The Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League is made up of seven teams. The North American Hockey League is made up of 28 teams. The NOJHL has a good reputation for developing players for the Major Junior, Ontario Hockey League. The NAHL ... Read More...
Not sure an all-star series with the best 20 players in each league would settle anything? Why not invite the NOJHL to send it's teams to the NAHL showcase in Blaine, MN? Or how about sending a few NOJHL teams to the Woodchuck Classic in Burlington, VT where there are teams from the OJHL, EJHL, AJHL and MHL?
RJ Kleiman who played in the 'NA' with the Motor City Metal Jackets and in the NOJHL with the Soo Eagles says the NOJHL is evry bit as good as the NAHL. As Randy says its perception and really, the ball is in the NOJHL's court.
You make good points.
My point wasn't really to "settle" anything as you suggest, rather to opine that the D1, NCAA recruiters are missing out on many good players the NOJHL has to offer.
To me, if the NOJHL is good enough to develop players for the Major Junior, OHL, it just likewise me good enough to develop players for D1, NCAA.
From the Soo Thunderbirds and Soo Eagles alone, I see several players who are of unquestionable D1. NCAA calibre. The list would include left winger Jake Wright and goalie John Kleinhans of the Thunderbirds and from the Eagles, centre Matt Wiggemansen, forward Dallas McLaughlin, defenceman Tyler Sehovic and goalie Chris Truehl.
At any rate, you do make good points and as I stated, the NOJHL needs to enhance its promotion and marketing efforts. I believe that under the direction of new Commissioner Robert Mazzuca and with active owners such as Albert Giommi of the Soo Thunderbirds, the NOJHL is taking forward steps.
I have talked with Mazzuca and he is interested in helping teams get into those types of events. The NOJHL and JuniorHockey.com is also working out the details of a possible advertising agreement.
Mazzuca has a great vision of what the league can become and I share in the thought that we come overcome geography with technology in order to get the college scouts' attention.
Off the top of my head, Micky Sartoretto (Soo Thunderbirds), Jordan Carroll, Nick Esposto, Jamie Haines, Andre Comtois (Sudbury Cubs), Marc-Alain Begin (Abitibi Eskimos) have all played for OHL teams.