Let Junior Players Play In AHL Yzerman

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Let junior players play in AHL: Yzerman

Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman thinks there should be more options as to where NHL teams can place their prospects.

Specifically, Yzerman believes players with three seasons of junior experience should be allowed to play in the American Hockey League. As it stands, junior-aged players can play only in the Canadian Hockey League or in the NHL.

“We talk about it all the time,” Yzerman told the Tampa Bay Times. “We would like to have, particularly guys who have played three years in junior that when we feel it’s time to go to another level, we’d rather see them in the American League.”

The Lightning faced this dilemma this season with Brett Connolly. They decided to keep the rookie forward in the NHL, but have cut his ice time significantly in recent weeks. They don’t have the option of sending him to the AHL.

“I’d like to see us talk further about it,” Yzerman told the paper. “We’re not trying to raid junior hockey, but we look at Brett, he’s played in junior hockey for three years. Part of the reason we wanted to keep him is we felt like it was time to play against stronger competition and a higher pace. Junior hockey is good, but he’s had three full years.”

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