Hockey: Major changes coming to Canadian junior Comment Count

Brian May 17th, 2005 at 4:29 PM

Bob McKenzie reports on that the Canadian Junior system will be radically revamped. Included in the revamp is apparently going to be some kind of limit on the number of Americans playing for CHL teams located in Canada. I blogged on this topic before and pooh-poohed the idea. Egg on my face? Maybe. We'll see what the limit is set at. If it's one, that's major news. If it's two, that's a minor inconvenience. Anything higher and it's basically a cosmetic gesture. I'm betting the limit is something like four per team.

There are a slew of other changes that were in the works but probably had their skids greased by the overwhelmingly negative reaction of the Canadian press to the OHL's decision to allow 14-year-old John Tavares into the most recent OHL draft. OHL teams will be limited to two 16-year-olds per team--approximately 120 across Canada--and the remainder would play midget AAA. There is also a proposal to block 15 year olds from transferring to the United States like Sydney Crosby and Angelo Esposito have to play at Shattuck.

In summary, the changes basically say: stay and play at home until you are 17 unless you are one of the top 120 16-year-olds in the country. I don't have any OHL numbers that indicate how many kids this will impact, but assuming that it's a significant number the changes proposed are a step in the right direction.

The impact on colleges will probably be minimal unless the CHL really clamps down on the number of Americans allowed, in which case a few players will probably end up in the NCAA instead of the CHL.