from Szymon Szemberg of IIHF.com,
From U.S. college to the NHL and the World Championship – that’s a route not normally taken by European players. Chicago Blackhawks’ Swedish forward Viktor Stålberg is one of the very few. “For me college was getting the best from two worlds,” says Stålberg to IIHF.com.
The most successful European players who have become NHL and international stars have gone the traditional way of developing at home and taking the step to the NHL when ready. There are 31 Europeans in the NHL who have played 1,000 or more NHL games and only one of them (Slovakia’s Zdeno Chara) played in the Canadian junior leagues before going to the NHL. And Chara played all in all 49 games in the CHL.
Developing your skill at a NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) has never been a route of preference for Europeans and there are many reasons for it. One would be the very strict amateur rules. You don’t make a penny and before you enroll you may not play ev...