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Talking U.S. College Hockey In Canada

from Stephen Whyno of the CP at CTV,

"I think that if more Canadian families were exposed to what college can do -- as parents for your kid socially, athletically and academically ... I think more people would be doing it," said University of Denver coach Jim Montgomery, a Montreal native who went to Maine and ended up playing 122 NHL games.

One opportunity for exposure is the NCAA tournament, which begins Friday and includes 109 Canadian players. There are 35 players from Ontario, 35 from British Columbia, 18 from Alberta and seven each from Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Many of those players are trying to follow in the footsteps of several successful Canadian NHLers who went to college, including four members of the gold-medal-winning Sochi Olympic team: Jonathan Toews (North Dakota), Martin St. Louis (Vermont), Patrick Sharp (Vermont) and Chris Kunitz (Ferris State).

Among the 945 players to see NHL action this season, 100 were Canadians who played at a U.S. college....

"There's no wrong path," Phoenix Coyotes assistant general manager Brad Treliving said. "I think as a Canadian guy you grew up and you're around major junior hockey more, so ... you're closer to it than you are U.S. colleges, but, jeez, there's no wrong answer. It's an individual choice and there's benefits to both."


Filed in: NHL Teams, Non-NHL Hockey, College Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Hank1974's avatar

I’ve had some really good debates with friends of mine as to which route they would choose for their kids.

In my mind, there’s no question; I’d send my kid to college any day of the week.
Making it to the NHL is so hard, you might as well get a college degree out of the deal.
And like Bobby Orr said, if you’re good enough, NHL teams will find you.

With CHL, yes, they offer scholarships, but only if you go immediately once your CHL career is done.
If you play ECHL the next year, bye-bye scholarship.

I also don’t think the CHL does enough to recognize that the players are still kids.
Because the CHL is a big business, the players are seen as commodity’s and their only job is to produce NHL players.
Many might not realize that CHL teams get paid by the NHL if players are drafted and signed by a pro club.

I just look at players like Pavelski, Healtly, Toews, Nyquist and think that if a player is good enough, they’ll get to the NHL eventually.
Might as well have a degree just in case.

I know too many former CHL players scraping together a living once their career is over.
They’ve got nothing to show for it except for a highschool diploma - IF that.

Posted by Hank1974 on 03/28/14 at 09:33 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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