New Twist in AHL/CHL/NHL triangle
American teenagers can go to AHL, rather than CHL
The NHL announced Wednesday that American players drafted by NHL teams before they play for their Canadian Hockey League teams can be sent to the American Hockey League, rather than back to major junior, as teenagers if they don’t make the big-league club. [...] The clarification statement by the NHL was in response to a request by Dave Branch, the OHL commissioner and CHL president, regarding the status of Kitchener Rangers forward Jeremy Morin. The 19-year-old New Jersey native can now be assigned to the Chicago Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate in Rockford, Illinois, if the Stanley Cup champions opt to do so. Last year, the London Knights saw defenceman John Carlson assigned to Washington’s AHL farm team rather than returned to the OHL. Knights defenceman Jarred Tinordi also falls under this ruling, meaning the Montreal Canadiens could assign him to Hamilton of the AHL. [...] [Windsor Spitfire GM Warren] Rychel feels the CHL should be proactive on this issue now that the NHL has clarified its position on Americans drafted out U.S. junior leagues, otherwise, he said CHL teams risk losing more elite-level American talent. In the view of the NHL, the agreement with the CHL to send drafted juniors back to their CHL clubs will apply only to Canadians.
This conforms to the rules for Russian players. Andrei Loktionov and Viatcheslav Voynov both played in the AHL before the age of 20.