    Namejs The Buffalo Dahlins

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    It's all random, dude. We used to have a gaping hole in the goalie department, now we suddenly have at least 4 goalies that are better than any we had for 10+ years. Suddenly we're settled for the next 15 years in that area. It's not like it was a concerted effort or anything.

    A random NHL star could pop up in a few years and single-handedly change the balance of power between these nations.
     
  11. Marky1999

    Marky1999 Registered User

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    That's exactly what happened to Latvia in basketball. They went from an average team to one of the best teams in Europe just because of two really talented NBA players.
     
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  12. Belizarius

    Belizarius Registered User

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    In France, the Olympics are the mission of our new head coach. We didn't play the Olympics since 2002.

    We have question marks everywhere, though the depth is finally there. Lack of high end talent, but the team spirit remains as the biggest asset.
    It's way to early to predict things, because of the change incoming with Bozon. Some players will come back, others won't. We'll see when the dust settles.
     
  13. kabidjan18

    kabidjan18 Registered User

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    I wouldn't be too cynical. If all holds up your 1C will be Eller, and that's as good a center as you need. 2C will be True. As always, people we don't know of now could (and probably will) show themselves.

    Can he bring back his son?
     
  14. tony d

    tony d Registered User Sponsor

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    Will be interesting to see what nations join the big 6. Always has seemed to be a big 6 in hockey with any # of nations being #7.
     
  15. Uncle Rotter

    Uncle Rotter Registered User

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    If the countries that directly qualify for Beijing are determined after the 2019 WHC (like they were in 2015), then Germany will be starting the championships with a 235 point lead over Slovakia (and Switzerland will lead by at least 135 points) in the battle for the 7th and 8th spots. Unless China doesn't compete and there are 9 automatic qualifiers then Slovakia will have to go through the qualifying tournament.
     
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  16. kabidjan18

    kabidjan18 Registered User

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    I understand that, but rankings have the potential to change the status of multiple nations. This just looks at the traditional set, but German fans can take comfort in what you said.
     
  17. Bookker

    Bookker Registered User

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    Nice job kabidjan :sarcasm:
    You have missed some players for France who can step up (Im french so easier for me like you with Austria) but for all your comments on each countries I find that complete and well predicted overall :)
     
  18. Namejs

    Namejs The Buffalo Dahlins

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    A few notes on the Latvia analysis.

    Several of the players named are probably not going to be playing for the national team at all. For example, Komuls is 20 and playing in NAHL. Usually that's not a recipe for a successful pro career. Unless he's going to be a late bloomer in the NCAA, I don't see him being near the national team.

    The same thing to a lesser extent applies to E. Kulda, Lipsbergs and a couple of others. So far they have failed to make the switch to pro hockey. Lipsbergs was a 0.40 PPG guy in the ECHL. If he was a tall power forward, he could be playing on the 4th line if we're missing several of our leading forwards.

    Ponomarenko has fizzled out.

    You've also ommitted some young prospects like Smirnovs, Koppass, Smons, Egle brothers. I don't remember seeing the names of Kalnins, Punnenovs, Kivlenieks, Mitens, Grigals. That's a lot of good goalies.

    Another thing to note is that Latvians are generally late bloomers when it comes to physical development. There's a couple of reasons for that. We mature slower than most Europeans. It's a genetic thing. It sounds weird, but it's true. Sub-Saharan Africans reach puberty and their peak faster, Europeans develop a little bit later and East Asians are late bloomers. We're closer to East Asians than Europeans. That's an important little thing to note when analyzing U18, U20 prospects. The other big factor is not spending enough time in the gym in their teens. Our players usually bulk up later. So it's harder to judge Latvian prospects at an early age.

    Overall, I see an increase in depth in all positions and no changes in the amount of elite talent. But I do believe the number of Latvian players in the NHL will be >1 in 4 years.

    Upd.: There's also the peculiar case of Edgars Treijs. He's probably going to be a solid SHL forward and we might want to poach him back to the other side of the Baltic. He's a Latvian guy who tried having a go at making the Swedish junior national teams, but failed. I'm not sure about his eligibility, but he might join the KHL and Dinamo Riga eventually.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  19. kabidjan18

    kabidjan18 Registered User

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    By all means, drop the names here. I'll add them as long as they seem remotely reasonable!

    I only put two goalies per team, maybe three is they had more older goalies. Goalies are cool, but my outlook on that is that you only ever get to use one per game. I know a lot of people think some of the above goalies are better than Gudlevskis, but he's been on the depth chart for a while I'm not sure that's changing.

    I totally forgot Smirnovs and shouldn't have. Changed that already. Not particularly crazy about the Swiss junior league though. Some good players come out of it, but less contact is allowed than in U16 hockey, play moves very slow and a lot of athletes just skate circles with the puck. Also added the Egle brothers.

    So you think that there will be a large group of athletes who break out in their early 20s? Do you have predictions?
     
  20. Namejs

    Namejs The Buffalo Dahlins

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    It was more of a general comment. Darzins didn't break out until he was 24 or 25. He wasn't exactly stellar in the WHL. That's a theme in Latvian hockey. It's hard to predict, but we tend to have a bunch of late bloomers.
     
  21. Pan

    Pan Registered User

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    Thanks, nice job!
    As for Belarus I'd say Belevich instead of Vasilchuk, if any of them can be mentioned at all. Maybe Bovbel and Drozdov on the way up, more sure about the first than the second one.
    No Kulbakov? He fits in your "two goalies per team" rule since Lalande has retired.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  22. kabidjan18

    kabidjan18 Registered User

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    2 usually includes a retiring or aging one, but I can include Kulbakov. It's more of a guideline than a rule. I'll also include Belevich, I just don't see both Vasilchuk and Belevich getting a shot at Dinamo, if either.
    I considered Bovbel but then he didn't do great in the USHL, and he's almost 20. Drozdov I missed and shouldn't have. I added them all.
     
  23. Pan

    Pan Registered User

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    Seems we dont have aging ones, except maybe Milchakov and Brikun who were disliked by Lewis and will probably get a shot with a new coach.
    As for Bovbel in the USHL, yes, the stats were not impressive, but as I know, after few good games he started being used mostly in bottom-lines for some reason. My opinion he was misused both in the Belarus U20 and Dubuque, they should have tried him as a centre.
     
  24. Uncle Rotter

    Uncle Rotter Registered User

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    I noticed the name Justin Fontaine in there, any other potential passport switchers?
     
  25. Uncle Rotter

    Uncle Rotter Registered User

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    Really? The results for the senior team track pretty closely to the U-20 and U-18 teams:
    WHC: 5 top 10 finishes since 2006
    WJC: 6
    U-18: 7
     

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