The OHL probably won't ever overtake the WHL in terms of the number of players Dallas plucks from that league or the success they have in developing them, but this is as good a crop of talent I can remember Dallas drafting out of this league. I know I'll focus more on the OHL than the other two leagues this year because those three players.
I've read several season previews for the OHL, and the all seem to indicate Gemel Smith and Radek Faksa will have a good opportunity to go deep in the playoffs with their teams. Ritchie on the other hand is frequently mentioned as a potential trade target. His team lost a ton of talent despite still having Strome and Hamilton thanks to the lockout.If Ritchie proves he can reproduce his effort and production from last season with Niagara, he could easily end up with a contender by the end of the year.
More importantly, Ludwig Bystrom is finally getting some (although still limited) ice time. Several Swedish articles I've read mentioned Bystrom is the youngest player in MODO's history, and he is the youngest player in Elitserien this year (could have been defender).
So Jyrki Jokipakka was +1 and had 5 shots while recording 26:36 icetime in a 5-3 win against KalPa.
Has been pretty much the number one defenceman so far this season for Ilves. Winning most of the puck battles and keeps doing the right things on the ice. Has the more defensive role with Ville Koistinen and sometimes that role makes him play situations almost too carefully.
A Swedish anti-trust authority overturned the Elitersien's decision to not allow NHLers.
MODO is a team that traditionally has an older team and uses imports. Ludwig Bystrom is already playing spare minutes (granted only 3 games in), but you have to assume there's a reasonable chance he's headed to the U-20 league.
Last year, Samuelson left MODO for Edmonton (WHL) mid-season. If Bystrom is going be demoted to the U-20 because of lockout players flooding the Elitserien, I hope he does jump to Plymouth (OHL) even if it's one year. Vancouver prospect Nicklas Jensen spent a year in the CHL before returning to Sweden this season. Bystrom, IMO, would probably be better served playing a year with Plymouth than spending another year in Sweden's U-20 league (which he's clearly ready to move on from). Another option would be a loan to Sweden's 2nd Tier men's league.
Is there any sort of cut-off date for drafted imports to join their CHL teams? I have to agree with you that Bystrom should come to the OHL if he's not going to play in the SEL.
Molin might have a better chance of sticking around since he can play wing also?
Samuelsson joined Edmonton after the WJC. I believe the only official cut off date is the trade deadline.
Molin has only played wing in the U-20 and SEL according to the game sheets I've seen. I hope you are right that he could stick around, but they've already had him miss the first two SEL games to play with the U-20 team even though there were no NHLers. In the third game he play sparse, 4th line minutes.
Molin, IMO, is a much better candidate for the 2nd tier men's league. He's already dominated the U-20 league. He needs a new challenge.