It's that time of year where I offer up a better version of the Subway Super Series. Rather than re-hash an argument several years in the making, I will refer you back to this piece from last year. While I'd still argue that my 'World' opposition would be more entertaining for fans, more revealing and beneficial for scouts and more relevant for the CHL... I'm aware that I'm probably on an island in my beliefs.
Fair enough. My understanding is that the CHL is moving the dates around for the series so as to better match the European break schedule. That should allow for better Russian players to come over and that's a good thing. Perhaps it also opens the door to a different country once in a while being the opposition, that would interest me as a fan.
But enough... here is my roster for Team World made of import and American players in the QMJHL that would take on Team Canada in the two QMJHL dates of the Subway Super Series...
Chris Gibson (CHI) - Born in Sweden, Gibson came to North America to play in Wilcox, Saskatchewan for Notre Dame. This is now his second season in the QMJHL and he's assumed the starter's role in Chicoutimi. He's compiled a 2.20 GAA and .926 SV% after 13 games with the Sags. Eligible for the 2011 NHL draft.
Andrey Makarov (LEW) - He's appeared in 7 games for the Maineiacs this season but has just a single win so far. His 3.88 GAA and .873 SV% won't wow you but the 6'2 netminder has intriguing size. He's also eligible for the 2011 NHL Draft.
David Honzik (VIC) - One half of Victoriaville's goalie tandem is this 6'3 Czech import. He's played in 11 games but has struggled to get wins, he has just 3. Honzik has an .891 SV% and 3.50 GAA for Les Tigres.
Konrad Abeltshauser (HAL) - The big German is in his second season with the Halifax Mooseheads. The 6'3 rearguard has 7 points so far for Halifax and is, I'm told, one of the club's key players. As a German, you'd think the San Jose Sharks would have been all over him at the 2010 NHL Draft and... you'd be right. They selected Abeltshauser in the 6th round.
Mario Kurali (BAT) - Originally from Slovakia, Kurali is making his QMJHL debut this year. After 17 games he has just a single point which is a big change from his junior career back home where he contributed much more offensively. He was available at the 2010 NHL Draft but was not selected.
David Bajanik (BAC) - Another rookie from Slovakia, Bajanik is more of a defence first player that Kurali and his stats show that. He's 6'2 and about 195 lbs so he has size and strength in his arsenal to take advantage of. Eligible for the 2011 NHL Draft.
Lars Lundin (DRU) - The 19-year-old Swede is in his first QMJHL season and has 11 points in 21 games with the powerful Voltigeurs. His offence may be an anomaly though, at no time in Sweden was he considered an offensive defenceman. Undrafted.
Adam Janosik (GAT) - The Tampa Bay Lighting drafted the Slovakian in the 3rd round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. This is his second season in the QMJHL and he's coming off a year where he put up 35 points for the Olympiques and added 7 more in just 10 games in the post season.
Daniel Milan (MON) - This might be stretching it a bit but Milan was born in Detroit so he makes it to this team simply due to his passport. The 6'3 blueliner has 13 points for Moncton this year, his first season in the QMJHL, but I have to admit that I don't know if he is one of those players born in one place who grew up in Canada. If someone knows, educate me. Undrafted but eligible in 2010.
Adam Polasek (PEI) - Polasek is in year two with the PEI Rocket and is coming off a terrific rookie campaign that saw him total 41 points in 66 games. That performance got him drafted by Vancouver in the 5th round. He's 6'2 and just shy of 200 lbs.
Dominik Schlumpf (SHW) - The Swiss defender was invited to Edmonton Oilers camp as a free agent in September. The 19-year-old is now in his third season with the Cataractes and currently has 3 points in 13 games.
Artem Sergeev (VAL) - The 6'2, 203 lb blueliner from Russia is having a good season with the Foreurs; 9 points in 16 games. He's eligible for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
LW - Ondrej Palat (DRU) - He had 40 points in 59 QMJHL games last year in Drummondville and this year Palat is destroying those impressive numbers. He already has 27 points in 20 games and is currently 4th in QMJHL scoring. Undrafted 19-year-old from the Czech Republic.
