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07-27-2012, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Tatanik View Post
A discussion piece on the CHL vs Domestic junior programs:
An interesting piece. The sentiment I agree the most with is that every case is individual. Yet there are some trends and problems.

Thereīs just no doubt that some of our players leae for CHL too early. Of course there will always be the TomᚠJurčoīs who will succeed despite their young age, but there most probably will be a bigger group of those youngest players who wonīt succeed. I mean the highest league some of these guys have played in is the Slovak U18 league and thatīs one huge jump in competition level into the CHL. I definitely agree that 18 years old with Extraliga experience or at least full U20 Extraliga under their belt are more likely to succeed than the younger ones who lack this experience. And itīs not just about on ice, but also about off ice life. You mention Hossa as a player who played in CHL after Extraliga season, another examples that jump to my mind are Andrej Meszároš and (partly) Martin Marinčin.

The 2nd problem in my mind is that there are just players who are not good enough for the CHL making the jump. (which might be related to my first point about their age). And the thing is that it means that they only get minor minutes or donīt get to play at all. Choosing Swedish juniors or other European possibilities when leaving Slovakia has the advantage that if for example an U18 player is not good enough for the U20 league they can always send him down to the U18 league and he still gets to play.

Obviously having only players who are mature and good enough for the CHL would benefit both Slovak hockey (not losing the players who might have been something eventually had they not left early while the best would still get the opportunity to play at a higher level) and the CHL (I mean whatīs the point of having import players who are no better than your own?).

However all in all right now I donīt think that the CHL, MHL or other European leagues departures are one of our main problems. Maybe once it could be argued that it deplets the home junior leagues of talent, however with things around the Extraliga standing as their are and the way the league will probably destroy any level of the junior league that there was (with all the junior aged players playing for menīs teams), it is hard to claim this.

But players leaving for leagues with good reputation for developing talent is one thing, players leaving for leagues like the GMHL with questionable reputation and level of play is a different matter IMO.

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