Looking at the final CSB Draft rankings, I was impressed to see the USHL actually surpass the QMJHL in ranked players. The number of players drafted directly out of your league has increased quite a bit over the past few years...
I was wondering if you have any stats on how many players have been drafted year-by-year directly out of the USHL. I'd be interested in seeing the totals, for I'm guessing that from late 90's onward there was a huge upswing.
Secondly, what was your impression of Mick Lawrence this season? He was a monster with Trail (BCHL) before.
I'll try & do a little research on that question. But Mick Lawrence was just something special to watch. He was definitely a fan favorite. If he wasn't hitting or fighting with someone he was putting the puck into the net. At the start of the season, the coach said that he had the potential to be the best player in the league and he definitely impressed me. He already had a scholarship to UNO, so he was pretty much in River City to work on some things to improve. He definitely can outmuscle players and uses his body to his advantage. He had a lot of penalty minutes, some that maybe were unnecessary, but he was also one of the top scorers in the league, so it kind of balances itself out. He wasn't afraid to talk some trash either. I really liked Mick, he will be a favorite of mine down the road at UNO too.
Knowing just drips and drabs about the league, what can a kid from the OPJHL that gets drafted expect to find in your league. Eg. Ryan Olidis, drafted 7th rnd by chicago from the Markham waxers, he played with the leagues best player who put up 2.21 ppg and this Olidis kid only put up 1.36. He couldn't compete with the top player, or I guess more wouldn't compete with him. The kid has great skills, but his attitude is well known for being poor.
From what I hear your league is much much tougher physically, and statistically. Are the coaches strict? Are the players really tough and hard hitting or is it a super skill league. Just curious how this and many other kids will do? What chances does a 7th rounder have of making the team, since I realise 7th round is 1st round of something else, but I don't really understand what.
Lancerzrule can answer alot better than I, but as someone who has followed the USHL from a distance for a few years, I'll just give you my 2 cents.
The league is VERY tough to put up any sort of offensive numbers, especially compared to our OPJHL. Check out Victor Oreskovich's stats with Milton in 2002-03 (76 points in 49 games), while this year he had 37 points in 58 games.
Joel Kitchen of Aurora had 51 in 42 this year, while with Des Moines last season he had 26 in 55.
Scoring at a point-per-game clip in the USHL is rare.
Also, it is a very physical league and coaches most definitely demand the most from their players. These aren't community coaches behind the bench simply for the love of the game. Check their resumes - all the USHL coaches have extensive experience elsewhere either as players, coaches, or both combined.
The teams have big budgets, draw big crowds, and pride themselves on their professional attitude. With many of the top players from all over the U.S. competing to make the roster of just 11 teams, competition is fierce.
If Olidis does, as you say, have an attitude problem, I don't think he'll last long. There are far too many other skill players waiting to knock him off, and USHL coaches don't need to put up with crap.
Lancerzrule can give you a more accurate answer - just thought I'd chime in
Derbyfan gave a pretty good answer. The league is very physical. It is very challenging. Often times new players will need time to adjust to the physicalness. It is definitely harder to score. If you have a player that is really skilled or that has been around for a couple years and knows the league, they may be able to score more finesse-like goals, but for the most part, it's getting in front of the net and scoring dirty goals. You have very gritty players. They are not afraid to fight & use their size. Certain teams come to mind specifically-Sioux City and River City. You'll see quotes from opposing coaches saying they need to match their physical ability. Waterloo is more of a skating team because of their Olympic sized rink. And Lincoln makes me think of the Tampa Bay Lightning because they come at you all night and don't sit back. To answer your question, if Olidis has an attitude problem, the coach most likely would have known about it before they drafted him, but if they thought he was good enough to play in the league, they may have decided that they'd deal with the situation if it arose. Most coaches are very strict, but deal with it in a variety of ways. Some will punish the whole team & some will punish the individual player. It just kind of depends on the coach & the situation, but most coaches don't take a lot of crap from their players. They either kick them off the team or suspend them or have some other means of discipline. They may also have a long skate or run stairs. The league is supposed to be a maturation process for the players, so the coaches expect a lot out of their players. They have daily workouts & practices and some teams even make their players work out after games in the weight room. So the league does help some of these players with attitude problems and makes them work. The ones that can't take it are usually let go. If they have an attitude problem, maybe they'll get their ice time taken away or if they think they're a hot shot, they'll find out real fast that they aren't in the USHL. It's very doubtful, however, that the player will continue to score a point a game. For a player drafted in the 7th round, it may be possible that they end up playing in the league. Some teams take chances on players who may or may not attend college the next year or some of the veterans leave at the last minute and roster spots open. I know River City took a chance on Ryan Duncan this year. He was also drafted by the BCHL I believe it is and said he would only play in the USHL if he could play for Lincoln, so they are taking a chance hoping he will play here, but may not and someone drafted later may be able to make it. Or even if a player was drafted high and the team decided they didn't want to protect him anymore after seeing him at their tryout camp or something, then someone drafted later may make it.
What have you heard the chances are of Duncan reporting to River City? Do you know who in the BCHL took him? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't think players were drafted into the BCHL, rather I though they were able to play for whom ever they wanted. I very well could be wrong though.
Also, LANCERZRULE, what are the main reasons for the lack of scoring in the USHL? Are the defenceman/goalies that good, or do most teams play a more defensive/trapping style of game?
From what I've heard, Duncan's choices are between River City and Salmon Arms in the BC League. I don't know about being drafted, I guess I just figured that all leagues drafted players. Right now he's not a lock, but hopefully, they can get him to come here. Here is an article about it. http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_np=...&u_sid=1094606
As for the low scoring in the USHL. Teams really are stressing defense more. I mean over the past couple years we've had some of the top defenseman play in the league from Keith Ballard of Minnesota, Matt Carle of Denver, Eric Werner in Michigan and others. I mean yes there is trapping, but I really think the teams are stressing defense more and trying to get better defenseman to begin with, but I do think the league is good defensively. The goaltenders are also better. You look at Phil Lamourex, Dominic Vicari, Dan Ellis, Jordan Parise, Nate Zieglemann, Pete Mannino, Eric Aarnio, Jeff Lerg, Kevin Regan, Jimmy Spratt etc. These goalies have either already gone onto the college ranks or what is to come. They are some of the best goaltenders. The league has improved a great deal in these categories over the years. I think the Coaches can either take players with a lot of potential or the ones that already have talent but have things to work on & make them great defenseman. That is their main goal-developing these guys into great players.
Don't get me wrong, I think the USHL is a terrific league. Fast-paced, intense, and filled with some skilled players that are going to go on and be big time players in college hockey. However, I did attend many Green Bay Gambler games where Oreskovich was playing. I noticed that he was rarely on powerplay and never penalty killed. I'm a firm believe in a the concept that a player can't put up big point totals unless he gets the ice time. I'm sure Oreskovich and other's that made the jump from the OPJHL or other various leagues to the USHL saw tons of ice with their previous club. Although the USHL may not be as high scoring, I still think that a guy like Oreskovich would have put up much better number's had he got more ice.