Now that we have covered the basics in Part One, and why Canadians aren’t coming in Part Two, we will get into why Europeans aren’t coming.
The NCDC, USPHL, and WSHL are pretty much import player restriction free leagues. Europeans are pretty heavy on some WSHL rosters, and there are some at all levels of the USPHL, and some others in the NCDC.
There are some in the USHL and NAHL as well, not a lot, but some.
Why, when there are so many openings on so many teams aren’t European players coming over? The answers are simple if you actually know how European hockey works.
The top European players are going to play professionally. They can choose to stay at home where there is plenty of NHL scouting, or they can go to North America in the USHL, OHL, QMJHL, or WHL. They can pick their spots because they are already high level prospects.
Most of them stay at home. They stay at home because they don’t need the United States or Canada to get where they want to go.
Those who aren’t NHL bound but high level players stay at home too. Why? Because in Europe, if you have good grades, you don’t pay to go to University in almost all countries. Its not the same crazy expense system of education we have in the United States. Oh, and most of their University’s are rated higher for quality of education than most in the United States.
Good players who aren’t going to the NHL, can play and make really good money in Europe beginning at age 17 in most cases.
Players grow up playing in “club” systems. They play in the same “club” from the beginning to the end of their careers, unless traded or they leave the country. They don’t have to leave home to have great careers.
European players, in many countries do not have the money to spend on going to the United States. Flights, tuition, billeting, and all the other expenses are simply too much for some families. Why spend the money when you can make money at home?
The players that are leaving Europe are those from very wealthy families, or those who are not paying to play. Sometimes both.
Contrary to what people in the United States think, European players for the most part have no interest in playing in the United States. The good old USA is not seen in the same light as it once was. Watch out for your flag waiving ego, but people in Europe laugh at the United States openly now.
Before you say “oh this cant be true”, I unlike many who comment on this subject, have scouted 9 countries in Europe this year alone. I have talked with hundreds of players and dozens of coaches. This isn’t guess work, this is based on actually talking to the people who could potentially go to the United States.
The next question concerning Europe should be;
Why are more Americans leaving to play in Europe every year?
Come back tomorrow for the conclusion.