Oct 25, 2011, 5:57 PM EDT
The movement to raise the NHL draft age from 18 to 19 got more public support today. Former NHLPA boss, now the executive director of College Hockey Inc., Paul Kelly declared he was fully on board with the proposal.
Well, of course he is. Kelly’s job is to promote college hockey. The fewer players that are plying their trade professionally when they could be playing in the NCAA, the better for the business of college hockey.
Not that it’s necessarily a bad idea. Just pointing it out.
Hockey Canada President Bob Nicholson got this whole debate going when he sent a letter to the NHL suggesting the draft age be upped to 19.
In fairness to Kelly, he didn’t try to hide the fact he’s looking out for college hockey’s best interests.
“From the standpoint of helping the sport as a whole, across the globe and at all levels of hockey — junior, college, pro — I think it makes a lot of sense,” Kelly said, as reported by Sportsnet.ca.
But not all 18-year-olds should be held back from playing in the NHL, says Kelly. Just the non-elite prospects. (So basically anyone Minnesota scouts think are good?)
“You’re always going to have a handful of guys that are so exceptional that they can play at the age of 18. But for the most part it’s a rare kid that can crack into the National Hockey League until he’s 19, 20, 21, perhaps 22,” he said.
Anyway, I’m not sure how they’d go about creating a list of 18-year-olds that were draft-eligible. Would there be some sort of skills challenge? Would Bob McKenzie just tap the worthy ones on the shoulder with a sword? The NBA didn’t make an “exceptional player” rule when it raised the draft age to 19, otherwise I doubt Greg Oden would know his way around the Ohio State campus.
- Video: Senators’ captain Alfredsson discusses his future 1
- Penguins put on a ‘clinic’ in semifinal series win over Senators 14
- Report: NHL to present Glendale with Coyotes ownership plan next week 6
- Discuss: Penguins knock off the Senators in Game 5, headed to conference final 54
- Video: Morrow’s goal off the foot stands after review 5
- Maloney signs long-term contract as Coyotes GM 7
- Playoffs Tonight: Penguins aim to finish off Senators 20
- Kings’ Quick ‘didn’t have to work hard’ in shutout win over Sharks 7
- Discuss: Kings dominate Game 5, one win away from Western Conference final 22
- Discuss: Red Wings take 3-1 series lead 65
- Report: NHLPA director Fehr wants to address issue of fighting (113)
- Question for commenters: What, if anything, needs to be done about the officiating? (101)
- Discuss: Bruins rally in third, take 3-0 series lead (99)
- Discuss: Detroit takes 2-1 series lead vs. Chicago (95)
- Discuss: Rangers stay alive with OT win (87)
- Watch LIVE: Pens-Sens, Game 5
- Tiger, LeBron and bids to be the best that ever lived
- PBT: Pacers must take back paint to beat Heat
- HBT: A-Rod sells Miami home for $30 million
- PST: Key battles for Champions League final
- Struggling Blackhawks on brink of elimination
- PHT: Wings push Blackhawks to brink | Highlights
- Play Video: Highlights: Penguins crush Senators to move on
- Play Video: Neil hits Murray below the belt
- Play Video: Morrow's goal up for review in Game 5
- Play Video: Phantom penalty called on Crosby
- Play Video: I was there: Bruins stun Maple Leafs in Game 7
- Play Video: Top-seeded Blackhawks on brink of elimination