The Olympian editorial April 3 states, “This happens because the NBA and the NFL use NCAA athletic programs as their farm systems. Only Major League Baseball signs players right out of high school, because they have a minor league system.”
This isn’t true. Hockey has an extremely robust developmental and minor professional league system in addition to NCAA division 1 programs. From the Western Hockey League that includes teams such as the Seattle Thunderbirds, Everett Silvertips, Spokane Chiefs and Tri-City Americans as well as Canadian teams, to the East Coast Hockey League and the American Hockey league and a myriad of lesser leagues, all of which feed the National Hockey League.
In fact, every single NHL team has a farm club in the American league to provide depth for injury call-ups as well as to develop new pros as players move up through the ranks of the lesser leagues.