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01-29-2013, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by thomast View Post
There isn't much difference in SEL and FEL prospect/player developing pretty even nowadays IMO. The gap at player developement is very big because of the other developement leagues in both countries. Compare allsvenskan to mestis or superelit to A-nuorten SM-liiga. There have been plenty of players who have jumped straigth from allsvenskan to the NHL.

You're right that KHL takes talent off FEL but hockey is much more professional in FEL and coaching, training is much better. I challenge you to watch non playoff game off 90s and compare it to nowadays. The game itself have developed alot, quality of league is much better. Like i said the tip isn't as sharp but depth and the league is much better.
You have some points with which I agree. It's true that hockey now is very different to the 90s, and any 90s team would get absolutely torched by any SM-liiga team of today. That said, I don't think anyone is saying that the level of the league has deteriorated in absolute terms, but in relative terms. SM-liiga isn't as tough in relative terms than it was in the late 90s - early 00s. More top finnish players were playing in the SM-liiga. Back then there were the NHL players, and most of the players that couldn't quite make it in the NHL or were fringe NHLers played back home(players like Janne Ojanen, Raimo Helminen, Esa Keskinen, Kai Nurminen etc, would all be playing abroad if the KHL situation would have been around in the 90s). Today those top 30 players not quite good enough or on the fringe play in the KHL. Only a few players that can be considered among those top 30 are maybe guys like Väänänen, I. Filppula, Salminen. But those guys are growing increasingly few.

What you say about depth probably has some merit, back in the 90s some of the smaller teams were very unprofessional and the difference between best and worse was a lot bigger than today.

Also I agree that a big reason why Swedish player production is so good is because Allsvenskan is such a good league, and also many of the organizations have such good development programs. Still I think SEL organizations have better junior development than SM-liiga, maybe not by quite as much as some people think but it's still considerably better imo.

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