Friday, September 2, 2011

Cole Martin to the WHL?

I had heard some rumblings the past month or so that Stars defenseman Cole Martin might not be returning to play in Lincoln next season, but I finally got some confirmation this morning when I ran across this article online which links to a .pdf article that shows Martin making the Kelowna Rockets' (WHL) exhibition season roster.

The Western Hockey League (WHL) is one of three junior hockey leagues in Canada which combine to form the Canadian Hockey League (CHL).  If Cole decides to play for Kelowna next season, he will forfeit his NCAA athletic eligibility and will not be able to play college hockey in the United States.

I know nothing of the story behind this, but it's disappointing for sure to lose a young, up-and-coming defenseman like Cole Martin.  Cole was one of those players that I really wasn't expecting a lot of at the start of last season considering his age ('94), and the fact that he was a little undersized for a defenseman in the USHL.  However, he proved me wrong with his versatility, tenacity on the ice, and his heart.  Again, I don't want to speculate on why Cole won't be back in Lincoln this season, but he will be missed.

Good luck to Cole with the Kelowna Rockets.  We'll be watching his progress north of the border here at the B³.


nutz4puckz said...

That's a bummer for sure. Yeti, do you know, does the rule with eligibility count for any game or regular season/playoff games. The article states that they are getting ready for a 6 game exhibition schedule.

Good luck to Cole up north!!

Yeti said...

Not exactly sure about exhibition games, nutz4pucks, but I do know that a recent goaltender had his college scholarship yanked because they found out he played 20 minutes of a WHL exhibition game. That's it. Only one period of a exhibition game. Now, he was allowed to sit out a season and then be allowed to play college hockey, but I believe that was due to the fact that it was an exhibition game. If he had played one regular season game, then he wouldn't have been able to play any college hockey.

Here's the'll have to copy and paste:

nutz4puckz said...

Well that pretty much answers that one. Wow, but I guess a rule is a rule. Thanks for the link and the information.

Yeti said...

A friend of the blog sent me the following link, which has some good information about major junior hockey, and NCAA eligibility:

Here's an excerpt from the article:

Can I play games in major junior and still be eligible to compete in the NCAA?

The NCAA considers major junior hockey to be professional hockey. Therefore student-athletes who compete in Major Junior jeopardize some or all of their NCAA athletic eligibility.

Student-athletes will lose all athletic eligibility to compete in NCAA Division I hockey if they:
Ø compete in any major junior game after their expected date of high school graduation, or
Ø sign a contract (“WHL Player Agreement”) with a major junior team

Student athletes will lose some athletic eligibility to compete in NCAA Division I hockey if they:
Ø compete in any major junior game before their expected date of high school graduation, without signing a contract, or
Ø attend a major junior training camp for more than 48 hours while having their expenses covered by the major junior team

The only opportunity that a player has to compete in major junior and still retain NCAA athletic eligibility is to play an exhibition game before graduation without signing a player agreement. Any other competition in major junior will lead to the loss of all NCAA athletic eligibility.