PLYMOUTH, MICH. – Kailer Yamamoto hasn’t made the U.S. world junior team yet, but if history is any indicator, he’ll bring a ton of offense if he does make the squad. Though he is only 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds, Yamamoto has been lightning every time he has donned the Stars and Stripes.
One of the great battles for talent this year has been between the Boston University Terriers and the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires. The prize? Arizona Coyotes first-rounder Clayton Keller. And it really looks like BU has a stranglehold on the St. Louis native’s services.
Let’s get one thing out of the way immediately. I am not comparing junior hockey teams to sweatshops. That would be ridiculous. But it seems the arguments we’ve been hearing lately to keep junior hockey from paying its players minimum wage has some parallels to those who defend sweatshops.
There are those who will point out that as bad as sweatshops are, they’re a lot better than the alternative for a good number of people. Pulling a rickshaw or working the land for even less money than people make in a sweatshop can make the case for them a little more compelling. There have been those who have opined that some people in Third World countries are, in fact, better off because of the existence of sweatshops.
The CHL just announced the bidding guidelines for the 100th Memorial Cup, which is to take place in 2018. While hosting duties are usually given out on a rotating basis to a team from the OHL, WHL or QMJHL, the centennial showdown is open to cities from all three circuits – so while technically it should be the Quebec League’s turn, it may not turn out that way.
The three leagues will conduct their own bid processes and then submit up to two potential hosts by Nov. 16, 2016. A National Site Selection Committee will hear the bids no later than Jan. 31, 2017 and make a final decision by the first week of February.
So which cities could we see in the running? Let’s break it down.
A year after its OHL team left town, the Eastern Ontario city of Belleville may have its sights set on a replacement.
There are whispers and reports in the area that Belleville could become the new home of the Ottawa Senators’ AHL affiliate. The partnership would make sense, logistically at least. Belleville is about 155 miles from Ottawa and the growing trend in hockey is to have the NHL team’s top affiliate nearby to make for quick, easy travel back and forth.
The CHL Import Draft can bring some incredible talents to major junior teams, but some franchises can get stung when they shoot for the moon. Two franchises that appear to be in that situation are the OHL’s Oshawa Generals and WHL’s Kootenay Ice.
The CHL Import Draft establishes major junior rights for European players and it’s never a dull process. Because the kids picked are under no pressure to come over here, it’s never just a matter of Best Player Available. And since junior teams all have different rebuilding/contending cycles, sometimes BPA is irrelevant anyway. Some have already been drafted by NHL teams; other younger picks are hoping to boost their stock for upcoming drafts. Each CHL franchise gets two picks, but some pass because they are already set with their quota of two imports. With another draft in the books, let’s take a look at some of the most important names that were called today.