If based on the sheer size of the league and the types of contracts that can be handed out, as well as what is clearly a generally outstanding level of ice hockey, most will tell you that the KHL is the best hockey league in Europe. Still, you’ll find many who’ll say there’s no better level of hockey combining pure, proven international competitiveness and the ability to integrate and foster young, excellent talent than in Sweden’s SHL. Read more»
The first quarter of the Swedish Hockey League’s 2013-14 season has come and passed, and there’s plenty to be happy about in the scouting community. The number of young, recently drafted players currently dotting the rosters of both SHL and Allsvenskan (second highest men’s professional league in Sweden) clubs is about as impressive as ever, as professional teams continue to have little concern about going to battle with line-ups that often only feature an average age of 23-25.
As an organization, the Ottawa Senators were able to gain invaluable experience during the recent playoff season. The NHL club exceeded most predictions and made the playoffs in what was supposed to be a rebuilding season. Many observers credited a portion of their success to a core group of young players who played a major role in the Binghamton Senators championship run in the 2010-11 AHL playoffs.
The Ottawa Senators continue to make extensive use of the NCAA and SEL to develop their young talent. This past season four of their prospects suited up in the top Swedish league and two of their blue chippers – Mike Zibanejad and Jakob Silfverberg – should push for roster spots in Ottawa next season.
Welcome to the December edition of On the Rush, a column which features hockey players at the North American professional, junior, and amateur levels as well as those playing in the European pro leagues.
Players fall into two different categories, Leading the Rush and Trailing the Play. In the "Leading the Rush" section this month we will take a look at a pair of surprising names atop the CHL leaderboards as well as several prospects competing for their country at the World Junior Championships in Alberta. The "Trailing the Play" portion features a highly-touted prospect off to a rocky start to his pro career as well as a pair of Swedish prospects looking to earn NHL contracts before their draft rights are relinquished this summer.
North American Pro: