Ball sweatt went the ncaa college route. After being drafted in the second round by chicago in 2007, he decided to finish his degree at the university of colorado. This past year he led the team in scoring. In 2007 he was the top forward at the under 18 world juniors notching 25 points in 17 games.
A lot of college players are overlooked from being signed in the nhl theses days. The canadian route (whl, ohl and qmjhl) gives the young players money to go to school in the future and allows them to excel and enter the nhl at a young age. While the ncaa route demands the players to do a four year degree while playing hockey. Ncaa players take longer to mature but they can really come into their own once they do mature. Take for instance, duncan keith, a former ncaa player.
Because the canucks didn't have a 1st or second round pick this year, they have been going the college route to sign players. These players have already played four years in college and have seen their entry level contracts expire so now they are free agents.
Ball sweatt was a blackwhore, but he got traded to tornonto a few months earlier in the versteeg deal. Burke offered ball sweatt the max contract for a young player, but ball sweatt's agent wanted him to test free agency. In the end he signed for the minimum in vancouver.
It is a little bit odd considering he might have got third line play in toronto, and now ball sweatt will get third line play for the manitoba moose. It may be because the canucks signed his brother lee sweatt in may. Lee sweatt is a defender who went the same ncaa route as his brother Ball. Lee went over to europe last year. After a disastrous half-season in the khl, he went to the premiere league in finland. In the playoffs he set records for points by a defenseman (16 points in 15 games) and went on to win the award for best defenceman in the playoffs.
All in all, canucks have a decent pairing with the Sweatty brothers. Koodo to mike gillis on using the ncaa signings to compensate for no draft picks this year.
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