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CHL Top 3 Benefits to Signing Early

by Jason Nadeau

CHL Study Highlights Top 3 Topics & Conclusions

If you have decided that you are going to sign in the WHL or OHL or if it might be one of your possible career paths, it is important to ascertain WHEN you should sign a contract and begin your CHL career. I did an analysis of players by age group comparing their actual games played in their rookie season of eligibility to find out some interesting conclusions on when it is worth it to Sign & Play games in the CHL. I used player data from the WHL for this study.

1) What benefits do players have by signing in their first year of CHL eligibility for their 5 game ‘experience’?
Consider that 46.5% of the total amount of players who actually played WHL games were either 1st or 2nd round WHL draft picks. The overwhelming majority of the remaining players were 3rd-4th rounders with VERY FEW being mid to late round picks. These players averaged 3.65 games played each.
So why do it?

Here are the results from WHL by players in their first full season of eligibility

2) I) Star Players (1-4th Rounder’s) Play a disproportionate amount of the total games played, an Eye-popping 52.94 games played per season average. While representing just under HALF of all WHL rookies, they represent a disproportionate amount of the total games played.

II) The primary data shows us that you need to be a STAR player to BOTH play a lot of games AND put up elite level points (Almost ALL 1st-3rd Rounder’s).
For example: Schenn (1991 – 1st RD) – 66 GP/71 PTS; Glennie(1991 – 2nd RD) – 61GP/58 PTS; Kane (1991 – 1st RD) 65 GP/41 PTS; Connelly (1992 – 1st RD) 65GP/60 PTS; Sundher (1992 – 1st RD) 67 GP/37 PTS
III) 1st-4th RD WHL Bantam Draft Picks have a 50/50 chance of being an Impact Player.

3) A ‘Regular’ Player is anyone drafted later then the 4th Round of their Bantam draft year or if they went undrafted. This grouping represents the majority of players out there.

Regular Players (5th Round Draft Picks or Later) actually play significantly FEWER games then the AVERAGE of their age group. The average is 31.58 GP and the Regular Players cohort average a paltry 14.26 games played per first season.


What possible benefit can you get from 4-6 minutes of ice-time per night over 14 games in a full season? Is this really your best course for all round growth and development? You need to step back and see this limited game time for what it is… a waste of time for players who fall into this category.

There was NOT a single UNDRAFTED player that had an impact season statistically. The Highest scoring Undrafted player (Rutkowski – 1992) had 64GP/15 PTS.

You need to protect your playing rights, keep your options open and get the most effective amount of ice-time you can.

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