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NHL should increase age of drafting


canuckbeliever

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Curious to get your folks thoughts on the following idea which I have had for a long time.

I am someone who is a diehard NFL fan and NHL fan. One of the biggest things I have always wondered is why is it that the NFL is more competitive than NHL and why is it that teams tend to come out of nowhere in the NFL so much. The answer I think is easy when someone thinks about the question. It comes down to the fact that NFL players can make a big impact when they get drafted yet NHL guys can not. . NHL prospects get drafted to teams at 18 or 19 years of age while NFL players get drafted on average at 21 or 22. In the NFL, drafting really does pay and it pays right away. Consider the Green Bay Packers who virtually never go out and get free agents. They have a start studded team that was built on drafting. They won a Super Bowl because of there ability to draft.

Now look at the Seattle Seahawks who have had a remarkable turn around this season and are everyones x factor team to win the Super Bowl.

There quarterback Russel Wilson was a third round pick this year. Arguably there best receiver, Golden Tate was a 2nd round pick 3 years ago.

There star cornerback Richard Sherman who many have dubbed as the best cornerback in the game was a fifth round pick 2 seasons ago.

There star linebacker Bobby Wagner was a second round pick this year. The list goes on and on and on.

There are so many Seattles and Green Bays of the world that one can look at in the NFL over time.

Overall it is widely known that NFL picks can make a big impact right away and when you get a first rounder he is usually starting for your team.

Now lets look at the NHL and there drafts. I decided to go through the 2011 draft. I found there were 6 players out of the whole draft that played in the NHL last season. Two of them in Mark Schiefile and Mika Zibenjad played a grand total of 9 games.

I then decided to look at the 2010 draft. Only 13 players from the draft had played a game in the past 2 seasons. Out of the 13, Jaden Schwarz played 7 games last season and Jason Zucker played six.

All of this illustrates points that some of you may already know. NHL players do not do squat in there first two seasons unless they are top five picks. Even if you are a top 5 pick you may not make the impact right away. For example in 2011, picks #3-5 (Erik Gudbranson, Ryan Johansen, Niro Neiderreiter) did not play in there first season. In 2012 picks #3 and #5 (Jonathan Huburdeau and Ryan Strome) did not play in there first season.

I know I am just a random poster on CDC and truthfully my opinion means absolute squat but does it not make sense for the NHL to delay its draft illegibility year so the players drafted come in more ready and the game is more competitive. It isnt like these kids are making money anyways as there entry level contract kicks in when they play 9+ games. It also isnt like the teams benefit from these players. Usually the teams that get higher picks have to wait a few years for these guys to make an impact anyways unless your the worst team in the league that is. Even then, a #1 pick can not do enough by himself to change the fortunes of the team. Usually the worst team in the league is among the worst the season after despite the impact player they got.

If the NHL changed its draft eligibility to 19 or 20 years of age (20 is the max age a player can play in the CHL until) the players would be more ready to make an impact in the NHL. This change would also result in a bigger draw in the CHL as there players would be better and slightly older. Overall, this is a situation that is a proverbial win win for the NHL and prospect development leagues such as the CHL.

I really do not see any harm in this idea. Curious to see what the opinion of CDC is

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NFL is more competitive and more talented because they have 1000X more people competing for those spots

I am sure you have realized that Football is kind of a big deal down in the states.

hockey does not have that liberty since 90 % of the top potential athletes choose football, basketball or baseball before hockey.

as for drafting older... what is the fun in that.

Draft younger get more surprises good and bad.

but also draft young and you get to develop the player into what your team wants.

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The only reason the NFL has an older draft age is because there is no minor league for the NFL. Strength and speed are at a premium in football and players aren't as physically ready out of high school so the college route is the main development league. NBA is similar in that respect but does draft more players at a younger age and out of high school even and then expect them to be able to make an immediate impact since there's no AHL equivalent for them to play for once drafted.

MLB is closer to the NHL in that respect, with minor league teams that high school aged players can move too before they jump to the big league, or they can choose the college route. Their drafting age is a bit higher still (only players graduated from high school and not committed to a college can be drafted iirc) but the premise is the same as hockey. The top players in any given draft year can play in the pros right away because of their skillset anyways.

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Good post!

I have had the same thought for years. (1st round the same as current. After that gotta be 20.)

Surtur hit on a great point though. Many young players need the guidance and exposure that comes from being property of a NHL club to truly realize the levels of planning, commitment and development required to be an NHL player.

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I like it the way it is, they could even lower the drafting age to 17. It's really fun when young players dominate the league. I mean Sidney Crosby winning the Hart and Art Ross as a teenager in his second season.

It also makes the draft more unpredictable, some seventh rounders make it to the NHL level, that wouldn't happen if they got drafted at 23.

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It's not a bad idea, would probably allow team to draft more accurately, would result in less careers being destroyed by rushing players, and as you said would mean that players would be more likely to step in and make an impact. Quality of the junior leagues would also improve. Only problem is, what do you do in the inbetween stages? Obviously if you raised the drafting age all of a sudden there would be no one to draft.

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The only reason the NFL has an older draft age is because there is no minor league for the NFL. Strength and speed are at a premium in football and players aren't as physically ready out of high school so the college route is the main development league. NBA is similar in that respect but does draft more players at a younger age and out of high school even and then expect them to be able to make an immediate impact since there's no AHL equivalent for them to play for once drafted.

MLB is closer to the NHL in that respect, with minor league teams that high school aged players can move too before they jump to the big league, or they can choose the college route. Their drafting age is a bit higher still (only players graduated from high school and not committed to a college can be drafted iirc) but the premise is the same as hockey. The top players in any given draft year can play in the pros right away because of their skillset anyways.

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So long as 18 year olds continue to put up #s like Nuge, Sid, Ovy ect. they're prob not gonna change it.

Ronnie Hillman representin as the youngest player in the NFL, 21 wearing 21 BAMF!

Even with the new rookie wage scale, the NFL is moving into putting more responsibility on rookies. Especially QB's, when was the last time we saw this many rooks/sophomores handed the keys to a team?

Would be interesting to see an NFL vs NHL draft bust stat. May shed some light on the age/development questions u bring up.

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For this reason I like the drafting of college players. They are usually 22 or 23 by the time they go pro and are well seasoned and have full man bodies. 18 or 19 year olds may not have the physical and mental maturity to play in the NHL which ruins their careers early (see Gilbert Brule).

I think a guy like Brule would be a 70 or 80 point player if he played college instead. He was too good for the dub, not ready for the NHL and too young for the AHL. Mike Gillis sending Jensen over to Sweden is a great way to "think outside the box" for developing prospects who are in an awkward position.

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For this reason I like the drafting of college players. They are usually 22 or 23 by the time they go pro and are well seasoned and have full man bodies. 18 or 19 year olds may not have the physical and mental maturity to play in the NHL which ruins their careers early (see Gilbert Brule).

I think a guy like Brule would be a 70 or 80 point player if he played college instead. He was too good for the dub, not ready for the NHL and too young for the AHL. Mike Gillis sending Jensen over to Sweden is a great way to "think outside the box" for developing prospects who are in an awkward position.

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