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Canada's development of Hockey prospects trending down?

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Just other countries slowly catching up.  

 

Germany producing top tier talent was almost unimaginable like 10 years ago.  For a while, the US only had players from more northern States, but now they have players coming up from non-traditional markets.  

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35 minutes ago, Lancaster said:

Just other countries slowly catching up.  

 

Germany producing top tier talent was almost unimaginable like 10 years ago.  For a while, the US only had players from more northern States, but now they have players coming up from non-traditional markets.  

Bettmann rubs his hands in glee. 

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I think it's probably much more likely that other countries are catching on and investing more into hockey.

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Next year draft - Lafreniere, Holloway, Byfield, Perfetti 

2021 draft - Othermann, McTavish, Roy, Clarke

2022 draft - Savoie, Wright, Geekie

 

All of these players are top 5 talents in their draft.

 

I think Hockey Canada’s development is just fine.

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I think one interesting point that this article doesn't delve into is the quality of the players being produced.

 

America and the US National Development Program specifically has produced some top end talent over the last little while (Matthews, Eichel, Hughes, Keller, Connor, McAvoy, etc.). I think they've done a really good job working with their top end players as they expose them to different levels of competition (NCAA and USHL) whereas CHL players are relatively stuck with what they have. It's an all star team, but one whose primary goal is to do what's best for the team still. If Canada were to create a similar program with all star CHL players forming a team, who would they play against? 

 

Finland has been producing more high end talent as well (Laine, Barkov, Aho, Heiskanen, Kakko, Kotkaniemi, etc.). They had 3 players taken in the top 5 in the 2016 draft (Puljujarvi and Juolevi haven't done much yet but it still happened). When asked about that at the draft, Juolevi pointed to the personal coaching time as one of the reasons why 3 Fins in the top 5 became a reality. Again, are our top players getting anything similar in the CHL? When you look at how spread out and vast the CHL is, I doubt it. 

 

Again, if the best U18 Canadian players were placed on a single team to receive the best coaching and training possible, who would they play against? Playing CHL teams would be the equivalent of the US team playing against USHL teams, but we don't have an equivalent for the NCAA. Would they tour around Europe and play professional teams? Could they stay in North America and compete against AHL teams? I doubt either of those are possibilities and at the end of the day the CHL is still a business not primarily focused on development. 

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When I examine the rosters of  America's USA Hockey Programs including Tier One US Hockey League, American Developmental Model, Boarding Schools, College and Juniors I am NOW looking at the entire map of continental America.

 

Nearly every state are producing talent unlike a generation ago where it was mostly NE America into the Midwest. I have a friend ( met travelling ) living in Oklahoma working in a program there. Oklahama a late starter in hockey are growing the sport rapidly and are now having some of their young talent moving north to high schools to expand their game.

 

America having a much larger population with plenty of resources will have their chances at being the best in the world, but it has to come through here in Canada for that to happen.

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I would agree with most of the article..

 

my thinking is that it's mostly other countries catching up.

 

I heard around 20 years ago that the eventually the US would overtake Canada as the hockey superpower. I'm not sure about that, but I could see it happening.

 

and while I do take offense to this, I believe it's good for the game that other countries are catching up. look at the women's Olympic hockey - it's a 2 horse race, so much so that there was talk of dropping it from the program. 

 

another point is that some of Canada's coaching & development talent is finding work in other countries to help grow their program instead of ours.. 

 

I agree that burnout is happening to some kids who might otherwise be allstars - I've seen it. and there seems to be studies supporting the multi sport lifestyle.. I will always promote that to my kids.. 

 

I'd also point out that it's not simply the best kids grouping together on these elite teams.. that happened in years past in every community that had enough kids to ice the 'rep' teams. the new trend is the academies, which tend to separate by money first, talent second. a family's financial picture could keep some of the country's best talent from ever being seen by a scout.. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, shiznak said:

Next year draft - Lafreniere, Holloway, Byfield, Perfetti 

2021 draft - Othermann, McTavish, Roy, Clarke

2022 draft - Savoie, Wright, Geekie

 

All of these players are top 5 talents in their draft.

 

I think Hockey Canada’s development is just fine.

Keep telling yourself that.  Ultimately you and I have no effect on Hockey Canada's big picture.  But if they continue to act like a bunch of old men set in their ways, we will lose to the Swedes and Americans more and more.

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3 hours ago, Lancaster said:

Just other countries slowly catching up.  

 

Germany producing top tier talent was almost unimaginable like 10 years ago.  For a while, the US only had players from more northern States, but now they have players coming up from non-traditional markets.  

THIS

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1 hour ago, Bob.Loblaw said:

Keep telling yourself that.  Ultimately you and I have no effect on Hockey Canada's big picture.  But if they continue to act like a bunch of old men set in their ways, we will lose to the Swedes and Americans more and more.

Best vs. Best Canada will win 9 out 10 times in any tournament. Not to mention, Canada can probably ice 2 or 3 teams and still be relatively competitive. 

 

Can’t say the same for the rest of the world.

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the real reason why were aren't producing players  ,hockey is expensive , equipment , fees ice time extra coaching camps tournaments it cost one parent I know almost 10  grand a year for a 10 year old to play  and the cost goes up each year the higher level you play , so that limits a number of players that Canada produces  

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11 minutes ago, shiznak said:

Best vs. Best Canada will win 9 out 10 times in any tournament. Not to mention, Canada can probably ice 2 or 3 teams and still be relatively competitive. 

 

Can’t say the same for the rest of the world.

That's the kind of thinking that leads to the gains from other nations, which they are clearly making in strides.

