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02-20-2004, 12:42 AM
Raimo Sillanpää
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Espoo, Finland
Country: Finland
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Originally Posted by AmeriFinn
I agree with you that they are better leagues but the U.S. also has semi pro leagues such as the AHL which are better than college also for the same reason. But most kids don't bypass college to go play in this league. Typically they are former college and junior players or college players who sign NHL contracts early and then get sent down to these leagues. So I guess I am wondering about the players 18-22 who may not be ready to play in SM-Liiga. What leagues are they playing in and are they better or comparable to the NCAA. Also are these kids pursuing college educations while playing in these other leagues.
Generally I'd say many of them are studying at College in Finland,
they're either in an SM-Liiga teams depth, getting the odd game now, getting more games next season and then a full season..
Or they're in their SM-Liiga teams youth team, juniors A's where they are until they force themselves into pro team consideration -> Tukonen is a good example here
Or they get loaned out to a Mestis team, more frequent these days, Nikolas Hagman was one I think, he coudn't make the Ilves team so he went to play for Kärpät in what became Mestis, then Kärpät got promoted and Hagman played in SM-Liiga wiht them before departing for Florida..

This season many played with the touring u-20 team, which was a great move and should be made a regurlar event imho, giving these kids ice time against MEN is what they need.. an U-20 team in Mestis would suit this perfectly..

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