Friday, April 13, 2012

Ben Blood on playing for the Sioux

s/t to a Tradition of Excellence, who had this on his blog today. Blood’s statement is a good endorsement of college hockey and the Fighting Sioux hockey program and their development of talent.
"There's a number of reasons," Blood said as to why he stayed in school. "One, to get an education. Two, because North Dakota is such a special place. There's nothing like playing in Ralph Engelstad Arena. We have a coaching staff that's second to none there, and they certainly know what they're doing when it comes to developing hockey players and moving them on to the next level."

The rugged 6-foot-4, 226-pound defenseman has already played in two games with the B-Sens, but is happy to get an introduction to the city and building where he expects to start next season.

"The play is definitely faster," he said. "Guys are bigger, smarter ... you've got to be more positionally sound out there. I think I just need to play a bit more and get used to it. It helps getting out here, getting used to the lifestyle so it's not really a culture shock next fall." [Press Connects]
First off, I am a fan of both the CHL and the NCAA hockey route, I think both are very good ways to make the NHL. Traditionally, the CHL (WHL, OHL, QMJHL) has produced the most hockey players from Canada who are currently playing in the NHL, that is a fact none of us can deny. That being said the NCAA has done a good job developing both American and Canadian born players for the NHL. All you have to do is look at the NHL rosters around the NHL.

Speaking of player development, Let's Play Hockey has an interesting article on the development of American hockey players and compared the CHL vs. the NCAA.
• 30 players from Minnesota left the U.S. to play primarily in the OHL or WHL. Of these players, only four have made it to the NHL for at least 41 games – Dustin Byfugloen, Peter Mueller, Kurt Sauer and Mike Sauer. During this same period, 30 Minnesota players who played NCAA hockey made it to the NHL for at least 41 games – David Tanabe, Jordan Leopold, Jeff Taffe, Paul Martin, Andrew Alberts, Mark Stuart, Brandon Bochenski, Zach Parise, Keith Ballard, Ryan Carter, Tim Gilbert, David Backes, Colin Stuart, Tim Conboy, Matt NIskanen, Jack Hillen, Kyle Okposo, Brian Lee, Alex Goligoski, Erik Johnson, Steve Wagner, Mike Lundin, Matt Smaby, Blake Wheeler, Matt Hendricks, Dan Sexton, Jamie McBain, Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan and Justin Braun.