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League ranking?? WHL/OHL/AHL/QMJHL/NCAA

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Old
04-15-2007, 05:25 AM
  #1
crazedcanuck
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League ranking?? WHL/OHL/AHL/QMJHL/NCAA

I've been going through a ton of prospects, and am fairly new to the whole scene.

I notice guys putting up 100 pts in the QMJHL ranked lower than those putting up 50 in the NCAA.

Can someone clarify the difference in skill and difficulty... sort of tier the different developmental leagues?

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04-15-2007, 05:52 AM
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This usually leads to passionate debates but I'm always interested to read people's opinions on this. From what I understand from the stereotypes.

The WHL, QMJHL, and OHL are part of a bigger association known as the CHL or Canadian Junior League. This is the major or highest level of juniors in North America and what people are referring too when they talk about "juniors". There's also other smaller but notable junior leagues out there such as the BCHL or British Columbia Hockey League.

WHL - Defensive tough league with a emphasis on strong defensive play. A lot of decent defenseman, grinders, and occasionally strong offensive players come of the Dub.

Notable Graduates - Jarome Ignila, Dion Phaneuf

QMJHL - Offense first league with a emphasis on the run and gun. A lot of high scoring players come out of this league

Notable Graduates - Mario Lemeuix, Sidney Crosby

OHL - All-Around League. I honestly don't know much about the OHL but I guess it's reputation is that it's solid for it's all around play.

Notable Graduates - I'm not sure

AHL - The AHL is the minor leagues for NHL teams. Players who aren't yet ready for the NHL or who aren't good enough for the NHL get sent there.

Notable Graduates: Olaf Kolzig, Brett Hull

NCAA - From what I understand the NCAA is very much like the NHL game. NCAA prospects have a little bit of stigma to them because they usually take an extra year or two from players in juniors to join their NHL team's systems. NCAA is noted for having a game very much like the NHL. I believe NCAA players can't play in the CHL so a lot smaller leagues like the BCHL feed into the NCAA. Players who have a stronger desire for a solid education usually go this route.

Notable Graduates: Brendan Morrison, Martin St. Louis

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04-15-2007, 08:26 AM
  #3
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Gretzky and Orr played in the ohl.

You could have come up with a better NCAA example than Morrison too, Karyia comes to mind.

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04-15-2007, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazedcanuck View Post
I've been going through a ton of prospects, and am fairly new to the whole scene.

I notice guys putting up 100 pts in the QMJHL ranked lower than those putting up 50 in the NCAA.
Can someone clarify the difference in skill and difficulty... sort of tier the different developmental leagues?
the biggest reason for this is because you play in the CHL to you are 19/20, but in the NCAA some of the players are 24/25 years old. so when you are 17/18 in you draft year its easier to put up points against players at the same or close to your age in the CHL. when you are 17/18 in the NCAA you are one of the youngest players in the whole NCAA so if you put up 50 points in the NCAA at that age it is clear that you are very talented when you are able to do it against players that are all older then yourself an sometimes 7-8 years older. the NCAA also has a shorter schedule and play feawer games.

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04-15-2007, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victory Ali View Post
This usually leads to passionate debates but I'm always interested to read people's opinions on this. From what I understand from the stereotypes.

The WHL, QMJHL, and OHL are part of a bigger association known as the CHL or Canadian Junior League. This is the major or highest level of juniors in North America and what people are referring too when they talk about "juniors". There's also other smaller but notable junior leagues out there such as the BCHL or British Columbia Hockey League.

WHL - Defensive tough league with a emphasis on strong defensive play. A lot of decent defenseman, grinders, and occasionally strong offensive players come of the Dub.

Notable Graduates - Jarome Ignila, Dion Phaneuf

QMJHL - Offense first league with a emphasis on the run and gun. A lot of high scoring players come out of this league

Notable Graduates - Mario Lemeuix, Sidney Crosby

OHL - All-Around League. I honestly don't know much about the OHL but I guess it's reputation is that it's solid for it's all around play.

Notable Graduates - I'm not sure

AHL - The AHL is the minor leagues for NHL teams. Players who aren't yet ready for the NHL or who aren't good enough for the NHL get sent there.

Notable Graduates: Olaf Kolzig, Brett Hull

NCAA - From what I understand the NCAA is very much like the NHL game. NCAA prospects have a little bit of stigma to them because they usually take an extra year or two from players in juniors to join their NHL team's systems. NCAA is noted for having a game very much like the NHL. I believe NCAA players can't play in the CHL so a lot smaller leagues like the BCHL feed into the NCAA. Players who have a stronger desire for a solid education usually go this route.

Notable Graduates: Brendan Morrison, Martin St. Louis
Im not an expert on Junior hockey, but isn't the OHL now regarded as the more offensive league? The Q has been considered a run and gun league, with little defense involved, but isn't the OHL Goals per game higher than that of the Q's now?

In the CHL you will often see alot of the guys who dominate the scoring categories are usually older guys. There are always 20 yr old guys, who can't skate particulary well who put up huge stats simply because they are playing against people of inferior age.

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04-15-2007, 12:08 PM
  #6
Titan124
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Ranks would probably be something like this:

1. AHL
2. OHL
3. WHL
4. NCAA
5. QMJHL

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04-15-2007, 12:13 PM
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I think the level of play in the QMJHL is very underrated. Gone are the days of small soft one-dimensional scorers, high scoring games, no defence and trial by fire goaltending. The Q game has matured dramatically and I think it compares favourably to the other leagues in the CHL.

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04-15-2007, 12:35 PM
  #8
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Originally Posted by J17 Vs Proclamation View Post
Im not an expert on Junior hockey, but isn't the OHL now regarded as the more offensive league? The Q has been considered a run and gun league, with little defense involved, but isn't the OHL Goals per game higher than that of the Q's now?
Yes, yes and yes. The Q isn't a run and gun league anymore and hasn't been in a decade. It's pretty comparable to the O now.

OHL graduates include Gretzky, Orr, Yzerman, Shanahan, Sittler, Francis, Coffey, Scott Stevens and Al MacInnis.

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04-15-2007, 01:00 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Titan124 View Post
Ranks would probably be something like this:

1. AHL
2. OHL
3. WHL
4. NCAA
5. QMJHL
i think the best NCAA teams would have destroyed the best CHL teams

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04-15-2007, 01:14 PM
  #10
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Originally Posted by redwingsfan View Post
i think the best NCAA teams would have destroyed the best CHL teams
I agree.
When you can see a huge visible difference between 18 year old players and 20 year old players just in the CHL alone, imagine how much of a difference there would be between a team of 16-20 year olds and a team of 19-23 year olds.

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04-15-2007, 01:58 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Titan124 View Post
Ranks would probably be something like this:

1. AHL
2. OHL
3. WHL
4. NCAA
5. QMJHL
It's not the sort of thing that can be "ranked", really.

The AHL is a professional men's league... players anywhere from 20-late 30's, some who have played in the NHL, many who will play in the NHL. Teams are affiliated with NHL teams for player development. It's like AAA compared to Major League Baseball. The calibre of play in the AHL is only bested by the NHL itself. (Well, or some of the top European pro leagues, but that's outside the scope of this question).

NCAA is the next higher age bracket, so it's safe to say that it's probably the next higher calibre of play, with players typically 18-23 years of age (some few 17 year olds, some 24,25,26 year olds chasing their degrees a bit later). Even in Division I NCAA hockey, though, there are some schools with much stronger programs attracting much higher calibre players than some of the other programs. But as a generalization, the age difference would be enough alone to rank the NCAA as a higher level of play than junior hockey.

The Canadian Hockey League is made up of the OHL, WHL, QMJHL. Players 16-20 mostly. If you had to break it down league-by-league, I'd say the WHL is probably on top, featuring better coaching, tougher defensive play, and more physicality than the other two leagues. In past years folks would also probably have ranked the OHL ahead of the QMJHL, but I'm thinking the gap is closing a bit there... both leagues are a bit "looser" than the WHL, but I think the Q has closed the gap somewhat by increasing their presence in the Maritimes and balancing out their style of play somewhat. Sweeping generalizations, though... as the Memorial Cup shows, the best teams from any of the WHL/OHL/QMJHL compete on very equal footing.

