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05-25-2013, 11:41 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Waterloo/Toronto
Country: Canada
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As someone from Ontario and who went to school in Ontario, if I was a top major junior recruit looking to play pro after CIS, the AUS would be the number 1 choice for me.

1) level of play - top to bottom, almost every team is stacked with former major junior players, good fan support, and recent national results have shown the strength of this conference. These players have reached the pinnacle of junior hockey, and spent their whole life trying to play the highest level they can. Most already view going to the CIS as an unwanted step backwards in their hockey development, but having rosters stacked with former Captains and leading scorers from across the country may change this.

2) pro opportunities - typical major junior players are playing major junior with the intent to play pro hockey at some point in their careers. As Foyle has mentioned, the number of players leaving the AUS conference right now with minor pro, European and AHL contracts is very high.

3) academic choice - this is also more advantageous in the AUS in my opinion. As Miami has indicated, the average major junior player's academic average is likely around a low 70. While there are exceptions, most of these guys are stronger at hockey than they are academics. It has been documented the number of AUS players enrolled in programs across the board, including programs like business, which is popular among AUS players. Should an OHL player remain in Ontario, business schools such as Western, Queens, and Laurier have cutoffs that begin at around 87% for the lowest (Laurier). If players remain in Ontario, their choice of program is likely to be limited due to cutoffs that are simply too high. If you can enroll out East in a program you can succeed and actually want to be in, receive an academic and athletic scholarship, why not, when at home you have no chance of even gaining entry, and if you do get in, you are competing on a curve with students hand picked from a giant population centre?

The advantage of the OUA to me from a hockey perspective is for major junior and other players who are looking to get minutes, and play valuable minutes to contribute to their development. Players who may be buried on the 4th line or in the stands in the AUS could get top 6 or top 4 time in the OUA, a conference which is getting more and more major junior players and getting stronger in the process.

I will not comment on money being a draw, as I am a fan from the stands, I do not really know what happens. Is it possible top schools like UNB and SMU among others give money to players? Possibly, but I have no evidence that suggests they either do, or do so more than any OUA or CW team.

As for the roster cap, I personally look forward to this. I agree with Foyle that this might lead to more fringe prospective players (like Maritime QMJHL "tweeners") having to move West to Ontario. While selfish, I personally enjoy seeing players from all across Canada populate OUA rosters and first hand seeing how players from the different leagues (both major junior and tier II) stack up against each other.

Last edited by blackmarketmob: 05-26-2013 at 01:04 AM.
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