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NFL CANADA


Should NHL teams be allowed to draft 16-year-olds?
Mon, July 16, 2007

The agents for hockey phenom John Tavares still want their client declared eligible for next year’s NHL entry draft.

London’s Brian MacDonald, a former Colorado Avalanche assistant GM, said the Siskinds Sports Management (SSM) team will forge ahead despite the NHL declaring that the 16-year-old Oshawa Generals scoring star must wait until 2009 to be selected by a big league team.

Tavares challenges the system



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The title of this thread is somewhat misleading. If he would have won the case, he would have been a week or so short of his 18th birthday when he got drafted, not 16. He's 16 now, but he was not trying to get drafted now.
Ted Richards, 2007-07-24 10:37:49

No he shouldnt be drafted at only 16. This was only his second year in major junior A, his first year was ok for a 15 year old but he didnt set any records. Whats the rush, the NHL will still be around in 2 or 3 years as will the money. Playing for Team Canada at the world junior championships in December will be a better test to see how good he really is when he plays against the best junior players in the world. Its one thing to be a star in the OHL playing against boys, but playing in the NHL against men that are stronger and faster is quite another. Another year or two in junior wont hurt but rushing him to the NHL if he isnt ready will ruin his confidence and he will have a very short career. This sounds like his agents might be pushing this because they just want to get some of the cut of his contract.
James, 2007-07-20 02:19:33

Definitely not as a rule, no. 16 year-olds lack the mental maturity. So do most 18 year-olds, as a matter of fact. I saw someone mention Lindros - great point. It would be very interesting how his career would have turned out had he been brought up a more modest, unassuming person and player, like Crosby. I'm not saying Lindros was as good as Sid, but I bet things would have been different. With that said, Tavares is what, 7 days off the deadline? I see both sides - but if you let one guy bend the rules, what about the next guy who's only 16 days off? 27 days? And so on...
Ted Richards, 2007-07-18 19:23:11

Can anybody say Lindros? Stop changing the rules for one kid, Crosby had to play his years out, and Tavares is good but he's no Crosby. I'm not really sure his agents have his best interests in mind, is he really big or strong enough to get knocked around by guys like Pronger or Blake? Give him a chance to grow up.
Scott Murray, 2007-07-17 14:02:18

No I dont think so. He still has alot of growing up to do. At 16 I am sure there are a few weaknesses in his game that he can still work on while staying in junior till he is the legal draft age of 18. Even when you draft an 18 year old it is a crap shoot so drafting a 16 year old cant fair any better. If they rush him along they could ruin his future career, he could lose his confidence by rushing him to the NHL to quickly when he isnt ready for it maturity wise. Even if he was drafted as a 16 year old and didnt make the NHL what would they do with him, I believe he would have to be sent down to his junior team until he completes his junior career which is 20 I think. He should be enjoying his teenage years and having fun as a kid because once you make the NHL it becomes a job and with a job comes pressures to produce.
Jimmy, 2007-07-17 09:37:23

There are always exceptions to the rules. Kids skip grades ect. Don't hold him back, if he is good enough to move forward.
Parks, 2007-07-17 08:28:42

By allowing him to enter the draft they would be setting a lousy precedent by delivering this message to fans of Major Junior hockey: we want your support, but be warned - if someone comes along who is deemed to be "too good" by his agents we will be depriving you of the pleasure of watching him play for your team. Great message to send.

Tell those idiot agents that they'll just have to wait a bit longer for their 10 %.
George O'Leary, 2007-07-17 08:01:07

He should stay in junior one more year at least.At the age he is at now he is way to young to go into the NHL. He could get severly hurt and end his career.
Bob Reid, 2007-07-17 07:19:21

No, he can stay in junior's and follow the same rules as everyone else.
Allen P, 2007-07-17 03:13:27

I am an Oshawa Generals season ticket holder and have the joy of watching this awesome kid play on a regular basis. Make no mistake......he is that good.

My view on the early draft is.....whats the hurry? He has lots of time to play in the NHL. The extra year in the OHL should just help him mature even more, hone his skills and have his feet planted even more when he turns of age to be drafted. Besides, being able to watch him play an extra year for the Generals would be a real treat in itself.
Jeff Stewart, 2007-07-16 22:39:34

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