KHAIRA CONFIRMS MICHIGAN TECH

Edmonton Oilers draft pick Jujhar Khaira will honor his original commitment to Michigan Tech. There had been some rumors that he would play in the WHL (this goes back to the draft) but this article suggests the decision has been made:

  • The Tips were hopeful they could recruit the power forward to the WHL, but Khaira has maintained his commitment to Michigan Tech.

 

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15 Responses to "KHAIRA CONFIRMS MICHIGAN TECH"

  1. Ducey says:

    As long as he doesn’t “Justin Schultz/ Riley Nash” them at the end of his 4 yrs there, it should help the Oilers as it will help alleviate the crunch on to sign all their prospects.

    Hopefully that loophole will be fixed anyway.

    And by the sounds of it he is a project that will need lots of time to develop.

  2. Jordan says:

    I like the decision for him to go to Michigan. There’s not a lot of room right now for forwards to grow into bigger roles with eithe rthe Oilers or the Barons, and his ability to get quality development minutes would certainly be more limited taking the WHL route.

    Plus, there’s the whole appreciation I have for a guy who wants to get an education. Big value in what that piece of paper represents!

  3. Moosemess says:

    Smart kid. Given where he was drafted, there are no guarantees of NHL stardom in his future. Always respect the kids that are shrewd enough to give themselves a Plan B.

  4. Chunklets says:

    I have heard some mention (at CnB, I believe it was) of that possibility that Khaira might end up with the Oil Kings at some point. There’s apparently going to be some sort of conference realignment in NCAA hockey next season that will result in Michigan Tech playing in a weaker group. Not sure of the details on that though!

  5. Truth says:

    Unfortunate. The CHL is clearly superior in talent than the NCAA, plays approximately double the games than the NCAA, there is no J. Schultz factor in the CHL, and the option of placing him in the AHL comes earlier to a CHL player in most cases.

    To me, the motivated hockey player goes to the CHL. The perceived “smart” move is the NCAA, as he can get a free education (which is available to CHL players anyway, not to mention school here is practically free compared to the states). A full ride in the states does end up costing quite a bit depending on how many trips home he makes / family visits. However, he was obviously staying in the Junior A ranks for this opportunity, can’t fault him for sticking to the plan.

  6. hunter1909 says:

    Fave prospect.

    Ducey: As long as he doesn’t “Justin Schultz/ Riley Nash” them at the end of his 4 yrs there,

    Character, grasshopper.

  7. PunjabiOil says:

    Smart kid. Given where he was drafted, there are no guarantees of NHL stardom in his future. Always respect the kids that are shrewd enough to give themselves a Plan B.

    Disagree. He needs more at-bats, and the CHL provides better opportunity to improve and grow as a professional.

    There will only be one chance to make the NHL.

    His engineering background could have waited.

  8. asiaoil says:

    PunjabiOil:
    Smart kid. Given where he was drafted, there are no guarantees of NHL stardom in his future. Always respect the kids that are shrewd enough to give themselves a Plan B.

    Disagree.He needs more at-bats, and the CHL provides better opportunity to improve and grow as a professional.

    There will only be one chance to make the NHL.

    His engineering background could have waited.

    Disagree PJO – he’s a longshot and the odds are demonstrably against him having an NHL career of any note. That’s reality and he’s smart to see it. The NCAA also does not preclude him from having a hockey career as demonstrated by the large of of guys in the NHL who developed there. This is a “cake and eat it too” deal for the kid – he needs years of development before he’s ready for even the AHL and can work on his degree at the same time. If he’s as smart as he sounds then he accomplish both – and if after a couple of years it looks like the hockey side is really going strong – then he can re-evaluate and go pro.

  9. Truth says:

    It’s a tough call. If his number one priority is to make the NHL or play professional hockey the obvious choice is the CHL. The focus in the CHL is development of a hockey player, but at the end of CHL eligibility post-secondary school is paid for. In the NCAA, I would argue the focus is about 50/50 education and player development, depending on the school. Some athletic directors want every student athlete to graduate with good marks, others want to win. Many workouts are missed due to education responsibilities and it would be completely naive to believe 3-a-days don’t impact grades. So what’s better? Attempting to develop hockey skills to your full potential while attempting to get good grades in class, or full devotion to the development of hockey skills (and if they don’t take you anywhere) then full devotion to good grades in class.

  10. ashley says:

    By all accounts, this kid is in the academic top 1% of graduating BC high school students. He’s got a lot to offer the world if hockey doesn’t work out (a strong possibility). It is much harder to go back to school especially an intense professional program like engineering. after tasting the freedom of the easy life. It’s also not easy being the student 5-7 years older than everyone (which is an eternity at age 18 when looking at a 25 year old….all kids to us though) ;) This is the right time for him to do this along with the rest of his peers. The bonus is that hockey will still be there if he excels.