 

Further, from young player point of view that I've seen firsthand, the coaching and development at the Bantam/Peewee (and surrounding+) levels is still too politicized. Good kids get left out because [blank] reasons that have nothing to do with hockey or with the kids themselves. It can be as crap as a coaches' dad doesn't like the kids' dad, so no rep for him. I've seen it. No rep? You're done. Further, I also see it where the kids who have the best mobility are never the ones in net. The BEST skater on your team (not necessarily fastest, but 'strongest' - some people on here will understand the differentiation) should be the goalie. Coaches see a strong skater, instantly put them usually centre or one of the forward spots. It's ass backwards; strong skaters make for strong defencemen. Just one of many gripes.

 

Obviously we're doing not bad, we still produce excellent players as a 'nation', but to accept that "we're the best" and ignore the warts that develop over time is simply foolish and will see us be left behind, like England and Cricket... or England and Football(soccer), or England and Rugby...  Or England and... you get the picture.

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Don't have the numbers to back up my points, but I think the notion that Canada's development of hockey prospects is trending down is a little overblown.  Granted, the proportion of Canadian-born players are down, but I don't believe that's an indictment on the Canada's hockey program.

 

Some of the top US kids are only Americans by their place of birth...for example, the Tkachuk bros could very well be Canadians and would have been born in Winnipeg if the Shenkarow family didn't sell the Jets to the Phoenix group back in the early 90s (their mother is from Winnipeg); the Hughes bros cut their teeth in the Toronto minor hockey programs; Tyler Myers, American-born, and raised in Calgary played in the Canadian hockey system, to name a few off the top of my head. 

 

As well, we are seeing a lot more European and American kids playing in the CHL and getting drafted into the NHL (Yakupov, Draisatl, Palmu, Edler, Galchenyuk, Chara, Byfuglien, Jones, Landeskog, etc.).  Hockey Canada opening its doors to international players is a good thing...this way, we get to see some of the best international athletes develop their game here in Canada and carry it forward into the NHL. 

 

IMO, Hockey Canada is alive and well...the CHL, which I consider to be a major player in Hockey Canada, has been the most desired place for elite junior players in the US and Europe to develop their talent and be drafted into the NHL.

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Well over 50% are Canadians is a big %, so that is other countries catching up. 

 

There are also no more enforcers, and replaced with speedy, agile teenagers. This may be part of the reason. 

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As the make up of the country changes we will see better product of athletes in other sports.We seem to be doing better in things like basketball and soccer.

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Posted (edited)

It's not just that other countries are catching up. That's one factor, for sure, but there are other factors as well, including the specialization of a select few and year round Spring/Summer for young elite players.

 

Rising costs of playing hockey amid ongoing "tough economic times" is another factor. Hockey has become much more expensive.

 

Soccer has been on the rise and growing in both popularity and participation in the country for years. It's also a much less expensive sport to play.

 

In the last 20 years, society has also shifted away from the popularity of jocks to self-identify in a group to it's now cool to be a geek. Within that shift, I'd argue that participation in sports in general has declined and been replaced by other youth activities in the worlds of tech, social media, comics, video games, podcasts, entertainment, etc, at a younger age.

 

As kids reach 12, 13, their early teens, they're exposed to so much more than hockey. There are more options to invest their time. 

 

I don't think it's a crisis but more reflective of growing the game internationally, the economy, popularity and accessibility of other activities, and a cultural shift where hockey isn't the only option. 

 

 

 

Edited by Dr. Crossbar
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On 7/25/2019 at 11:11 PM, brownky said:

That's the kind of thinking that leads to the gains from other nations, which they are clearly making in strides.

 

Further, from young player point of view that I've seen firsthand, the coaching and development at the Bantam/Peewee (and surrounding+) levels is still too politicized. Good kids get left out because [blank] reasons that have nothing to do with hockey or with the kids themselves. It can be as crap as a coaches' dad doesn't like the kids' dad, so no rep for him. I've seen it. No rep? You're done. Further, I also see it where the kids who have the best mobility are never the ones in net. The BEST skater on your team (not necessarily fastest, but 'strongest' - some people on here will understand the differentiation) should be the goalie. Coaches see a strong skater, instantly put them usually centre or one of the forward spots. It's ass backwards; strong skaters make for strong defencemen. Just one of many gripes.

 

Obviously we're doing not bad, we still produce excellent players as a 'nation', but to accept that "we're the best" and ignore the warts that develop over time is simply foolish and will see us be left behind, like England and Cricket... or England and Football(soccer), or England and Rugby...  Or England and... you get the picture.

I’m not discrediting other nations of producing NHL players. Countries like Denmark, Switzerland, etc certainly have come along way over the years, but to think any of the second tier countries (the US mainly) will soon take over Canada as the top countries of producing NHL players is a fabrication amongst the hockey minds. 

 

Yes, stats shown the US is rapidly outnumbering Canada in prospects entering the draft,  but what is the percentage of these prospects actually turning out to be quality NHL players by countries?

 

When is comes to producing quality NHL players. Canada is atop of the pyramid and I don’t see that ever changing. As the saying goes quality over quantity.

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There are three main reasons as to why hockey is stagnating in Canada.

 

1) It's pricey. There's a big reason why hockey is the least diverse sport of the four major sports. It's because you need to be rich to play it at a high level. You can't compete with the kid who is the son of an NHL player, or a prominent politician. That kid gets to play hockey in the Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. That kid also gets to go to all of the hockey camps. 

 

2) Politics at the minor league level. Many players get snubbed because of the growing trend of politics at the minor hockey level. The amount of power that some hockey parents have is incredible.

 

3) Lowered participation in sports. With the rise of technology, most kids don't care about sports as much. They are more into video games, or anything of the like. 

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