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Old
01-31-2006, 06:19 PM
  #1
penwinz
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looking for opinions

Who would allow there 16 or 17 year old play in the USHL, considering they probably don't have the talent to get a scholarship? Also consider you are going to be several states away. Maybe someone on this board has experienced this and can elaborate

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02-01-2006, 10:03 AM
  #2
dell
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My son is a 16 year old in the USHL. We are from what I would call, not exactly a hockey hot-bed. He left home to pursue his hockey dream at 13. So, being in the USHL is not hard for him or us. He is actually closer to home than he has been. As far as college opportunities go, he has plenty. I think if you perform well as a 16 year old in the USHL, your college opportunities are greatly increased.

I think all this depends on the kid. He has to really want this. The days are tough. 5 hours of school with no breaks for lunch, hurry up and run to the rink for 2 hours on the ice, then off to the gym or whatever off-ice workout they have, grab some dinner, and hit the books. They have to be focused and dedicated to reaching their goals.

It has been a very rewarding and awesome experience so far.

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02-02-2006, 09:07 AM
  #3
Alpine
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I think that over the last 10 years the hockey landscape has changed dramatically for young players.
USHL is now being used as a training ground for future NCAA prospects.
CHL is now not only a fast track to NHL but a way to get a scholarship to CIS. Over 300 CIS players are on CHL scholarships and there's only 31 teams.
CJAHL is now mostly a training ground for CHL but also a step to NCAA and CIS. (40 some odd % of NCAA players played CJAHL and a CJAHL player better be good if wants into NCAA now or CIS with more and more 20 year old players using thier scholarships after playing CHL before heading to the minor pros)
So the old stereotypes are breaking down to the point that a player really has to evaluate what he wants out of the game.
NCAA has become almost CHL and CIS combined (without the fast track to NHL) and USHL is almost filling a combinded role for not a pro prospect (CHL) player but maybe a good University player (CJAHL, H.S) role.
But to be honest both USHL and CJAHL have come up alot in the hockey food chain over the last 10 years. I'd love to see the USHL champ play the Royal Bank Cup winner in a best of 7 series.
EDIT:
All I'm trying to say is the gap between American and Canadian ladders is closing and there is a major change in the role of all North American Leagues for a players future depending on the players wants.


Last edited by Alpine: 02-02-2006 at 10:03 AM.
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02-04-2006, 10:47 AM
  #4
Big Daddy
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Every kid is different and most make their junior decisions based on their education goals or lack there of. A top end US born 16-17 year old with college goals will keep his eligibility open by playing in the USHL, NAHL, or other junior program in the states. Some Canadien junior A leagues do not allow US born 16-17 year olds to play until they are 18.
A top end US born 16-17 year old without college plans will usually go to the CHL if he has serious NHL hopes. This is usually where the top end talent of North America and Europe ends up. Not to demean the NCAA, but as a whole, the best 16-20 year olds play in these leagues.
Regarding why a parent would let their kid leave home at an early age, why not if the kid has talent, focus, and a dream. These kids are one in a million and to discourage their dreams would seem irresponsible.

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02-05-2006, 10:51 AM
  #5
JaskulaR
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Why not let them play? Juniors is a tried-and-true method, and the USHL is a GREAT league for getting a college scholarship in with many teams clearing over half their rosters each season to NCAA D-I schools. As for pro prospects, well, they might not be the calibre of their northern counterparts, but the USHL did have more kids drafted last year than the Q, which has nine more teams (granted, no Crosby, first was Brian Lee at #9).

I know a former WHL and USHL player, and he says the gap is really not significant from the USHL to major junior. The biggest difference is physical, and in the style of play. Most USHLers are not as big or strong as the major juniors, and in a more physical Canadian game, the US players would suffer. Skill-wise, however, the USHL is right there. And after spending alot of time up north scouting the OPJHL this year, the USHL is a MUCH better league than Tier II, at least in Ontario (which is VERY watered down).

The USHL is very responsible when it comes to handling the kids and takes great care with their billets, making sure they're in schools, and all the off ice stuff. With hockey matters, they are treated just as well as their major junior counterparts (...except Chicago), and many players enjoy playing in pro-style atmosphere, stating that it helps that the league is so pro-style when it comes time to play college hockey, as it's easier to adjust.

Only rule I'd like to see changed as a fan is to have the mandatory visor uniformity that the CHL has (Itech HX-50). The mix of cages, visors, bubblers looks sloppy at times.