LW – Igor Levitsky (GAT) - The young Russian is off to a decent start to his QMJHL career having posted 6 points in 18 games with Gatineau this season. He's draft eligible in 2011.
LW - Kirill Kabanov (LEW) - The New York Islanders prospect was recently acquired by Lewiston but has yet to play for the Maineiacs. For the purpose of this exercise, let's agree that he is available and would play in the event. He was a 3rd round pick by the Isles in 2010.
LW - Marek Hrivik (MON) - 55 points last year with the Wildcats, Hrivik is back with the club again this year and is scoring at an even better pace. He already has 23 points in 17 games so the 19-year-old Slovakian is bound to get some consideration from pro teams. He's 10th in QMJHL scoring right now.
LW - Eliezer Sherbatov (MTL) - The Israeli forward had 30 points with the Juniors last year and has 5 so far in 2010-11. He's played internationally for Israel in the past and was eligible for the 2010 Draft but went unselected.
LW - Ryan Bourque (QUE) - He's been a point per guy player wherever he's played over the last several years including last season with the Quebec Remparts. One of the few Americans in the QMJHL, the New York Rangers 3rd rounder is an automatic for this team.
LW - Jakub Culek (RIM) - 47 points in 63 games for Rimouski last year helped get Culek drafted in the 3rd round in 2010 by Ottawa. This year he's got 9 points in 16 games this year and the 6'3 forward is expected to be a top scorer.
LW - Stanislav Galiev (SNB) - Few players fell on draft day like Galiev but the Washington Capitals grabbed him in the 3rd round. Galiev had 60 points last year in 67 games and added 19 more in 21 playoff games for the Sea Dogs. He's off to a decent start this season with 14 points in 11 games but compared to production of some on the team, those numbers looks really slow.
C - Denis Kindl (MTL) - The Czech import had 37 points with Gatineau last year and has 8 thus far with Montreal. He might be a healthy scratch on this team but he's good enough to get a mention. Undrafted but available in 2010.
C - Mirko Hoefflin (QUE) - He's making his QMJHL debut this season but had big numbers last year with Mannheim; 67 points in 24 games. Chicago liked him enough to grab the German in the 6th round (presumably just ahead of San Jose). So far Hoefflin has 7 points with the Remparts.
C - Tomas Filippi (QUE) - 21 points in 16 games with the Remparts has folks talking in the Q. He was nearly a point a game player last year back in the Czech Republic but he went undrafted last year. Clearly that's given him motivation this season. He's of average size but has a lot of skill and is 15th in QMJHL scoring right now.
RW - Viktor Hertzberg (CAP) - The 19-year-old Swede had an impressive campaign with Cape Breton last year scoring 23 goals and 56 points as a QMJHL rookie. He's almost a point per game player this year with the Screaming Eagles and is still undrafted.
RW - Martin Frk (HAL) - He's not eligible until 2012 but Frk already has a lot of hype around him. The Mooseheads import from the Czech Republic has 6 goals and 19 points in 20 games. He's just a couple of weeks too young for the 2011 Draft.
RW - Andrej Nestrasil (PEI) - The Detroit Red Wings took Nestrasil in the 3rd round of the 2009 draft after a solid year with Victoriaville. Now with the Rocket, Nestrasil has 17 points in 13 games and appears poised to have a career year in terms of poduction.
RW - Petr Straka (RIM) - He was taken in the 2nd round (55th overall) in June by the Columbus Blue Jackets and this year with the Oceanic he's proving his rookie production wasn't a fluke. He's on a similar pace to last year with 13 points in 15 games.
RW - Tomas Jurco (SNB) - One to watch in terms of the 2011 NHL Draft, Jurco has become some what of a you tube sensation but has 18 points to back up the hype. He put up good numbers last year, especially in the playoffs where he had 17 points in 21 games for Saint John.
So there you have it, the team I would like to see take on Canada during the Subway Super Series. Try and convince me that this team wouldn't provide a better measuring stick for Hockey Canada, a more entertaining game for fans, and better showcase for the QMJHL and the CHL and an extra incentive for Europeans considering moving to the CHL in the future. If you disagree, tell me why.