Talent level by league
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03-18-2012, 04:59 PM
Press Box Rat
Join Date: Dec 2008
North American Bias guys...we all suffer from it. THis is the DEFINITIVE list:
1) NHL - Still the league with the best coaching, facilities, and above all, players.
2) KHL (Russia) - Since its inception in 2008, the KHL has been steadily gaining on the NHL for the title of Best League in the World. While it's still quite a ways off the overall caliber of the NHL, teams like St. Petersburg and Chelyabinsk could probably compete with NHL-level competition. However, in contrast with those caliber teams, teams like Yekaterinburg and Chekhov, who are 10, 15 points in last place, really detract from the overall calibre of the league.
3) SEL (Sweden) - The Elitserien is still the best singular nation league (All teams in one country). When people try to convince me the American Hockey League is better than the SEL, I simply tell them to look at the elite players in the NHL, and of those players, how many were nurtured in the AHL, and how many were developed in the Elitserien. Pretty sure the talent per player ratio is higher in SEL-developed players than AHL-developed players. Also has a lot of draft-and-follows as well as signable prospects (Jakob Silfverberg, Robert RosÚn, Richard Gynge).
4) AHL (North America) - While I had qualms about putting the league ahead of a few European circuits, it is still seen as the premier development league in the world in the eyes of many North American scouts.
5) SM Liiga (Finland) - Finland's top flight is pretty much tied with Germany's but I gave the SM Liiga the leg up on zee Deutsche because of the success of Finland's national team as opposed to Germany's, as well as the reduced number of imports in the Finnish league (better homegrown, developed players) and the number of Finns in the NHL (30, as opposed to Germany's 9).
6) DEL (Germany) - Still a great league with a lot of talent, just not the same domestic development as Finland, Sweden or Russia. A lot of over-the-hill North Americans (or career minor leaguers for that matter) can still stand out in this league, whereas they can't make a team in the SEL or KHL (i.e. John Tripp).
7) Extraliga (Czech Rep.) - Lots of NHL talent floating around in this league, most of it old and over-the-hill Czech guys. Very few high-end talented imports in this league.
8) NLA (Switzerland) - I love this league to bits and I love watching the Spengler Cup (Who doesn't?
) , but there just isn't a lot of high-end talent.
FULL LEAGUE LIST
16) EVERYTHING ELSE (Portugal, Spain, Armenia, Iceland, etc...)
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