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04-15-2007, 01:59 PM
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There is a difference between: Which league is best and which league is best for developing NHL players.

NCAA play is a higher caliber, simply based on the fact the players are older...its logical...

Look at Team Canada U20 camp...they play a CIS team...and those games are usually close...and thats taking into account the best U20 players in Canada....

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04-15-2007, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by redwingsfan View Post
i think the best NCAA teams would have destroyed the best CHL teams
Well for the most part that could likely be true...........however there is a reason for that........the NCAA stacks about 5 teams every year as every player who goes to the NCAA wants to play on the best few teams and there are no rules to stop this from happening.......That doesnt mean that the NCAA as a league is better however because there are plenty of teams that wouldnt compete with CHL teams also......of course in the CHL there is a draft and this wouldnt happen.......I still think that the year London won the Mem cup 2 years ago they would have destroyed every NCAA team.

AHL doesnt belong in this discussion as its a pro league so I wont rank them.

other rankings would look like so.

WHL
OHL
NCAA
QMJHL

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04-15-2007, 02:06 PM
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Development options vary by the player and by their age. 15/16 yos can jump into the CHL (OHL, WHL, QMJHL) and take advantage of 17-19 yo players. 17-18 yo players can jump into the NCAAs and take advantage of 21-24 yo players. The CHL lines up very well with the draft. Top tier NCAA play is better aligned above the CHL and as a potential alternative to AHL development. Level of play:

Top NCAA (many WCHA, HE, CCHA teams)>
OHL/WHL/QMJHL/NCAA (not top teams and other conferences)/US NTDP>
USHL/Shattuck>
BCHL/MN HS Elite league>
NAHL/OPJHL/MN HS>


Last edited by 5mn Major: 04-15-2007 at 03:22 PM.
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04-15-2007, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaLaLaprise View Post
There is a difference between: Which league is best and which league is best for developing NHL players.

NCAA play is a higher caliber, simply based on the fact the players are older...its logical...

Look at Team Canada U20 camp...they play a CIS team...and those games are usually close...and thats taking into account the best U20 players in Canada....
That is horrible logic..........the team canada U20 camp team that plays vs the best CIS team happens after less then a week together and is only an exhibition game in which the U20 team is testing out the players who will not likely be making the team and the players who will be barely on the team.........not the top players.

The age argument is nice, however still not a good one........when the most players going into the NHL each year are still Canadian and "MOST" of the best Canadians play in the CHL ... having the older inferrior players and smallish players who went to the NCAA due to less hitting and a less demanding schedule says differently.

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04-15-2007, 02:11 PM
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I think the Q is a bit underrated, they have a lot of great offensive fowards as well as some of the leagues best goaltenders come out of there, though defence not so much.

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04-15-2007, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by phaneuf_fan_3 View Post
That is horrible logic..........the team canada U20 camp team that plays vs the best CIS team happens after less then a week together and is only an exhibition game in which the U20 team is testing out the players who will not likely be making the team and the players who will be barely on the team.........not the top players.
Yes...but the U20 team can be an all-star team for the CHL. In the NCAA, its a handful of young and budding but so-so players. Very few of the best players are available for any U20. The leader of Canada's scoring last year, Toews, and the top player in the tourney, EJ, were both from the NCAAs...and they were not even in the final 10 running for the player of the year award, Hobey Baker. Also, 9 of the top 10 last year and all of the top 10 this year of the scorers in the NCAA have been too old to play in the CHL. The age difference makes a huge impact.

You are missing a huge trend happening here.

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04-15-2007, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5mn Major View Post
Development options vary by the player and by their age. 15/16 yos can jump into the CHL (OHL, WHL, QMJHL) and take advantage of 17-19 yo players. 17-18 yo players can jump into the NCAAs and take advantage of 21-24 yo players. The CHL lines up very well with the draft. Top tier NCAA play is better aligned above the CHL and as a potential alternative to AHL development. Level of play:

AHL>
Top NCAA (many WCHA, HE, CCHA teams)>
OHL/WHL/QMJHL/NCAA (not top teams and other conferences)/US NTDP>
USHL/Shattuck>
BCHL/MN HS Elite league>
NAHL/OPJHL/MN HS>
Whats the difference?

