CHL execs using media to persuade 2012 eligibles

Aaron Vickers2013 Draft CenterLeave a Comment

Are you a Canadian Hockey League team having problems recruiting a prospect to your club? Take it to the media.

Both Kelowna Rockets general manager Bruce Hamilton and Warren Rychel of the Windsor Spitfires have taken to the media this season in an attempt to persuade recruits – in this case USHLers Zemgus Gigensons and Jordan Schmaltz – into reconsidering a major junior career.

After selected Girgensons 45th overall in the 2011 CHL Import Draft, Hamilton’s Rockets had hoped to have the Latvian at their disposal. Instead, the six-foot-one, 182-pound forward opted to return for a second season with the Dubuque Fighting Saints and is eyeing a collegiate career with the University of Vermont.

Hamilton voiced his opinion on Girgensons’ career path this summer.

“His agents think (Dubuque) is where he should be playing and he‘s very loyal to that program,” Hamilton told the Kelowna Daily Courier. “But I know as soon as he‘s drafted, the NHL team‘s not going to want him in Dubuque and they‘re not going to want him going to the University of Vermont, either.”

It’s a similar approach Rychel took to Schmaltz, a member of the Sioux City Musketeers.

Though the Spitfires selected him in the seventh round of the 2010 OHL Priority Draft, Schmaltz intends to attend the University of North Dakota next season.

Last week, Rychel suggested the 2012 NHL Entry Draft eligible needed to reconsider his decision.

“I think he’s making a mistake in not exploring his options,” Rychel told The Windsor Star. “College is the right decision for some guys, but a guy like that, we’re the one that going to get you prepared for the NHL.”

Kitchener Rangers head coach and general manager Steve Spott didn’t need the media spotlight to get the attention of the prized blueliner they’re chasing.

Jacob Trouba, whose CHL rights are owned by the Rangers, has said that while he is committed to the University of Michigan for next season, it’s no guarantee he stays beyond his first year.

“I’m definitely going to Michigan next year, but I’ll re-evaluate after my freshman year and go from there,” Trouba said.

With the export of Jamie Oleksiak, JT Miller and Connor Murphy among others to the CHL this offseason, the discussion of where to develop a prospect has never been more hotly contested.

Hamilton and Rychel have publicly voiced their opinion on the debate, but do Schmaltz and Girgensons agree?

Aaron Vickers is the managing editor of Future Considerations and can be found on Twitter. For all the latest Future Considerations news and posts, follow FC’s Official Twitter Feed, on YouTube and on Facebook!

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