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10-28-2012, 10:32 AM
Mr Kanadensisk
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Join Date: May 2005
Country: Canada
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Originally Posted by lazerbullet View Post
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.
I agree that using the top 30 is not the most accurate, but it was the quickest for me to do some calculations on. A better survey would take in the biggest sample size possible, such as the total number of NHLers. You have to have some way of quantifying who is an elite player or else it just comes down to peoples opinions, which are arbitrary at best and often biased. You have to also remember that for the coaches the NHL is all about winning. There is no such thing as two identical players. The coaches will always select the one who they thinks gives them a better chance of winning, regardless of where they are from.

Here are some more numbers to support my argument.

COUNTRY % Registered U20 players % Indoor Rinks % NHL Skaters
CAN 45.2 38.1 53.8
USA 29.2 27.6 24.6
RUS 5.9 5.2 2.7
SWE 4.0 5.2 6.6
FIN 3.4 3.8 2.3
CZE 2.2 0.9 4.5

Obviously the percentages won't be exactly the same and they fluctuate with time. For example the current percentage of NHLers will be more closely related to the U20 players and rinks from ~10 years ago, whereas these numbers are all for 2011. However the trend shows overwhelming proof that there is a direct correlation between the number of kids playing hockey, the size of the hockey infrastructure (ie rinks) and the number of elite players (NHLers) a nation develops.

Last edited by Mr Kanadensisk: 10-28-2012 at 02:09 PM.
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