Overseas Jr. League?

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by TMLFC, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. TMLFC

    TMLFC Registered abuser

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    You see alot of players (in Sweden, Finland etc) get pushed aside in drafts or picked later on, because they dont get the attention that the CHL or even US development leagues provide. Im not saying they all dont get attention, but not as much as they deserve.

    These players are either forced to play with men or uproot there life and move to North-America if they want a career in Hockey.

    Is there enough young players to start up a exclusive Jr. league? And maybe be able to send a top team over to NA to compete for the Memorial cup once a year. (once they establish)

    Would this be too difficult? Travel time. Players etc. It seems like it would be a interesting idea, and a better way to connect with the players that sometimes go unnoticed playing with men.
     
  2. wej20

    wej20 Registered User

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    Sweden and Finland have established junior leagues.
     
  3. joe89

    joe89 #5

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  4. TMLFC

    TMLFC Registered abuser

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    Why do players jump into top leagues with men then? clearly they are not established enough to keep the players and let them develop and prove there worth with players at there own age.

    I know the better players want to step up there game and play with top end talent. But, for the most part they dont get as much recognition as they should anyways.

    If a Jr. league was made similar to the CHL. and eventually became linked to the CHL; im sure it would make it just as easy to scout players.


    Im not trying to down on these leagues. They may be world class. But as someone from NA, i rarely hear from up and coming euro players. And if i do, i see players putting up 'meh' numbers in there 'top leagues' only to hear people praising them with "well there playing with men" or see a small sample size of the player when they are in the worlds.
     
  5. joe89

    joe89 #5

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    ^ Players get called up within the same club, from junior team to mens team. If they get called up it means they are good enough to contribute, and those are usually the players getting hyped and drafted. I promise you though that scouts are well aware of good players in the junior leagues aswell, the European/Swedish scouts are regularly watching games in the juniors leagues even in Sweden. Usually though when a 18 or 19 year old player is still playing in the juniors, it means that he's not that highly touted.

    Follow this forum regularly and you will hear about all possible coming euro players and some more.
     
  6. Tormentor

    Tormentor Registered User

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    There's probably not enough money in European junior hockey to start an independent league. All the big hockey towns have a men’s team which gets 98% of the funding and attention. Also, it would be hard to keep top junior players in this league, because playing with men means getting paid and playing against better competition.

    Almost all the teams have their own junior teams and programs, and the Jr.A team often functions as reserve team for the big team. It's not a bad system; it offers youngsters a chance to gradually move up the ladder to the big team.

    Once there's a similar league to NHL in Europe, your idea will be a lot closer to implementation, but the junior teams will still probably be affiliated with the big teams.
     
  7. Hagged

    Hagged Registered User

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    This, who would stay in CHL if he got to play in NHL? Okay the jump is a bit bigger but still the same thing. Who 17-year-old could say no to an offer of 100 000 euros and a spot in mens team (as in Armia's, Vatanen's and Granlund's case spot in 1st line) when the alternative is to play in juniors and in the worst case not be paid at all. Hell, even the 16-year-old guy from Turku Rasmus Ristalainen got to a deal with TPS mens team and an opportunity to show his worth, quite much better than to play in Junior B.
     
  8. cheerupmurray

    cheerupmurray Registered User

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    I think much could be done to improve the junior leagues in Sweden in Finland, so the OP has a good point. There is a growing interest in junior hockey at least in Sweden now when we have had a couple of good agegroups in a row and wjc gets more and more media coverage with the good results in the last couple of years. Now in the j-20 and j-18 playoffs there have been 1000 spectators at some of the games, that's probably absolutely awful by CHL-standards, but excellent by swedish standards.

    Superelit currently have 20 teams, I think 14-16 would be better to improve the quality. If we could merge the best junior leagues in Sweden and Finland it would be awesome but that project lacks funding. If the SEL-teams and especially the swedish hockey federation realizes that there is money to be made in promoting junior hockey, much would be won. If they promote it enough they could start making some money from selling tickets and tv-rights. Especially fans from those teams that have no sucess for the senior-team would probably love to chear for the junior-team. Call me crazy but I think there is untapped potential here (that probably will remain unnoticed).

    There is always a couple of europeans that don't get drafted that would have a much better chance if they played in CHL, but well I understand the reasoning from the NHL-teams.

    If all things are equal they go with the NA-kid that is used to the NA style of hockey, and will go through years and years of AHL to get a shot. Europeans that are longshots to make NHL, often don't have the same patience. Why play 3-5 years in AHL, to maybe get a callup, and have a very slim chance to make the NHL when they can stay at home, get a better salary and live a more comfortable life in their homeland.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
  9. Hanji

    Hanji Registered User

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    The point of the European junior system is to develop talent for the parent team, not to showcase players for the NHL draft.
    I don't think some independent junior league linked with the CHL would benefit anybody apart from the NHL.
     
  10. Tormentor

    Tormentor Registered User

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    There's definitely room for improvement, that's for sure. In my opinion an ideal situation for Scandinavian Jr.A league would be to have something like 8 teams from Sweden, 4 teams from Finland, and 1 team from both Denmark and Norway. A league like that could have good depth and competition if all the top prospects would attend it. Sadly it would be hard to implement in this form, because of the club culture in Europe. Not all the kids are prepared to leave their home town team, family and studies.

    One possible problem could be the advantage that the parent clubs in this new league would get in comparison to the clubs outside the league. Some smaller teams would be in danger of loosing their top prospects to their biggest rivals. This might lead to decline of some junior programs, because there wouldn’t be as much incentive to do good junior work as before. Solution to this could be area teams, but that might not be as marketable as the other option, so in this case the funding would have to come partly from hockey federations.
     

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