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The international diversity of NHL prospects

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Old
03-19-2014, 01:08 AM
  #1
Eazy T
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The international diversity of NHL prospects

Is it me or does it seem other countries (Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Latvia) than the BIG SIX are producing decent hockey talent these days?

Like look at it Switzerland, they're starting to producing decent talent year by year now. They produced Niederreiter, a projected first line player. and now Fiala, a projected top 6 winger. Back in the 90s, it was rare to see 1st/2nd round draft talent from the Swiss but now it's becoming a yearly thing. That's encouraging sign of hockey in Switzerland.

Another rising hockey nation is Denmark. Back in the 90s/early 2000s, hockey in Denmark seemed like an afterthought. I don't think there was any hockey interest in Denmark or any Danish NHL players around but fast forward to recently, Denmark has a bunch of NHL players. Frans Nielsen, Mikkel Bodker, Nicklas Jensen, Peter Regin, Jannick Hansen, Phillip Larsen, Fredrik Anderson (NHL goaltender), and so on.

In this year's upcoming, Denmark is going to produce highly touted prospect Nikolaj Ehlers. Ever since 2002, Denmark has been producing a NHL player and that's just amazing. There was a huge gap prior of Danish NHL prospects prior to 2002, there was ONLY ONE drafted player in Kim Staal in the 90s and a few guys in the 80s. Before the 2000s, the only other Danish player who made the NHL in Poul Poupiel and his career ended in 1980. So there was a time gap of Danish NHL players from 1980 up until the 2000s.

So after the early 2000s, things changed in Denmark and they started to like hockey I guess and started to produce NHL players. If they went to the Olympics, their team would be loaded with NHL players or former NHL players. Impressive I say!

Also, there's Germany is producing Draisaitl who's projected to be a first line NHL player. Latvia produced Girgensons. Norway produced Zuccarello, a top 6 NHL player.

On the other hand, it seems like Czech Republic and Slovakia is on the massive decline while Switzerland & Denmark is especially on the rise.

Imo, I think it's great that we are finally seeing decent prospects come out of non-BIG SIX countries. I like it. It means the game is growing in Europe. Honestly, I was getting tired of hockey prospects coming out of the same countries year after year.

I certainly hope this trend continues. I hope other countries like Norway, Ukraine, Belarus & Kazaksthan produce lots of NHL players!

Any thoughts?

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Old
03-19-2014, 01:33 AM
  #2
RaginStajan
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The only way those players develop is when they leave their country and play in in one of the other European leagues where hockey is popular. This allows to develop their game much better rather than playing in their home league. It takes a lot of money and effort to leave your home and can take a toll on them. Credit goes to everyone who is involved in helping developing those players, a lot of it goes to player for enduring be away from home. It is good now, but in 10-20 years these countries will maybe be able to produce homegrown talent rather than leaving as a teen or younger to achieve it.

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03-19-2014, 02:32 AM
  #3
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The Danes, I agree, have figured out the formula.

I feel a little surprised or disappointed by the lack of good German players considering the relatively strong pro league they run there. Christian Ehrhoff notwithstanding, it feels like the nation didn't build on the initial success of Uwe Krupp, Joechen Hecht and Marco Sturm (...or am I missing some good recent players?).

And I'm always curious when the switch will be flipped in Norway, Poland and Ukraine considering their proximity to bigtime hockey nations.

And when will the UK's time come?

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03-19-2014, 03:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JawandaPuck View Post
I feel a little surprised or disappointed by the lack of good German players considering the relatively strong pro league they run there. Christian Ehrhoff notwithstanding, it feels like the nation didn't build on the initial success of Uwe Krupp, Joechen Hecht and Marco Sturm (...or am I missing some good recent players?).
There are some, but they usually come in bunches.
First there was Krupp, followed just by a few guys who never made it that far (Stefen Ustorf being the best of them). Then Sturm and Hecht came. Afterwards there was another break with no real interesting players until the 2001 World Championship in Germany. Afterwards seven Germans got drafted, it's by far the best draft Germany has ever had, ending with three good to very good NHL-players in Goc, Ehrhoff and Seidenberg, plus Schubert, who played quite a few games as well. To be fair, Ehrhoff, Seidenberg and Schubert all were overagers, they were draft eligible in 2000 and in Seidenberg's case even 1999.

Shortly afterwards Greiss was drafted. He is a good NHL-backup who sadly never got the chance for more, regardless of how well he performed. Sulzer got a few games as well.

It once again went downhill from there. Gogulla had quite a bit of potential, but bailed after just one year in the AHL. Maybe it's just me, but he looks worse than he did as an 19 year old. Things looked better when the group of Kühnhackl, Rieder, Noebels, Abeltshauser, Grubauer and Hoefflin came around. They are all still young, so if someone makes it, they should be from this group. Grubauer has already shown that he could do it. Rieder looks good as well, Abeltshauser might make it too. Noebels looked good as a rookie in the AHL, but somehow fell off a cliff this year. Kühnhackl had lots of big injuries and doesn't seem to be the same player anymore, Hoefflin went back without even trying it. All the Germans in the NHL took quite some time to become what they are today.

