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Euro Prospects - Debate

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12-01-2003, 09:31 AM
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Euro Prospects - Debate

Don't know why this idea popped into my head, but I was thinking about the development of our Euro prospects (I will use Ninimakii as an example through-out this example). Here's the question:

Are our young Euro prospects better served in the Euro Elite leagues playing with the men, or would they be better served by joining the junior ranks in Canada or US College?

I am having a lot of trouble answering this one myself. Here are some of the pros and cons that I can think of:

Ninimakii playing in the Finnish Elite League:
  • learning to play with men - playing at a higher level
  • learns the defensive side of the game (as youngsters are usually put on the lower lines; Ninimakii is playing on the third line, no?)
  • playing on the third line, in a defensive role, instead of honing his offensive skills
  • learning to play on a bigger rink
  • playing with the men - developping boddies can get hurt by men who are fully grown athletes.
Ninimakii playing in the CHL or US College:
  • learning to play with the boys - less likely to get injured
  • playing on the top line and developping offensive skills
  • learning NA style of game
  • not learning the defensive aspects of the game
  • competition is not as fierce (CHL is nowhere near as good as the Finnish Elite League)
  • away from home (new culture, no family near by, etc - tough for an 18 year old)
So, should our Euro prospects be playing in NA or in the Elite leagues of Europe? I sure can't figure it out; can you?

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12-01-2003, 09:42 AM
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I would always prefer they played the highest level of hockey possible. Elite leagues teach them to play with men. They learn more practising with those teams than they would playing in the CHL.

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