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02-08-2006, 10:03 AM
  #6
Alpine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaskulaR
Why not let them play? Juniors is a tried-and-true method, and the USHL is a GREAT league for getting a college scholarship in with many teams clearing over half their rosters each season to NCAA D-I schools. As for pro prospects, well, they might not be the calibre of their northern counterparts, but the USHL did have more kids drafted last year than the Q, which has nine more teams (granted, no Crosby, first was Brian Lee at #9).

I know a former WHL and USHL player, and he says the gap is really not significant from the USHL to major junior. The biggest difference is physical, and in the style of play. Most USHLers are not as big or strong as the major juniors, and in a more physical Canadian game, the US players would suffer. Skill-wise, however, the USHL is right there. And after spending alot of time up north scouting the OPJHL this year, the USHL is a MUCH better league than Tier II, at least in Ontario (which is VERY watered down).

The USHL is very responsible when it comes to handling the kids and takes great care with their billets, making sure they're in schools, and all the off ice stuff. With hockey matters, they are treated just as well as their major junior counterparts (...except Chicago), and many players enjoy playing in pro-style atmosphere, stating that it helps that the league is so pro-style when it comes time to play college hockey, as it's easier to adjust.

Only rule I'd like to see changed as a fan is to have the mandatory visor uniformity that the CHL has (Itech HX-50). The mix of cages, visors, bubblers looks sloppy at times.
Well, comparing leagues is difficult and it sounds like you are more of an expert than I am. Also yes I started the comparison, so take a shot if you want. But the CJAHL (which I don't think really is a league? Just 10 leagues of 140 teams that play for one Cup, some how, some way it seems to kinda work) had 11 draft picks.
Maybe we'll see come this fall when Yorkton, Sask. hosts the the World Jr A Challenge (UNFORTUNATLY 2 TEAMS FROM CANADA EAST AND WEST). But I'd still love to see USHL Champs play CJAHL Champs as they are they only two that can play without losing NCAA eligibility. Yes, for some reason we on both sides of the border seem to under estimate the other's leagues.
Still my point was that there is such a re-organizing of development hockey that the player should really decide what he wants out of the game as the percentage of players who make the NHL compared to 20 year olds playing is really low.
Long live hockey and some-one please make the Frozen Four available in New Brunswick, Canada


Last edited by Alpine: 02-08-2006 at 11:02 AM.
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Old
02-08-2006, 05:27 PM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Daddy
A top end US born 16-17 year old without college plans will usually go to the CHL if he has serious NHL hopes. This is usually where the top end talent of North America and Europe ends up. Not to demean the NCAA, but as a whole, the best 16-20 year olds play in these leagues.
Actually, if you've kept up on recent top, specifically American born, players coming out of the various US developmental leagues (and I don't necessarily mean just the USHL and NTDP either), you'll notice that more of them are going the NCAA route. Phil Kessel and Jack Johnson now and guys like Erik Johnson, Nigel Williams, Kyle Okposo and Sam Gagner in the future are all players opting to go the college route rather than the CHL. Yes, there are still a good number of top-flight players going the CHL route but not all of them are choosing that route anymore.

You also have top players such as Andrew Cogliano and Jonathan Toews from the Canadian Junior "A" leagues that have also chosen to go the NCAA route.

I've said hundreds of times here at HF, regardless of which route a player takes it's a PERSONAL choice and one that he feel is best for HIM. Period.

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02-08-2006, 08:17 PM
  #8
Big Daddy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oilers Chick
Actually, if you've kept up on recent top, specifically American born, players coming out of the various US developmental leagues (and I don't necessarily mean just the USHL and NTDP either), you'll notice that more of them are going the NCAA route. Phil Kessel and Jack Johnson now and guys like Erik Johnson, Nigel Williams, Kyle Okposo and Sam Gagner in the future are all players opting to go the college route rather than the CHL. Yes, there are still a good number of top-flight players going the CHL route but not all of them are choosing that route anymore.

You also have top players such as Andrew Cogliano and Jonathan Toews from the Canadian Junior "A" leagues that have also chosen to go the NCAA route.

I've said hundreds of times here at HF, regardless of which route a player takes it's a PERSONAL choice and one that he feel is best for HIM. Period.
We agree, I said top us kids without college plans. However, top north american and european kids overwhelmingly choose the CHL. I agree 100% that each kid needs to make the decision and hopefully both routes taken will lead to a common goal of playing at higher levels.

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02-09-2006, 07:03 PM
  #9
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yeah age is not a matter at all in the USHL or any other minor league. a junior at my high school started playing hockey in the USHL when he was 15, granted he turned 16 in a couple of weeks, but still. he is one of the better players on the team, and age is definately not a factor for him.

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