While there are some young players playing in the DEL, they are mostly the 20-21 year olds. You will rarely see a 16/17/18 year old play in the DEL, much less with a noticeable amount of icetime. It seems the big European hockey nations have much less problems with using their best prospects in big roles.

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03-19-2014, 04:26 AM
  #5
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The Danes, I agree, have figured out the formula.
Yeh they built the Öresundsbridge and start shipping their prospects to Sweden for development

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03-19-2014, 06:30 AM
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Yeh they built the Öresundsbridge and start shipping their prospects to Sweden for development
False. We built the bridge so we could drive down to germany and buy cheap alcohol.

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Old
03-19-2014, 06:33 AM
  #7
slovakiasnextone
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The Germans get a pretty high numbers of draftees but their pretty terrible at turning out to be actual NHLers.

Latvia had an absolute draught when they had zero players drafted for 3 years straight from 2007 to 2009. And the players drafted before that are all playing ine Europe nowadays.

The Danes have managed to have small numbers of players drafted consecutively and they have a pretty impressive rates of them turning out to be NHL players.

The Swiss have had some hgh quality players drafted each year for a while now, but their forwards have struggled when it came to adjusting their game to the NHL.

Slovakia had their worst of times with players born in the late 80s, but this season there were 4 Slovak players who played in the NHL under the aged 23 or under (and 3 of them rather well) which hasn't happened for a while before. It is however questionable whether this trend can keep up.

The Czechs despite everything still have the highest amount of young and middle aged NHLers as well as NHL prospects.

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03-19-2014, 07:38 AM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanderson View Post
There are some, but they usually come in bunches.
First there was Krupp, followed just by a few guys who never made it that far (Stefen Ustorf being the best of them). Then Sturm and Hecht came. Afterwards there was another break with no real interesting players until the 2001 World Championship in Germany. Afterwards seven Germans got drafted, it's by far the best draft Germany has ever had, ending with three good to very good NHL-players in Goc, Ehrhoff and Seidenberg, plus Schubert, who played quite a few games as well. To be fair, Ehrhoff, Seidenberg and Schubert all were overagers, they were draft eligible in 2000 and in Seidenberg's case even 1999.

Shortly afterwards Greiss was drafted. He is a good NHL-backup who sadly never got the chance for more, regardless of how well he performed. Sulzer got a few games as well.

It once again went downhill from there. Gogulla had quite a bit of potential, but bailed after just one year in the AHL. Maybe it's just me, but he looks worse than he did as an 19 year old. Things looked better when the group of Kühnhackl, Rieder, Noebels, Abeltshauser, Grubauer and Hoefflin came around. They are all still young, so if someone makes it, they should be from this group. Grubauer has already shown that he could do it. Rieder looks good as well, Abeltshauser might make it too. Noebels looked good as a rookie in the AHL, but somehow fell off a cliff this year. Kühnhackl had lots of big injuries and doesn't seem to be the same player anymore, Hoefflin went back without even trying it. All the Germans in the NHL took quite some time to become what they are today.

While there are some young players playing in the DEL, they are mostly the 20-21 year olds. You will rarely see a 16/17/18 year old play in the DEL, much less with a noticeable amount of icetime. It seems the big European hockey nations have much less problems with using their best prospects in big roles.
It's not just you.

You can also add Schütz and Dietrich (RIP) to the list of players who came somewhat close at the same time as Gogulla.

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Old
03-22-2014, 02:48 AM
  #9
slovakiasnextone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helax View Post
Yeh they built the Öresundsbridge and start shipping their prospects to Sweden for development
While Sweden has undoubtedly played an important part in Danish hockey getting much better, the Danes had to do something right in order for their players to become good enough to play in Sweden's top junior leagues as teenagers. Also it's not like ALL Danish top players are developed in Sweden. There are quite a few who played at least two seasons there, there's also Nikolaj Ehlers who developed in Switzerland.

Oliver Bjorkstrand and Nicklas Jensen were both Denmark developed before going to NA for their draft years.

Frederik Andersen and Thomas Spelling played their careers in Denmark before going to Sweden for 2012/2013. Going to Sweden surely helped them to get noticed by the NHL teams but one would argue that they developed mostly in Denmark.

Jannik Hansen only ever played a part of one season in Sweden before he went to NA as a 19 year old.

I think it's safe to say that the Danes figured at least something out. Unless of course you wanna say that Swedish players like Landeskog who went to the CHL before the NHL drafts were developed in North America and not in Sweden.

