Posted by Joeri Loonen on 27th November 2003 at 22:21 GMT
Posted from 184.108.40.206 (195-241-104-81-mx.xdsl.tiscali.nl)
In reply to Re: Playing hockey in Europe posted by Nick. V on 27th November 2003 at 18:36 GMT:
Most ECHL players are ineligible to get drafted,th at's why there aren't many drafted player's from that league. It's got nothing to do with qualities since there are many drafted players in that league (still).
Secondly, yes ECHL players make a humble living, however do not expect to hit goldmines in Europe. Many North-Americans still think they can cash in here, while in most leagues it's not much better than minor pro salary (if not lower). You'll only get contracted for an amount of games (much less than in ECHL) and after that you're without income.
Another reason why European teams usually don't pick up players with only junior experience under their belt (especially not when they don't have dual-citizenship), is that there still is a big difference between pro and junior. Perhaps technically the hockey is far better in major junior leagues, but at the pro level there's more than technique that is needed. Many talented juniors have failed to make that last step. Coming from another continent, onto bigger ice with different rules etc, why risk spending a rare import spot (yes they're not unlimited ) on someone who has yet to prove himself on the pro-level. Sure, some made the move to various countries in Europe, some were even pretty succesful, but generally they fail or do not want to come over since it'd hurt their chances to have a career back home.
Finally, and already pointed out, the DEL is not amongst the top leagues in Europe. I'd say it's subtop, behind Finland, Sweden, Russia, Switzerland, Czech Republic (in any order).