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10-28-2012, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr Kanadensisk View Post
There are some great Swedes playing in the SEL and KHL but I think the list of those who have turned down NHL contracts is pretty short. I haven't checked but I have a feeling there are more Swedes in the AHL than the KHL.

Last year 68 Swedes played in the NHL and 5 of them finished in the top 30 of scoring (I'm sure you meant to include Erik Karlsson in your list). The vast majority of the Swedish NHLers however were not what you would call "top talent" in the league, just as is the case with every other nation. I'm sure if you look at the averages over the last 10 years or so that you will find the percentages of Swedes who finish in the top 30 or top 60 of league scoring are pretty much in line with the IIHF survey numbers. Certainly though there will be variations from season to season. For example in the 2000/2001 season Forsberg was the only Swede to finish in the top 30. I should also add that the smaller the sample size the higher the error. If you increased from top 30 to top 300 the percentages would probably become more constant.
Using ranking based on scoring is somewhat flawed. That dismisses dmen and goalies. You can easily add Kronwall and Enstrom to the list of elite Swedes. Possibly Hedman already. And of course majority of Swedes are not top players. But I'm sure compared to Canada a higher percentage among Swedish NHLers are top players. Plus, add that a lot of Swedes are still young and try to make it big.

So logic that Canada produces x% of NHLers means that Canada should produce the same number of top players is somewhat flawed. Not because Canada is somehow worse at developing top talent, but because pretty much every Canadian worth a dime is playing in the NHL. Same can't be said about the Euros. And it's really a normal situation, why should NA teams sign some random Euro role players, when they can have their own who are just as good.

Again, how many Euro veteran role players are there in the NHL? Majority of them are either established NHL stars, young players or former elite players. On the other hand Canada has plenty of Dan Cleary-type players and even simply borderline NHLers.

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