Eredivisie: The Netherlands National Hockey League

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.

0041Zion 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.

tilburg_trappers_logoBelieve 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.

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All The Kings Men: River Kings 2013 LNAH Draft

Oh dear.  What a circus act it has been this past year for the Cornwall River Kings. First losing critical pieces in management, then coaching staff, it’s actually quite shocking that the team is still here in the first place. Of course there’s plenty of rumors swirling around but I’m not about to gossip. Instead let’s criticize one of the worst drafts I’ve ever seen!

Loic Lacasse. Cornwall River Kings. (PHOTO: Allison Papineau.)
Loic Lacasse. Cornwall River Kings. (PHOTO: Allison Papineau.)

First things first. Cornwall has a remarkable goaltender in Loic Lacasse. In case you’re not keeping track, Lacasse went 181st in the 6th round in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft to the Montreal Canadiens. And you want to know a fun fact about that statistic? He got drafted HIGHER then PEKKA RINNE. Rinne went in 258th in the 8TH ROUND.

And in case you’ve been living under a rock, Pekka Rinne plays for the Nashville Predators and was nominated for the Vezina 2 years in a row (2011, 2012). I don’t know about you but being drafted higher then a two time Vezina trophy nominee AND winning the league’s award for best goaltender says something in my books. But what do I know.

So we come to the 2013 LNAH draft with our heads held high. After all of this management fiasco, we are determined that we will be able to snag a few brilliant pieces into the fold.  And in the first round we draft………a goalie.

Sigh. Brilliant. 2 of Cornwall’s 10 picks turned out to be goaltenders. I wasn’t aware that our goaltending situation was in trouble.

Jonathan Zion. Chicago Express. (PHOTO: Farm8. Flickr.)
Jonathan Zion. Chicago Express. (PHOTO: Farm8. Flickr.)

Anyway, with the second pick Cornwall selected Jonathan Zion. A huge defensive  addition that will hopefully fill the hole left from Sasha Pokulok who is heading off to Russia next season.

Here’s the final draft order:

1) Josh Tordjman ……..Goalie
2) Jonathan Zion ……..Defence
3) TRADED
4) TRADED
5) Christian Boucher……Goalie
6) Carl Tatonetti …….Forward
7) Danick Paquette …….Forward
8) Brett Angel …….Defence
9) Myke Byrd …….Defence
10) Chris Ayotte …….Forward

 

Hey, it can’t get any worse. Right?