Why Does the WHL Draft Players A Year Earlier than The Other Major Junior Leagues?

Discussion in 'WHL' started by LoveHateLeafs, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. LoveHateLeafs

    LoveHateLeafs Registered User

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    This never made sense to me. Why draft a kid and let him develop for a year where you can only play him a few times? A year can make a huge different in skill and physical maturity at this age. The best player at age 15 may not be the best player at age 16. If the point of the draft is to evenly talent across the league, why introduce a system that makes it harder than necessary for teams to evaluate that talent?
     
  2. Fight Guy

    Fight Guy Registered User

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    Recruiting... The WHL is far more spread out than the OHL and QMJHL. Prospects and families might not be as willing to switch provinces or countries as there is good chance that they could be moving 2000km away from home. For one, this is a huge distance for kids that age, and on top of that, these places are going to have different curriculums and may not be something they want to change. You don't have as big of issues with this in the OHL and QMJHL. If the prospect's number one priority is to try and go pro, then it's probably not going to matter, but for many, school comes first.

    If it were up to the scouts and teams, they would obviously prefer it to be a midget draft.
     
  3. LoveHateLeafs

    LoveHateLeafs Registered User

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    Thanks, but I'm not quite clear on why this helps with the recruiting. The issues of distance from home and school changes will still pop up, and at the exact same age they do in the OHL and QMJHL. The only possible advantage I can see is that the WHL's habit of letting draftees play a handful of WHL games in their midget year(made possible by its earlier draft) means that some top prospects will get impatient and play those games, thus forfeiting their NCAA eligibity and leaving the WHL as their only path forward. Is that what you mean?
     
  4. MeHateHe

    MeHateHe Registered User

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    Because Junior A is better out west and Junior A teams had historically been getting players in the door at 15. The Western league was seeing (and worrying about) about high end players getting locked into a track of Junior A-US college track instead of going to their programs. The thought is if they can get kids thinking major Junior before they get exposed to the Junior A system they won’t see more young guys bleed off to the Junior A route.
     
  5. LoveHateLeafs

    LoveHateLeafs Registered User

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    Is this still a reason though? According to Eliteprospects, no player has played more than 9 games as a 15-year-old in either the BCHL or AJHL since 2004-05. I thought 15 year-olds couldn't play more than a handful of games in Jr A these days.
     
  6. Scouter

    Scouter Registered User

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    Thank you for this, I finally have a good answer as I've asked this question before. The negative to this however is that the WHL draft is even more of a crapshoot.
     
  7. BadgerBruce

    BadgerBruce Registered User

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    One could argue that all drafts are a crapshoot, but imagine back in the day when the WHL drafted FIRST year bantams? They literally had to scout peewees if they wanted an advance look at the crop — those days are gone, but my oh my, embarrassing in retrospect.

    The other point is that WHL teams are free to add undrafted players to their 50 player protected lists whenever they want to, so “missing out” on drafting a player isn’t always the end of the world. Guys like Doan and Iginla were missed but added to protected lists later.
     
  8. howbowdat

    howbowdat Registered User

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    One thing I wonder is, do kids now a days really get missed? With social media and the whole connected world? Late bloomers aside.
     

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