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12-23-2012, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
These numbers have little correlation to the number of international-class hockey players each nation produces. The vast majority of the hockey-playing population in Canada and the United States consists of U17 level players and beer league players who
just play for fun, but who aren't even close to the level necessary to represent those countries in an international tournament. What counts is the number of players who are engaged in intensive, competitive hockey training and development. I think you will find that those numbers are much closer, with the Russians competing quite nicely with the Canadians and Americans at the international class, especially at U20 and professional levels.
Canada has far more junior hockey players than Russia, Russia may be competitive but this is not like in the USSR where they had great depth in every position. Russia may be competitive and produce elite players but in terms of depth Russia is far behind Canada, participation numbers play a role in this. Just have to look at the large amount of sports Russia is strong at and realise that not everyone chooses to play hockey in Russia. Things will change over the next 10 years if Hockey continues booming here and we may see Russia having similar depth to Canada. I don't see Hockey becoming the number one sport in Russia but kids playing hockey is surging which is very good.

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