Despite success, USA Hockey's NDTP still has its critics

Ryan MacInnis (right) plays at the first winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria, January...

Ryan MacInnis (right) plays at the first winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria, January 20, 2012. (Dominic Ebenbichler/Reuters/Files)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:15 PM ET

ANN ARBOR, MICH. - Putting together an all-star type roster, like USA Hockey has done by having the core of its national under-17 and under-18 teams centralized here, has its pros and cons, according to NHL scouts.

The benefit is players get to practise against some of the best players in their age group every day. One down side is, because of the quality of the players, some scouts think the players don't benefit from being a star on a team, playing a lot of minutes in all situations. They are just another cog in the system.

"There is no perfect program out there," said Hall of Fame defenceman Al MacInnis, whose son, Ryan, is a centre on the U17 team this season. "It's been successful and produced a lot of players. Sometimes the kids that are very good players in parts of the country can't play against the other really good kids. You're not going to have 13 states with the depth of hockey of a Massachusetts or a Minnesota or a Michigan. It's slowly getting there."


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