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05-30-2008, 05:08 PM
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For fear of being censored by our Fascist Nazi-mod (j/k "race against nine") but I always thought it was common knowledge that it is best for young talent to develop in a minor league before stepping into the top league, and that it goes for any sport.

I mean, how can anyone really refute this? If you send an 18 year old who isn't ready to play in the top league in the world, he certainly will struggle. If you allow him to develop slowly in juniors and then in a minor-pro league like the ECHL, the AHL, or even certain European elite leagues then he will have a chance to round out his game and develop his skillset.

Think of it as a ladder, literally. You plant one foot on the bottom rung, and then you put your other foot on the rung above it. You don't jump all the way to the top from just the first or second rung. I hate to use such a simple analogy, but there it is. You take it one step at a time, or you fall on your back.

Some players like Crosby, et al are able to make that jump, but like it has been said before, those guys are the exception to the rule and are already talented and "ready" enough to make the jump.

If you argue that this isn't the case, then why do players play in junior leagues at all... why don't they just start playing in the NHL from birth?

It's because they aren't READY to play in such a skilled environment. Of course, not every player is the same, and every person responds differently to different situations but the wise strategy is to let your talent develop SLOWLY if you can instead of throwing them into a trial by fire. Which is what we did to Weiss, Olesz, Bouwmeester, and even Horton. I just hope we don't do it to Frolik, Ellerby, Repik and Matthias.

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