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Tailing the Komets

Here's a question

I don't know the answer to this and maybe some of  you might: Are there that many good junior players out there to stock all these new teams? Really?

Posted in: Komets


Mon, 02/08/2010 - 11:59pm

Alot of the talk right now Blake, is that the USHL will hold firm at their current number of 16 (including Dubuque and Musky) for the immediate future because they dont want the product to become too watered down... They are getting their pick right now from the best 16-20 year old hockey players in the USA and some from Canada, from what I've read. There used to be basically only the OHL and the QMJHL in Canada for serious juniors hockey and now the USHL has coming storming onto the scene with major help coming from USA Hockey... Sounds like they will stand firm for now, see how the on ice product is and evaluate the fringe players on the outside looking in to see if further growth can be facilitated...

Hit Somebody!!!
Tue, 02/09/2010 - 12:01am

It has to be watered down slightly.....there will be what, 16 teams in the USHL. The best Canadian Players are in the OHL. I agree Blake, how good can that product be? We all ready have high school hockey.

Tue, 02/09/2010 - 12:05am

Its fast paced 'you know whats' to the wall hockey; but sloppy, IMO...

Hit Somebody!!!
Tue, 02/09/2010 - 12:08am

So was the pee wee game during the intermission on Saturday night. Those kids were cross-checking, slashing, and falling down all the way to the net....and well behind it too. LOL

Tue, 02/09/2010 - 12:59am

The players will come from Europe. The OHL has restrictions on how many import players can be on a team. I also believe the age restrictions are slightly different between the two leagues but don't quote me on that. The Junior leagues in Europe aren't bad but players will come to North America for additional exposure in front of NHL scounts.

Tue, 02/09/2010 - 1:44am

My understanding was that for the NHL scouts, you need major junior. Isn't Tier I Junior A usually just for kids hoping to make it to the NCAA?

Mike in Toronto
Tue, 02/09/2010 - 8:14am

Wendy makes a great point folks. Do the College's in the States recognize the USHL in the same light as the OHL? There are 3 "Major" Junior Hockey leagues in Canada. The Western Hockey League, OHL and QMJHL as mentioned. Each of these leagues has at least one team in the States by the way. The NCAA will not allow a player to play one game for any of these teams and remain eligible for NCAA play. There are plenty of good hockey players playing in the the Tier 2 Systems as they are known here in Canada. There are many reasons. For instance John Taveras played in our town because he was too young to play in the OHL. Some players may feel they are a little on the small side but are good enough to garner a scholarship and choose Tier 2. Then there are the players that aren't good enough for either but are able to play and fill out the Tier 2 Roster. IMHO, College hockey in the USA has all bases covered because they cover at least 3 levels of competition and the kids get an education. From small schools to the power houses like Notre Dame, Michigan et al. I played at University here in Canada and we very much envy your College system. US hockey is improving by the minute turning out great players.
It may be good business to have one Junior League but not at the expense of a superior Collegiate system.

Mike in Toronto
Tue, 02/09/2010 - 8:22am

Sorry, Folks one more thing. The Europeans are very happy with their Junior systems. Sweden and Finland in particular have great hockey. There are some exceptions where a player will come to Canada to play in the "O". This is mostly agent driven. There are plenty of Pro scouts overseas but some may prefer the exposure their clients get in North America.

Tue, 02/09/2010 - 11:31am

The USHL allows 2 "imports" to join a team in a year, so it's not totally US players. Finding 46 new players might water down the league a little, but there are so many kids coming from non-traditional hockey areas, that it's not going to be much of a factor.

Tue, 02/09/2010 - 11:41am

Wendy, the USHL is scouted more heavily than Canadian Major Juniors. The NHL scouts are there of course, but there are college scouts as well. I've even seen a couple of NHL General Managers at a USHL game.

Tue, 02/09/2010 - 2:02pm

Mike, most of the top Junior players in Europe would perfer to play here, or as you state, their agents would prefer it. I think you'll see the import rule expanded especially if it means the chance to grab some top tier talent that will put some butts in the stands.
Don't be so quick to knock junior hockey. Guys like Taylor Hall, Adam Henrique, Zack Toquatto and goalies like Peter Di Salvo and Matt Hackett could handle themselves in the IHL with no problems now, and will be skating circles around the talent in this league within a few years.
The fact is, you have a much better chance to see a future NHL star in an OHL game than you do in an IHL game. The fans in most OHL cities are as passionate about their teams as any hockey fans at any level. If the USHL can bring its level up to that of Major Junior in Canada you'll have a very entertaining product to watch in Muskegon.

Tue, 02/09/2010 - 2:19pm

I love your blog

Mike in Toronto
Tue, 02/09/2010 - 2:20pm

No knock on Junior here, Snuff, played tier 2 before University. There is no doubt that Major Junior hockey is a good stepping stone to the NHL. But not a guarantee. It is a tall order to make the show right out of junior that is why a lot of great players can mature a little more in College if they desire. Phil Kessel, Jack Johnson come to mind. They may not have finished their collegiate careers but the option was there. Geezette, not sure about more scouts at USHL. Can you play in the USHL and be eligible for NCAA play?

Tue, 02/09/2010 - 2:25pm

Most kids that do play in the USHL, are playing for college scholarships.

So yes Mike, they are eligible to play in the NCAA.

Mike in Toronto
Tue, 02/09/2010 - 2:40pm

Thanks Chaulker? So that is a perfect system then. If the calibre of play in the USHL is getting to the level of the OHL and the kids can still get an education what a bonus. Plus the competition in the NCAA is well documented. Players coming from this environment will be great.

Tue, 02/09/2010 - 5:15pm

On the NCAA vs. OHL

Mike in Toronto
Tue, 02/09/2010 - 6:15pm

Thanks Wendy. If the USHL is able to deliver the caliber of competition down the road, they will be the benefactors of these player movements. I have always believed the NCAA rules on OHL players are pretty rigid. On the other hand the OHL teams could do a better job of keeping their players more acceptable by not paying them. These kids aren't getting rich it used to be mostly spending money. However, it is frowned upon by the NCAA. Great discussion today, thanks for all the info, everyone. Go Komets.

muskegon mohawks
Tue, 02/09/2010 - 7:14pm

The USHL currently has 112 former players playing in the NHL and 198 current player commitments to play in the NCAA
next year.

Blueline Baby
Tue, 02/09/2010 - 8:47pm

Good example of a juniors kid to watch is the one on the Olympic team...Bobby Ryan. I'm guessing that everyone here would love to have him on the Komets. (He's the only one on that team who never played on an NHL team.) But at any rate, he's playing on an Olympic team! Cool!