The growth of USHL players in the NHL


The USHL has been producing more and more NHL players, the Behind the Net Blog has provided us with some interesting information that shows the growth of hockey in the United States and the USHL.  This is a very interesting article that proves that the quality of the USHL is among the top in the world.

(This is just a portion of what was posted at their blog - only information regarding USHL players going on to play in the NHL.)

From the Behind the Net Blog: Checking Back in with the USHL:

Two years ago, I looked at how the USHL had gone from producing an insignificant number of NHL players to accounting for almost 10% of the pros in less than a decade. Forget the 'Miracle on Ice' - the growth of the USHL is the most significant success story in the history of American hockey.

I thought I'd take another look at how the USHL is doing and whether it has continued to produce NHL players at such a high rate. The pertinent plots are after the jump...

First, has the USHL continued its seemingly inexorably path to filling the entire NHL with its players? Sure looks that way to me:


We don't yet see players jumping directly from the USHL to the NHL like we do with Canadian junior leagues, but by age 21, it's difficult to argue with the results: on a per-team basis, the 12-team USHL produces as many NHL players as the 60-team CHL. Canada has achieved hockey saturation, so the number of players going from AAA Midget or Tier II Junior to the CHL and on to the NHL is unlikely to increase in the near future. The USHL, on the other hand, continues to expand its reach as previously-untapped areas of the country like California grow their youth hockey programs.

Back to the Fargo Force Blog:

The Behind the Net Blog used a 12-team USHL because that has been the consistent number of teams in the USHL.  If the USHL is able to maintain the 14, soon to be 15-team league, the number should be able to increase.  Also, with the addition of the USNTDP, the number of NHL draftees coming from the USHL is bound to increase dramatically, which is good for the league.  It is interesting to see how the blog stated that on a per-team basis, the 14-team USHL (soon to be 15 with the addition of Dubuque) produces as many NHL players as the 60-team CHL.  Maybe there is hope for the USHL in becoming the elite junior hockey league in the world. 

Here's to wishful thinking for the USHL and USA Hockey...

3 comments:

Hawerchuk said...

The USHL has never been able to maintain more than 13 full-time teams in the past, so calling it a 12-team league is more accurate: over the last 15 years, alums come from an average of 12 teams.

Force Blogger said...

Yeah, good point. I think with the addition of our team, the Force as a new addition, it should be able to be sustainable with finally having a rink that is not an old barn (the Coliseum the Ice Sharks played in when they were the last FM team in the USHL). Dubuque should also be able to maintain their status in the league as they are from an area that did have some success in the USHL. With the addition of their new 3,200 seat arena, they should be able to keep their franchise but we will see. The USNTDP program will be in the USHL as long as USA Hockey thinks its a good idea, and they should if they want them playing against better competition. But those are just my thoughts. I definitely understand why you would go with 12 teams for the statistical analysis. Great article by you for sure Hawerchuk...love the statistics! You must be a Minitab user!

Anonymous said...

USAH needs to work on keeping the best junior aged players at home in the USHL. If the post-NTDP players, the top US CHL players and a handfull of top Canadians played in the USHL it would be every bit as good as CHL team or perhaps even better. Or at least a definite level above the Q if not so already.

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