The CHL would be considered the top level of hockey (Major Junior Hockey) one can play before going pro, except for the fact that these junior hockey players are considered professional hockey players by NCAA.
CHL players have to be 16 – 20 years old.
There are three main paths to follow to get to play professional hockey in the NHL.
- CHL Major Jr. Hockey which has three leagues comprised of 60 teams.
- NCAA has 58 Tier 1 College/University hockey teams in USA.
- European Pro
Junior A is more of a long shot. There are 11 different leagues in the CJHL Canadian Junior Hockey League comprised of 141 Junior A teams; 14 Junior A teams in the USHL United States Hockey League; and NAHL North American Hockey League has 19 Junior A teams.
CHL Players Drafted By NHL Teams
Of the 6 CHL contenders to go to the 2010 Memorial Cup plus the hosting team, 51 Major Jr. Hockey players have been drafted by NHL teams already and the 2010 NHL draft has yet to occur. Those 51 CHL players drafted by NHL teams are off of just seven CHL teams comprised of a total of 167 major junior hockey players (out of approx. 1440 players in the entire CHL). That means that an average of 30.54% of the players on the three CHL leagues’ top 7 teams have been drafted by NHL teams.
Hosts of the 2010 CHL Memorial Cup
8/23 Brandon Wheat Kings have been drafted by NHL teams (34.78% of roster)
Matt Calvert (CBJ – 127th overall in 2008)
Jacob DeSerres (PHI – 84th overall in 2008)
Scott Glennie (DAL – 8th overall in 2009)
Travis Hamonic (NYI – 53rd overall in 2008)
Toni Rajala (EDM – 101st overall in 2009)
Colby Robak (FLA – 46th overall in 2008)
Brayden Schenn (LA – 5th overall in 2009)
Alexander Urbom (NJ – 73rd overall in 2009)
WHL Western Hockey League Chynoweth Cup
There are 22 teams in the WHL, out of which the Calgary Hitmen and Tri-City Americans competed for the Chynoweth Cup.
7/24 Calgary Hitmen were drafted by NHL teams (29.17% of roster)
Joel Broda (WSH – 144th overall in 2008)
Jimmy Bubnick (ATL – 155th overall in 2009)
Kris Foucault (MIN – 103rd overall in 2009)
Brandon Kozun (LA – 179th overall in 2009)
Ian Schultz (STL – 87th overall in 2008)
Tyler Shattock (STL – 108th overall in 2009)
Michael Stone (PHX – 69th overall in 2008)
2/25 Tri-City Americans (8% of roster)
Eric Mestery WSH ’08
Alexander Pechurskiy PIT ’08
OHL Ontario Hockey League Robertson Cup
Of the 20 major junior hockey teams in the OHL, Windsor Spitfires met Barrie Colts to battle for the Robertson Cup.
11/23 Windsor Spitfires have been drafted by NHL teams (47.83% of roster)
STL, Sept. ’08
8/25 Barrie Colts have been drafted by NHL teams (32% of roster)
1st Round Pick (4th overall) in 2008 by the St. Louis Blues
4th Round Pick (93rd overall) by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2009
2nd Round Pick (35th overall) by the Los Angelas Kings in 2009
6th Round Pick (164th overall) by the Buffalo Sabres in 2008
5th Round Pick (131st overall) by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2009
6th Round Pick (178th overall) by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2008
Stefan Della Rovere
7th Round Pick (204th overall) by the Washington Capitals in 2008
4th Round Pick (114th overall) by the Calgary Flames in 2008
QMJHL Quebec Major Junior Hockey League President Cup
There are 18 major junior hockey teams in this league. Two competed for its President Cup: Moncton Wildcats Versus Saint John Sea Dogs.
7/25 Moncton Wildcats drafted into NHL teams(28% of roster)
Riopel, Nicola PHI
Cameron, Randy DET
Barberio, Mark TB
Deschamps, Nicolas ANA
Savard, David CLB
Bourque, Gabriel NAS
Tessier, Kelsey COL
8/22 Saint John Sea Dogs drafted by NHL teams (36.36% of roster)
Marco Cousineau Anaheim in 2008 (Round 3, 83rd Overall)
Simon Després Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009 (1st Round)
Yann Sauvé Vancouver Canucks in 2008 (2nd Round)
Mike Hoffman Ottawa (5th Round, 130th Overall) in 2009
Mike Thomas Philadelphia’s Rookie Camp in 2009
Steven Anthony Vancouver Canucks in 2009 (7th Round)
Michael Kirkpatrick Minnesota’s Rookie Camp in 2009
Nicholas Petersen Pittsburgh (4th Round, 121st Overall) in 2009
Is it safe to surmise that if you get on a CHL team, you have roughly a 30.54% chance of getting drafted by an NHL team? A top 7 team, yes. As for the other 53 CHL teams (approximately 1273 other major junior hockey players), we’ll have to look at their average CHL to NHL draft percentage.