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Junior Ice Hockey – Prospect Camp; Main Camps

Main CampWe are again in the midst of the “camp season”. From May to July most Junior organizations are holding their prospect/pre-draft and main camps where they select their roster for next season’s team. The USHL Main Camps are mainly held in June whereas most of the NAHL teams have theirs in July, and Tier III, depending on the league, from May until August. As most European players are not familiar with these camps and, accordingly, have lots of questions, I thought it was a good time to answer some of the questions. Do I have to attend a camp? Which one: prospect, predraft or main camp? Can you just sign up? How are my chances as a free agent of getting a roster spot?  [continue reading…]

Changes in the US Junior Hockey Tier I & II Leagues!

Over the last few days both top US Hockey Leagues announced changes in their league team rosters for 2019-20 which will have an impact on the US ice hockey junior landscape. While the Tier I USHL will operate, based on the current level of information, with one team less, the Tier II NAHL will add two teams. It is good and bad news but overall good for players as it will add, a net, 23 free to play Junior spots for next season! [continue reading…]

Is Canada the only path to the NHL for Swiss Juniors?

When I talk to Swiss players and their parents, I often get the impression that they think the only way to the NHL is by playing Junior hockey in Canada. This is definitely not correct. Analyzing the November 7, “NHL Draft Watch List 2019” and EliteProspects table “2018-19 NHL Players Produced per League” paint a different picture. Although the Canadian CHL remains one of the leading options to get drafted there are plenty of alternatives. [continue reading…]

NCAA College Hockey – Also a career path for Swiss Junior players

In Switzerland only three of the four available paths to the NHL, for Swiss Junior Ice Hockey players, are commonly known: the Swiss National League, Sweden’s SuperElit and the Canadian Hockey League Major Juniors (CHL). Up to now most of the talented Swiss Junior players chose the CHL path (Sbisa, Niederreiter, Bärtschi, Meier, Andrighetto,  Hischier etc.). Only a few tried the alternative USHL/NCAA path (Luca Cunti, Brady & Jordy Murray).
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USHL Rule changes will affect imports!

After the recent USA Hockey Winter Meeting the USHL announced some important Rule changes which will be implemented over the next couple of seasons. It changes the numbers of Imports allowed and will, in particular, affect goaltenders (negatively) and Canadiens (positively). The primary goal of the rule changes is for the league to stay competitive with the CHL. [continue reading…]

USHL – Another path for Swiss Top Talents to consider!

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Gianni Brandi Des Moines Buccaneers

 

USHL, the US top junior ice hockey league, is not well known in Switzerland or better said, is considered inferior to the CHL. This season there are eight Swiss Players playing in the CHL compared to one in the USHL. What makes it so that it is viewed this way? [continue reading…]