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-   -   NAHL compared to Canadian Junior A??? (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=388012)

canuck_60 06-10-2007 08:36 PM

NAHL compared to Canadian Junior A???
Just wondering what the calibure of the NAHL and USHL are compared to the Canadian Junior Leagues?? USHL=Major Junior, NAHL=BCHL and AJHL (Alberta junior)??
= in the sense of skill, speed, recruitment (knowing major junior players cant go to the NCAA).

canuck_60 06-11-2007 05:23 PM

I know this is a fairly often touched on subject however I would just like to get a better knowledge base of how the leagues compare. (Being from Canada I know the canadian calibure, while the american is pretty much untouched to me.)

Kevin Wey 06-12-2007 11:24 AM

I wouldn't equate the NAHL with the BCHL, AJHL,in terms of skill. From being able to talk to a player whose played in both the BCHL and the USHL, the BCHL and USHL are close to equal in skill, but the USHL game is a little more structured and defensive. Check out the BCHLers ranked highly by different scouting sources (CSS, ISS, Red Line, etc.)

I'd be more inclined to equate the NAHL to the lesser Tier II Junior A leagues in Canada and maybe the very best Junior B leagues in Canada. (After all, the top Junior B leagues in Canada do send some guys to the NCAA and maybe even one or two drafted by NHL teams each year).

As I said in another thread, USA Hockey needs to do a better job of educating parents and players about the benefits of junior hockey in physical, mental, and emotional maturity BEFORE going to college and playing college hockey. Unless you are a stud like Erik Johnson, a player really should consider playing Junior A or Junior B. This buys you time to develop your game, body, and mind (hopefully) while being able to take those 9 to 11 credit hours that you can transfer to your final college destination and help you keep your course load as close to 12 credit hours while you're playing NCAA DI or DIII or even for a top ACHA program. (There are some ACHA programs that pay extensive seasons, have higher budgets than NCAA DIII teams, and have many more educational opportunities and are top-rated schools in certain academic fields.) Keep your course load close to 12 while in college and you can concentrate more on each course and also spend more time with on-ice and off-ice things for hockey. It's a win-win. I'm a huge proponent of the junior hockey route.

canuck_60 06-12-2007 12:07 PM

Thank you for that. I agree that junior hockey is a great route. It really allows time for maturation.
However I have played in the WOHL (top end Junior B in canada, two kids on NHL central scouting 3rd and 6th round) and AJHL and BCHL (Canada). I have seen that calibure and I have been told the difference to NAHL is very close. The USHL is more similar, although not quite there, to the CHL (major Junior).
The real only difference between the USHL and the NAHL is the top line. Being the top 3 lines of the NAHL could be the 2,3,4 line in the USHL. I know 2 guys that played in the USHL last year and they sort of said the same. Is that true?
The scholarship opportunity of the NAHL is very good as well and rising significantly as well, is that accurate?

Kevin Wey 06-12-2007 01:54 PM

Yeah, the WOJHL is the league I had in mind when I said top Junior B in Canada.

I'd say the players who told you that the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd lines on a NAHL team are close to the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th lines in the USHL are generally correct; it's just that those lines in the USHL probably have some younger guys than most NAHL teams are going to have. By definition, we'd hope, that since the NAHL has more 19- and 20-year-olds, it'd be pretty good hockey.

I've heard the same thing said by USHLers who have also played major juniors (obviously not the best scenario), that major juniors will often have first liners that are a level above the USHLers, but otherwise it's pretty close. Obviously, last year, the USHL had some forwards in the league who were major junior first line caliber. Every now and then an Okposo or Vanek passes through the league. Trevor Lewis and Andreas Nodl were pretty special, too. But, most of the players who wash out of major juniors and come to the USHL do not make a huge impact, at least offensively. If you're a fourth liner in major juniors, you're probably looking at third line duty in the USHL, maybe even fourth line in the USHL, too, depending on the team's roster.

Again, it's often a razor's edge in the difference from one level to the next. It's often the subtleties of the game that mean a player is in the AHL rather than the NHL, the ECHL rather than the AHL, or the NAHL rather than the USHL. What I do like about the NAHL is it gives late-developing players that develop as 18-year-olds in Junior B a chance to still play Junior A. Very few players move directly from Junior B to the USHL. However, if you're not in Junior A by the time you're 19 (with two full seasons to play), it's unlikely a Junior A team is going to take you for just one season unless you're transferring NCAA DI schools and need that one-season waiting period.

canuck_60 06-12-2007 09:24 PM

Yeah that is true.
The USHL is obviously the premier league for moving on for NCAA scholarships but the NAHL is also very good I hear and see from rosters and website evidence. Is that true??
I know the focus of the US kids is to get a scholarship while in Canada it is major junior so it only makes sense that the USHL and NAHL move more kids on to college than the BCHL and AJHL...right?
Is the NAHL a big mover of kids...from what I have heard it is.

derbyfan 06-12-2007 11:37 PM

While it appears the NAHL has gone downhill somewhat since the USHL went "Tier 1" a few years ago, I'm not sure if you can compare it to the lower Canadian A Leagues.
OPJHL sqads were routinely trounced, and I mean pretty harshly, at NAHL tournaments. At the Compuware Showcase I saw some scores that were downright embarassing for the OPJHL squads.
I don't think the NAHL is on par with the BCHL or AJHL now, but they're on average a step up from the OPJHL.

