As Cornwall River Kings draft pick Jonathan Zion announced that he had signed overseas for the upcoming season, I was naturally interested to see where he was headed. Off the top of my head, I was thinking he’s most likely gone to the U.K. and suit up for some team in the EIHL.
Boy, was I wrong.
Zion signed up with the Destil Trappers of the Eredivisie, a.k.a, the Dutch Hockey League. As I’m intrigued by non-traditional hockey markets lately, it persuaded me to look into it’s history a little bit.
Believe it or not, the Dutch league was formed after World War 2 with only 3 teams based in Amsterdam, The Hague and Tilburg (where Zion’s Trappers are located presently). The league currently houses 7 teams and have been notable spots for NHLers such as John Wensink, Karl Dykhuis and the late Fred Shero. From what I understand it’s a very tight and competitive league, one that I’m sure Zion will be glad with his decision. The Tilburg Trappers are 12 time league champions and have won 13 National championships. The team is also headed into it’s astonishing 75th season.
It’s so nice to see the greatest game on earth being played all over the world. Be on the look out as I profile some more leagues that take place in not so traditional hockey markets. I mean, did you know that Thailand, Kuwait and South Africa all have National teams? You do now.