Thread: Switzerland: Swiss young guns
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07-12-2013, 05:04 PM
J17 Vs Proclamation
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The NHL is trending towards an ever more systematic and stylistic approach, something that requires certain skill-sets and certain attitudes. Not all think in the same way or have similar processes and operational thoughts, but is certainly a growing trend that European players are wanted in North America (be it the AHL or the CHL) earlier and integrated into the style earlier. No doubt the NHL style is becoming more rigid and less creative and it is largely a coincidence, but the influx of European young talent into the NHL over the last 5-6 years has been much lower than similar aged NA talent. Wide range of variables too that (incl. European development at younger ages than NHL orientation). This need for NHL teams to get these young Euros over as early as possible can be seen as somewhat understandable, but also somewhat misguided in many cases.

At the end of the day however, the NHL is the biggest league in the world. It's where young players generally dream of playing. In big cities in a nation so immersed in fantasy culture growing up, for large sums of money, and "important people" giving you advice once you're within an organisation. Impressionable young players will do anything for this dream, whether it is neccessairly the right thing to do.

Unlike Sweden, Russia, Finland etc where we have large sample sizes of players, different cultures, domestic leagues and a greater understanding of the effects of development paths, Switzerland hasn't produced enough top tier young players to really have any clue on the best route. The domestic league is good, but the coaching and playing opportunities in some cases won't be quite up to scratch. Swiss teams simply don't have the track record of producing the calibre of players teams in Russia, Sweden etc do.

At the end of the day, you can't have it both ways. If you want more NHL players, you're going to have to see more take this NHL focused routes to get there. Especially till Switzerland hopefully increases its youth abilities relative to the bigger nations and has a more recognised and accepted track record in domestic league development.

Still, 4 1st round picks since 2008 (and a likely swiss product in 2014).

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