That being said, it has been a few years since I've seen NAHL teams. From what I understand, they have taken a step back over the past few seasons. You'll have a couple of very strong teams (ie Texas), and then it drops off.

Just my 2 cents.

canuck_60 06-14-2007 01:00 PM

The exposure to NCAA schools and Scolarship opportunities are much greater however playing in the NAHL. The league as a whole is similar to the AJHL but it is far superior in the NCAA recruiting feild and moving kids on.
THe USHL is similar to the BCHL as a whole but again is superior in the NCAA recruiting and exposure field.

derbyfan 06-14-2007 07:31 PM


Originally Posted by canuck_60 (Post 9549566)
The exposure to NCAA schools and Scolarship opportunities are much greater however playing in the NAHL. The league as a whole is similar to the AJHL but it is far superior in the NCAA recruiting feild and moving kids on.
THe USHL is similar to the BCHL as a whole but again is superior in the NCAA recruiting and exposure field.

LOL for someone who seemed to want answers, you sure seem to already have your own opinions about those leagues.
Why did you ask the question if you've already played in a few of them?

canuck_60 06-14-2007 08:17 PM

I have a couple opinions but I really wanted to know what other people thought. I have played in the AJHL and the WOHL in Ontario and I about to go down to the NAHL.
I just wanted to know what someone who has seen the NAHL first hand thought of the calibure in comparisson to the BCHL or AJHL. All my opinions have been formed through people (friends) I have that have gone on to play in the USHL and the NAHL and what they have told me.

canuck_60 06-14-2007 08:18 PM

So if anyone has any first hand or highly educated opinions of those leagues I would really appreciate the input.

starsfan24 07-27-2007 08:07 PM

NAHL is very good hockey GO TORNADO!!

5mn Major 07-28-2007 02:21 AM


Originally Posted by canuck_60 (Post 9554442)
So if anyone has any first hand or highly educated opinions of those leagues I would really appreciate the input.

Sorry I got second hand knowledge.:)...but here's one way to look at it.

Take a look at Heisenberg's excellent recruitment website...


60 university coaching staffs look over all the leagues and are voting as to what the best leagues are. I think what matters here...is the number and the quality of the teams signing recruits as well as the relative importance of those recruits (ie Ryan McDonough vs. Craig Johnson). And as this is spread out over 60 teams...there are enough strong heads working on which leagues are the best to make an approximation of rough league strength at the high to mid level. This is for NCAA eligible leagues.

For the CHL vs. USHL comparison. Having been involved in this for some time, I'm of the opinion that the NCAA being more mature than the CHL is a step up from the CHL. Also, there is plenty of single player evidence of this. Likewise, it appears a decent USHL team would be in near the bottom of a CHL league (for largely the same reasons as the NCAA/CHL comparison). The net outcome I believe would put the the order something like this:

NCAA (top 3 leagues)
CHL/USNTDP/NCAA other teams
BCHL/MN Elite League
AJHL/NE HS/NAHL/Other Canadian leagues

wrapit 07-29-2007 07:22 AM

You know, I think everything you point out is true and at least undeniable correct by at least the numbers. But I was reading the USAH minutes from the winter meeting and came across this item. "FINANCIAL REPORTS
The grant checks were handed out. The budget for incentive grants next year will be $100,000.00; $50,000 for NHL draft and signings and $50,000 for the NCAA players. The teams/leagues are to send in the 2005 information to Dave Tyler and for college freshmen in 04-05. The point system is 5 points for NHL signing, 3 points for NHL draft and 1 point per year player played. The points are totaled up and divided into $25,000 (next year the amount will be $50,000). Bob Crawford suggested a letter be sent out to the teams with an established deadline.

MOTION: Mike Santos moved and Dan Esdale seconded that July 31 be established as the deadline date for the 04-05 and 05-06 freshmen. THE MOTION CARRIED

I am not sure, but as I understand it USAH is giving teams money for NHL and NCAA placements. Now, on the surface that is fine I suppose (except maybe of course with all the house players parents who pay money to support the elite players with their USAH fees) but if my interpretation is correct, does this practice not encourage the hyping and bandwagon practice of anointing certain players and not giving up on them no matter what? That is to say, once a player is identified as a "future" NCAA'er is there not great momentum generated by that label to keep him on the path in view of the financial reward at the end to make sure your team ends up with that player before the hand off is made to some NCAA team? Is there not incentive to grab every 16 and even 15 year old kid who gets enough press to have the "future" this or that moniker applied to him and lock him up in your system so that the USAH hockey pot of gold can be claimed when he gets his D1 commitment which is sure to come because after all everyone says he is a slam dunk as a "future" blah, blah, blah.

Of course many of these pre-designated players are in fact slam dunk future this or that. And no doubt in those cases it validates the system. But I can't but think that at 15 or 16 many will actually fall off the stairway to the stars, and many will come along and climb on those stairs at a time when they have not been preordained to succeed and as such may be passed over.

My question is this, does the interjection of USAH money distort the process to some extent by driving teams to stick with kids who the system has already said will bring the financial reward home, or as many will feel I am sure, does it simply encourage the process and provide reward for teams that move the elite players along.

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