Swedish Leagues compared to Canada
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10-10-2011, 02:06 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Elitserien and HockeyAllsvenskan are the two professional leagues. HA works very much as a farm league for Elitserien, but with clubs looking to be promoted to Elitserien at the same time. HA and ECHL are probably pretty close in comparison when it comes to overall quality, however very different brand of hockey being played.
The first two leagues you mention, like their names would suggest, are the top junior leagues for respective age group. Those leagues carry most the Swedish top talent until they're mature/good enough to play in Elitserien & HockeyAllsvenskan. Difference between Sweden and North America is that the pro teams have their own junior teams aswell. To make a simple reference, J20 SuperElit is the Swedish equivalent to the CHL. Just like the men's leagues, there are lower juniors divisions aswell.
Division 1 is what I'd call a semi-professional league. Or rathers leagues because the teams playing on this level are divided into six regional leagues to begin the season. Some players get paid, some doesn't. Some clubs pay a decent amount of player salaries, some almost nothing. Still, a very competitive level with teams having up to 3000 spectators.
Division 2-4 are amateur/hobby local leagues, the full spectrum of different players. You'll find players and teams here who look to make a splash up the system, but most of them are just playing for their love to hockey.
I'll let others fill me in when it comes to try-outs(and how they actually work), but any of the J20-teams in the lower tiers or division 2-4 depending on your skill level and hockey background sounds reasonable to me. I really can't comment on how AA midget level compares into the Swedish system, but playing at any form of structured junior level guarantees you to at least get a try-out somewhere I would think. There are local teams to be found all over Sweden.
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