Beginning Monday June 7, 2021, The Junior Hockey News annual league rankings series of article will return.
While the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to step back from last seasons planned 2019-2020 rankings, leagues in many instances were able to play full or abbreviated seasons during 2020-2021.
Scouting during the 2020-2021 campaign was definitely impacted at the NCAA and professional levels. These impacts will have direct effects on The Junior Hockey News rankings this summer.
I would like to remind everyone that these rankings ARE NOT based on “traditional” thoughts or ideas of what league is better than another. These rankings ARE NOT based upon perceived level of play within a league, and they ARE NOT based on personal opinions.
The Junior Hockey News rankings ARE NOT based on league propaganda or social media campaigns funded by leagues or teams.
The Junior Hockey News rankings are based upon DEVELOPMENT FACTS.
Development facts are simply defined by how many players leagues moved on to higher levels. Higher levels being defined as NHL, NCAA, Canadian University and this year we are including ACHA hockey programs.
This year, because we have had the time during the pandemic, we have drilled down further into the DEVELOPMENT numbers.
Leagues will no longer be given credit for players DEVELPMENT or COMMITMENTS based on the last team that the player played on. DEVELOPMENT and COMMITMENT credit is being awarded to the team and league that the player was on when they received the COMMITMENT or the team and league where the player spent the majority of his DEVELOPMENT time.
This drill down will largely only effect the Tier II rankings. Players being cut from the USHL who already have commitments, will not be credited toward the Tier II team they may have finished their junior career with. If the player got the commitment in the USHL it will stay with their numbers.
There was no effect on how major junior teams were ranked in this system but there was some limited effect on how Tier II or Canadian Junior A and B leagues were ranked as their DEVELOPMENT numbers improved when taking into account players moving up to Major Junior.
There will be some limited effect on Tier III. Player movement from Tier II to Tier III did have an effect on some Tier III DEVELOPMENT claims.
Once again, this series is about DEVELOPMENT. This series is NOT about anyone’s perceived level of play or perceived level of competition.
Numbers. The real numbers will tell the story.