    There is also the after hockey career consideration that gets very little attention from aspiring NHL’ers. A little attention to career path and plan B’s would go a long way in dealing with the depression and drug abuse many of these retired players or failed NHL’ers experience.

    Interesting math: He graduates with distinction and becomes a P.Eng at age 22. Hockey flames out. He makes an average of 200k/year (125k to start, 250k+ in the final 15 years of a successful engineering career) and has lifetime earnings of about 8 million or so, but he probably will retire early.

    Or he tries really hard in the CHL and becomes a fringe AHL/Euro pro making 60k/year for 12 years then can’t handle the engineering workload at age 35 so he drops out and sells cars making about 60k/year for another 30 years, a job he loathes but works until he is 70 because he needs the money to get by. Lifetime earnings of about 2.5 million or so.

    Dreams and reality.

  11. CrazyCoach says:

    Truth: To me, the motivated hockey player goes to the CHL. The perceived “smart” move is the NCAA, as he can get a free education (which is available to CHL players anyway, not to mention school here is practically free compared to the states).

    Well not necessarily free either, and its not like you can go and try and play pro for a few years then go back to school after blowing out your knee. You have to go to school within 18 months of your last WHL game and if you try and play pro, goodbye school.

    Now, in the NCAA, it is still a gamble due to that fact that each team is only allowed 18 fulltime scholarships (split between 26 players), and scholarships are only given annually. However, if you are a senior in the NCAA, you are able to take out an insurance policy against lost future earnings and still retain amateur status.

    It is not necessarily a slam dunk either way, no matter the motivation level. Jonathan Toews is one of the most motivated players ever to play this game, and he took the NCAA route. Kyle Wellwood took the CHL route.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Oilers love the big brains, don’t they?

  13. PunjabiOil says:

    Disagree PJO – he’s a longshot and the odds are demonstrably against him having an NHL career of any note. That’s reality and he’s smart to see it. The NCAA also does not preclude him from having a hockey career as demonstrated by the large of of guys in the NHL who developed there. This is a “cake and eat it too” deal for the kid – he needs years of development before he’s ready for even the AHL and can work on his degree at the same time. If he’s as smart as he sounds then he accomplish both – and if after a couple of years it looks like the hockey side is really going strong – then he can re-evaluate and go pro..

    He is a long-shot, but still has a plausible shot to having a career in the NHL given his size and tools.

    Playing in the CHL enhances his chances (travel, games, competition) – that is simply the reality.

    There would be nothing preventing him from going to school later if his NHL career didn’t work out.

    That isn’t to suggest he can’t have an NHL career as many players going the NCAA route have carved a career. It’s more of a case of not taking advantage of the resources the CHL has to offer from a hockey development point of view.

  14. FastOil says:

    PunjabiOil:
    Disagree PJO – he’s a longshot and the odds are demonstrably against him having an NHL career of any note. That’s reality and he’s smart to see it. The NCAA also does not preclude him from having a hockey career as demonstrated by the large of of guys in the NHL who developed there. This is a “cake and eat it too” deal for the kid – he needs years of development before he’s ready for even the AHL and can work on his degree at the same time. If he’s as smart as he sounds then he accomplish both – and if after a couple of years it looks like the hockey side is really going strong – then he can re-evaluate and go pro..

    He is a long-shot, but still has a plausible shot to having a career in the NHL given his size and tools.

    Playing in the CHL enhances his chances (travel, games, competition) – that is simply the reality.

    There would be nothing preventing him from going to school later if his NHL career didn’t work out.

    That isn’t to suggest he can’t have an NHL career as many players going the NCAA route have carved a career.It’s more of a case of not taking advantage of the resources the CHL has to offer from a hockey development point of view.

    Good points

    A guy as smart as Khaira can go to school anytime and succeed. He is not close to the NHL however. I respect him keeping a commitment. If he wants hockey as a career first, the CHL was the way to go. Perhaps he needs also to gain confidence, which the college route allows.

    What a hard decision for him. No doubt the family wanted the school route to avoid funding a brain like that thru Uni.

  15. gd says:

    Lots of examples of similar big wingers with similar draft pedigrees making the NHL after going the NCAA route in the last ten years. Backes, Booth, Jackman, Abdelkader, and Ryan Jones represent a good mixture of a type of career we’d love for Khaira. There are also lots of guys who never even made the pros after going the NCAA route including many an Oiler pick whose names I didn’t even recognize.

    My sense is the NCAA route buys some time for a prospect to hopefully more slowly and under less pressure develop his skills and saves the team from making a contract decision until he is older, but for some guys the lack of focus only on hockey hurts them.

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