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10-30-2011, 01:04 PM
J17 Vs Proclamation
Join Date: Oct 2004
Originally Posted by
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!
It's naive to simply blame the political situation between the KHL and NHL as the reason for the lack of picks in regards to the NHL draft. Yes it's a major factor, but can anybody provide a realistic argument to suggest that Russian youth hockey has been blossoming recently? Simply put, in recent years the product of the youth system hasn't been particularly good.
I do not disagree that Russian hockey is making signifcant progress in it's tiered development system. But clearly in the last 5 years the level of talent has been below what you might expect. The lines of transition were blurred and very few young players were developing well. It's upto Russian hockey to improve this, and until it's actually done correctly, it comes as no suprise to see young players leave at an early age.
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