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04-15-2007, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by phaneuf_fan_3 View Post
That is horrible logic..........the team canada U20 camp team that plays vs the best CIS team happens after less then a week together and is only an exhibition game in which the U20 team is testing out the players who will not likely be making the team and the players who will be barely on the team.........not the top players.

The age argument is nice, however still not a good one........when the most players going into the NHL each year are still Canadian and "MOST" of the best Canadians play in the CHL ... having the older inferrior players and smallish players who went to the NCAA due to less hitting and a less demanding schedule says differently.
How is it flawed???

The Best 19 year olds in CANADA cant blow out 23-24 year olds who likely wont play any higher than the ECHL...

It is about AGE...the age factor is huge.

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04-15-2007, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by SPORTSMANIAC View Post
Whats the difference?
I am guessing he means AA vs A schools.

To continue on 5mn Majhors point look at what an all star team from the WCHA would have looked like last year.

Pavelski, Stastny, Stafford, Potulny, Backes, Zajac, Irmen, Kessel, Sertich, Sterling and on D. Carle, Smaby, Gilbert, Goligoski and in net Elliot and Goephert. To name a few off of the top of me head. One played in the u20 tourney. And whether u think it was legit or not he did lead in scoring. The top players this year. Duncan, Oshie, Wheeler, Raymond, Niskanen, Goligoski, Skille, Gordon none played u20. Toews did and he looked like one of the best. Some would argue that EJ was the third best d man in the gophers. And crossing out mistake for play made. He was not that far ahead of Peltier if he was at all.

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04-15-2007, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by SPORTSMANIAC View Post
Whats the difference?
Actually I meant the Upper Midwest (Minnesota) Elite League. Its a collection of the best Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota high school players designed to upgrade skills and keep them from other options such as the USHL, NTDP, BCHL and the like. It extends the season earlier into the fall...before high school begins.

http://www.hselitehockey.com/

Edit: Another bit to compare. The current U18 tourney featured team Canada...with approximately 85% of its players from the CHL...and team USA...with just one player from the NCAAs Jim OBrien (a 4th line player)...with the rest of USA's players not ready for the NCAA yet. The two teams showed how similar they are as Canada beat USA in an overtime shootout.


Last edited by 5mn Major: 04-15-2007 at 03:37 PM.
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04-15-2007, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by 5mn Major View Post
Actually I meant the Upper Midwest (Minnesota) Elite League. Its a collection of the best Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota high school players designed to upgrade skills and keep them from other options such as the USHL, NTDP, BCHL and the like. It extends the season earlier into the fall...before high school begins.

http://www.hselitehockey.com/
I was thinking that. But dont the best HS seniors that play USHL stay away from that league when their season is done. Hansen, Dorr, White, Larson and Matson this year were some of the states best and all gopher recruits. They are not playing this year? The MNHSEL is a tough one to place due to that fact i think. Thats why i guessed AA vs A.

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04-15-2007, 03:35 PM
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Well the CIS is comprised of a lot of skilled smallish major junior graduates and junior A standouts (who are all 3-4 years older than the average CHL player) so it makes total sense what Lalalaprise is saying.

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04-15-2007, 03:40 PM
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I was thinking that. But dont the best HS seniors that play USHL stay away from that league when their season is done.
True...but the elite league only operates in the fall.

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04-15-2007, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5mn Major View Post
Actually I meant the Upper Midwest (Minnesota) Elite League. Its a collection of the best Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota high school players designed to upgrade skills and keep them from other options such as the USHL, NTDP, BCHL and the like. It extends the season earlier into the fall...before high school begins.

http://www.hselitehockey.com/

Edit: Another bit to compare. The current U18 tourney featured team Canada...with approximately 85% of its players from the CHL...and team USA...with just one player from the NCAAs Jim OBrien (a 4th line player)...with the rest of USA's players not ready for the NCAA yet. The two teams showed how similar they are as Canada beat USA in an overtime shootout.
Thanks... I wish there was a league like this in New England.

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