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03-22-2014, 03:14 AM
  #10
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Originally Posted by slovakiasnextone View Post
While Sweden has undoubtedly played an important part in Danish hockey getting much better, the Danes had to do something right in order for their players to become good enough to play in Sweden's top junior leagues as teenagers. Also it's not like ALL Danish top players are developed in Sweden. There are quite a few who played at least two seasons there, there's also Nikolaj Ehlers who developed in Switzerland.

Oliver Bjorkstrand and Nicklas Jensen were both Denmark developed before going to NA for their draft years.

Frederik Andersen and Thomas Spelling played their careers in Denmark before going to Sweden for 2012/2013. Going to Sweden surely helped them to get noticed by the NHL teams but one would argue that they developed mostly in Denmark.

Jannik Hansen only ever played a part of one season in Sweden before he went to NA as a 19 year old.

I think it's safe to say that the Danes figured at least something out. Unless of course you wanna say that Swedish players like Landeskog who went to the CHL before the NHL drafts were developed in North America and not in Sweden.
Denmark owes a lot of its success to Sweden, having such a strong junior environment so close by is crucial when you have the depth that Denmark has at that level. But of course as you say, Denmark has to do something right for these players to be good enough to play on top junior teams in Sweden.

One correction, both Thomas Spelling and Frederik Andersen was drafted while playing in Denmark. Frederik Andersen was drafted a 2nd time while playing in Sweden, but that's a whole saga on its own.

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Old
03-22-2014, 03:18 AM
  #11
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Petr Mrazek is going to be a good goalie for a long time for the Czech Republic.

Tatar and Jurco are also 2 good wingers for Slovakia.

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03-22-2014, 03:55 AM
  #12
slovakiasnextone
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Denmark owes a lot of its success to Sweden, having such a strong junior environment so close by is crucial when you have the depth that Denmark has at that level. But of course as you say, Denmark has to do something right for these players to be good enough to play on top junior teams in Sweden.

One correction, both Thomas Spelling and Frederik Andersen was drafted while playing in Denmark. Frederik Andersen was drafted a 2nd time while playing in Sweden, but that's a whole saga on its own.
Ah, yeah, I couned Andersen's second draft and for some reason I thought that Spelling was drafted in 2013 not 2012.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WesNichols14 View Post
Petr Mrazek is going to be a good goalie for a long time for the Czech Republic.

Tatar and Jurco are also 2 good wingers for Slovakia.
I think it's interesting to look a the young players from these countries that actually played in the NHL this season at least for a bit:

Czech republic
G Marek Mazanec 22
G Petr Mrazek 22
D Radko Gudas 23
F Roman Horak 22
F Dmitrij Jaskin 20
F Ondrej Palat 22
F TomᚠHertl 20
F Jakub Voracek 24

Asides from these players 15 other Czechs have been drafted over the last three years, one would hope that at least a few of them would make it to the NHL. Also there are players like Vrana, Pastrnak or Zacha who are likely to be high draft picks.

Denmark
G Frederik Andersen 24
D Philip Larsen 24
F Nicklas Jensen 21
F Mikkel Bodker 24
F Lars Eller 24

There's also Oliver Bjorsktrand and Nikolaj Ehlers who have good chances of making it in the NHL.

Germany

G Philip Grubauer 22

Germany had seven players drafted in 2010 and 2011 but only Grubauer has made it to the NHL so far.No players drafted the last two years.

Latvia

F Zemgus Grigensons 20

There's also Kristers Gudlevskis and teodors Blugers.

Slovakia

D Martin Marincin 22
F Richard Panik 23
F Tomas Tatar 23
F Tomas Jurco 21

There are a few prospects drafted by NHL teams but I dare not prdict whether any of them will actually make it.

Switzerland

D Luca Sbisa 24
D Roman Josi 23
D Yannick Weber 25
F Sven Bartschi 21
F Nino Niederreiter 21

They have a few prospects who might ot might not make it, last years 1st rd pick Mirco Muller and Kevin Fiala this year.

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Old
03-22-2014, 04:27 AM
  #13
iane
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On the other hand, it seems like Czech Republic and Slovakia is on the massive decline while Switzerland & Denmark is especially on the rise.]
Not sure about Slovakia but the future for the Czech Republic is looking pretty good, Vrana and Pastrnak this year, Zacha, Vladar, Zboril etc. in 2015. Then you have players that have already been drafted in Mrazek (who's one of the best goalie prospects in the world, if not the best), Jaskin, Hertl, Mazanec, Palat (who's having a Calder worthy season, 2nd in rookie scoring, and he's amazing defensively) and Gudas.

Our future is definetely looking better than it was 2 years ago.

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Old
07-01-2014, 02:55 AM
  #14
helax
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One can say that the Czechs have figured the same solution to their junior development as the Danes have

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