Why is it that the majority of the "finesse players" in the National Hockey League, are foreign players drafted from European and former eastern block countries?
IIHF ZURICH – The National Hockey League takes a closer look to Europe. Not only will a record six teams open the NHL season in Helsinki, Prague and Stockholm, but more than twice as many European rookies have been signed by NHL teams compared to last year.
Every year North American players are loosing positions on teams in Canada, and the United States to an ever increasing number of foreign players. This is happening not only in the professional ranks but at the high school, junior, and college levels as well.
While the different aspects of the North American style of game have been studied, and adopted by the Europeans, we are still many years behind them in applying their training methods to our players. For example in Russia, hockey players at the youth levels spend at least 6 hours training for every one hour of competition. The emphasis during these training sessions is on skill development, and this skill development is practiced at incredibly high tempo. In contrast in North America, many youth coaches spend more time working on elaborate team systems, powerplays, etc.
While hockey schools in North America provide much needed information, how can anybody expect the young player to remember all the information that is thrown at them in a week long hockey camp, much less take all this information and put it into an organized training program?
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