Slovak youth hockey thread (NTīs, home leagues, CHL, the draft etc.) part II
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12-28-2012, 07:07 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Originally Posted by
Ah I see. Yeah that's true.
For now I still think the Slovaks have much better top end talent, particularly at the Men's level with guys like Gaborik, Halak, Chara, Hossa
, but going forward that likely will be the case, unless guys like Jurco, Dano, etc become huge players. It does show the considerable improvement in coaching/team play the Slovaks have had where they can compete with the lesser star power, which is not the worst thing.
But unfortunately right now it does look like the "golden age" of Slovak hockey is behind us. I'd still rank Slovakia as the solid #7, kind of in a grouping of their own, slightly better than Swizterland/Norway/Latvia, but no longer quite at the level of the top 6. Probably fall into Swizterland/Norway/Latvia tier soon, particularly with the improvement those nations have shown in recent years and the advancing age of many Slovak stars. Hopefully this next generation starts to turn it around for Slovakia. WJC are not a great indicator though, IMO, since superior depth of bigger countries allows them to shine.
The thing with that is that except for the OG it is unlikely to see them all together and at the WC only a part of them is available (if any at all), thatīs what I meant by little star power.
I think the recent development in Slovak hockey is starting to teach me not to make any bold predictions about its future. As an example if you told me a couple years back that we would have two goalies who are amongst the best in the two top European lagues, both under the age of 25, I would not believe you.
Also, the difference between SUI and SVK at the menīs level of course has been that SVK was able to make the extra step last year that SUI has failed to do so far.
I agree about the WJC not being that much help in predicting the future, especially since Slovakia is handicaped by the low number of players more than almost any other nation in the tourney.
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