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12-24-2012, 05:39 PM
William H Bonney
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I pulled this out of the u17 World Challenge - Players to Watch thread as I didn't want to carry on there since we're not really talking about this year's tournament.

Originally Posted by WeissFC View Post
I'm not going to go into a ton of detail, but here's why I think I can make that statement.

Lots of top players are going the CHL route and it's not difficult to figure out who those guys are. Some have signed with WHL clubs already.
Zach Werenski, Troy Henley, and Dennis Yan are all expected to go the CHL route at this point. Who else? Other top '97s like Hanifin, Bracco, Aibel, Jackson, Kirwan, Tkachuk, White, Evers, Compuware kids, etc. are not expected to go to the CHL at this point from every indication I've seen. That doesn't seem like "lots" but they're certainly going to lose a couple of the top '97s.

The only "top" '97 I can think of signed to the WHL so far is Keoni Texeira. Who else am I missing?

Originally Posted by WeissFC View Post
Year two of the tender rule in the USHL has really stepped up the battle between NTDP v. 15 member clubs. Askew and Dello would have been NTDP locks and there are several other guys that are in talks with teams about tendering in the coming months.

I don't haven't looked into this at this point, but I've heard the NTDP is already holding spots for guys next season because of tender rule.
Has the USHL officially defined the relationship between the tender rule and the NTDP? I haven't seen anything but the USHL's site is notoriously poor on those kinds of things. Also, I remember when the NTDP rejoined the USHL that a lot of folks said the same issues would arise for the NTDP due to the futures draft and/or players that had already played games for a USHL squad and those ended up being unfounded. The rules aren't always the same for the NTDP.

The NTDP always offers (holds spots) for the top guys at this point and I'm sure Werenski, Hanifin, etc. already have offers. I don't think that's a new development but it may get ramped up if the tender rule does in fact work against them though. I've also heard Hanifin is a lock for the NTDP. They'll get top guys and they won't get some. It happens ever year. I'm not sure I would call a guy like Dello a lock for the NTDP, especially in a class as deep as high end as the '97s look right now on the back end.

Originally Posted by WeissFC View Post
I think a lot of players are seeing the writing on the wall that the NTDP benefits about 11 players and that's it. You look at guys like Josh Jacobs and Seamus Malone who have both benefited more this year by not ending up in Ann Arbor. Jacobs is playing top pairing minutes and has improved every time I've seen him this year. Kid could easily be a top sixty pick next June.
I think players have seen that for awhile. Some will ignore it for the pride of playing for Team USA, international competition, etc. but others will choose a different route like an Adam Erne, Nick Schmaltz, Shane Gersich, etc. Heck, even the NTDP has noticed that as they now try to structure a team when picking their players instead of just going after the best 23 kids they could as they did in the past. And I don't think that's necessarily a sign that the NTDP is on the decline - they've just better realized their operational goals. You certainly have a point that some of the guys like Malone and Jacobs are probably better suited going to another USHL team instead but I wouldn't really cite players the NTDP didn't want as reasons they're on the decline (not to say they're always accurate with their picks though). The NTDP should be able to find able players to play bottom six/bottom pair roles easier than they can find top end guys. When all the high end guys start turning down the NTDP then they'll be in trouble.

"I have been complimented many times and they always embarrass me; I always feel that they have not said enough." - Mark Twain.
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