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01-10-2013, 04:53 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Too Far
Country: Finland
Posts: 1,999
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SM-liiga (14 teams, highest level of hockey in Finland. A pro league)
Mestis (12 teams, 2nd highest level of hockey in Finland. Pro / semi-pro league, depends on how a person determines it)
Jr.A (U20 league similarly to USHL, develops players for SM-liiga and Mestis)
Jr.B (U18 league, develops players for Jr.A)
Jr.C (U16 league, develops players for Jr.B)

... and this continues down to toddlers and skating school.

Level of play in Finnish Jr.A is lower than in USHL. As far as Jr.B goes, level of play there might be somewhat comparable to high school hockey?

All SM-liiga and Mestis teams have their own junior organizations = teams for kids of all ages. This is how it works in most places in Europe, everything is affiliated to the big team.

Education and life experience from NCAA can be very valuable for the player once his hockey career is over. I'd say it's a good thing. Finns in NCAA this season

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