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The Death Pool – Steady Decline In Canadian Development Dominance Is A Touchy Subject Up North

Turns out a lot of Canadian readers had their little feelings hurt by the TJHN Top Twenty Rankings. They wanted to argue on Facebook how much better Canadians are, and why the USHL isn’t close to the CHL, and why the US NTDP shouldn’t be counted as in the USHL. Blah Blah Blah

All kinds of excuses based on memories from ten, twenty, and thirty or more years ago. Trying to split numbers and switch subjects, anything to make it so their point of view was the best point of view. Mind you those same people could not have a clear point of view without pulling their heads out of their back sides first,

So here are facts for all my Canadian friends regarding your stated dominance of the NHL and all that is hockey.

Oh Canada, here are the real numbers of the receeding dominance of Canadian players in the NHL.

Percentage of Canadians in the NHL over the decades

YearPercentage Canadians
197096.1%
198081.9%
199073.9%
200054.8%

In 2022-2023 that number was reduced further down to 42.1 percent

American players on the other hand have fone from being 2% of the NHL to being 28.1% of the NHL in 2022-2023. And that number will rise again in 2023-2024.

Russia has gone from zero to 10% of the NHL over that span.

European numbers are rising from less than 2% in the 1970’s to nearly 18% now.

While the nation of Canada is still the dominating demographic in the NHL, it is a steadily declining demographic over the last fifty years.

Those demographics only decline for two reasons.

Other countries have dramatically improved their development models and have caught up to Canada. And all of the top decision makers are no longer Canadian.

The historical dominance of Canadian Development is just that, historical and a reference point. It is not indicative of exactly where Canada is today in reference to their development strength.

Canada does produce most of the “generational” elite level players. This is also a demographic issue. The best Canadian athletes choose hockey as their sport in superior numbers to any sport.

Americans greatest athletes choose American Footbal, Basket ball, and Baseball over hockey in the vast majority of instances. However, those exceptional athletes, like Jack Eichel who chose hockey, are clearly at an elite level equal to the Canadian Elites.

The European Elites, are also at the same level as the Canadian and American elites. Rasmus Dahlin and Erik Karlsson as clear examples of this.

All of these facts, and numbers point to one indisputable fact that Canadians need to recognize before screaming from the mountaintops that they are the best. While currently Canada does produce the most NHL players, the trajectory for that to coninue is only within a five to eight year window.

Canada is not the authority that everyone should look to and praise. Canada does not know everything when it comes to development. The Canadian leagues are not always the best development leagues. These are just the facts of the evolution of the game.

Then again, some people dont believe in Darwin and some still think the world is flat. Thankfully though we have the NHL to provide us with these new facts and information, and archeologists to tell us there were actually dinosaurs walking the planet long ago. The bones show they were there, but they are not any longer.

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