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02-07-2013, 02:02 AM
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Is the ECHL preferable to develop prospects to college or juniors?

That's the question: is the ECHL preferable to develop prospects to college or juniors?

Obviously it depends on a player. Someone small should stay with kids so that he could develop physically. But what about a kid like Boo Nieves? He's 6-3 and over 200 pounds, so his physical development won't be a problem.

Nieves is not yet polished enough for the AHL. If he were put into the Hartford lineup, he wouldn't look good. But in terms of both skill and physical development, he will definitely be able hold his own in the ECHL in 2013-14.

The advantage of playing in the ECHL as opposed to college is that he'd be playing almost twice as many games and he'd get used to playing against adults. The disadvantage is that the coaches aren't used to dealing with child psychology and he might view getting sent down all the way to the ECHL as a demotion as opposed to a promotion. Most people don't realize that ECHL plays higher caliber hockey than WCHA.

I realize that at first thought it seems like college is the obvious option, but give it a couple of seconds. I'm not saying the ECHL is necessarily better, but it's not necessarily a worse option.

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