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Rating The Junior Hockey Leagues In North America – 2015 Edition

Four years ago when I purchased TJHN I did so in order to provide fair, and unbiased coverage of junior hockey throughout North America and the world in general.

Over the course of the last four years, we have literally received a thousands of emails from players and parents asking for help and/or information that would help them decide which league was best for them.  As many know, because I am a family adviser, I can not simply give out that kind of advice blindly.

What TJHN is undertaking now is its second annual survey of independent scouts, team “bird dogs”, NHL scouts, and NCAA scouts to see which leagues they feel are the best leagues in individual categories.

This survey is being conducted based on a multitude of criteria, the most important one being player development.  Player development meaning does the league prepare and develop players to move on to the next level.  Whether the next level is a higher level junior league, NCAA, Canadian University, Major Junior, or the NHL.

This is NOT a survey grading which leagues have the best competition throughout the individual league.  Some leagues have great balance and depth of competition, but do not do a great job in moving players to the next level.  Some teams are more concerned about winning their league championship than they are about preparing players for their future.

A second series based on competition levels will be published following the first series based upon development and promotion.

Scouts who are on paid team staff, are not allowed to rate their own league in this survey so as to not tilt the results in one direction or another.  TJHN staff members are not allowed to participate in this survey, this also includes my opinion not being taken into account.

The series will compare leagues as follows:

Part one:  Major Junior and USHL

Part two:  NAHL and Canadian Junior A

Part three:  Canadian Junior B

Part four:  Tier III

While I am sure many may disagree with some of the results, the survey is limited in one additional way.  The survey is only based upon last years teams.  We will be conducting this survey annually and readers will likely see changes from year to year.  So, if you are an expansion team, or new league, you will not be included in this years results.

What a league may or may not have done in the last five or ten years is inconsequential for the purposes of this survey.  As my coaches always told me, it doesn’t matter what you did in prior years, it matters what you do this year.

Look for this series to begin next week.

Joseph Kolodziej – Publisher

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