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10-30-2011, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by J17 Vs Proclamation View Post
If the infrastructure were better, you'd see more young players progress to the KHL and you'd see a higher number of NHL draft picks. Yes, the KHL and the "Russian factor" has contributed largely to those low totals, but the low numbers have to relation to the quality churned out.

It's naive to blame it simply on the NHL and the "Russian factor". Clearly kids believe staying in Russia at 16/17/18 is not a clear recipe for future success. The development system may be improving and clear steps are being made to define the transition and the system, but until Russia kids stay home at a young age, there is something amiss.

It seems as though you are making judgments based on broad generalizations that aren't necessarily supported by the facts. For example, the low number of Russian kids drafted by the NHL has very little to do with "bad infrastructure," and almost everything to do with the existence of the KHL. NHL general managers have been very candid about openly saying that they are reluctant to draft Russian kids who have the KHL to fall back on - they fear they might waste a high draft pick. And Russian kids coming to NA probably has little to do with something being "amiss" in the Russian hockey infrastructure, and much more to do with convincing NHL general managers that they are REALLY interested in playing in the NHL, and won't opt to sign with a KHL team.

The Russian hockey infrastructure has made great strides in the past seven (7) or eight (8) years, and appears to be on a steady course to completely reverse the devastation that the program experienced in the 1990's, when, according to Gennadiy Tsygankov, the great Soviet defensemen of the 1970's, there were "about 160 of the best Russian players playing for big money in NA, and another 160 or so playing in Western Europe," leaving only those players who weren't good enough to draw any interest in the West to entertain the Russian fans. You are missing the point that the Russian infrastructure is getting better, not worse!

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