But there's an angle that provide on The Pipeline Show that doesn't get touched on by our American based counterparts, and understandably so; the Canadian perspective.
Roughly 25-30% of NCAA players are Canadian and that's one of the major reasons why college hockey is a focus for us on the radio show. Not only do Canadians play college hockey but they do it well. The list of former Canadian NCAA players in the NHL and in pro leagues around the world is as extensive as it is impressive. And more are on the way.
The following are my picks for the 2012-13 All Canadian NCAA Teams.
I've selected two teams, 12 players representing 7 different schools and 3 NCAA conferences.
|Photo: Emily Green / UND Athletics
Alex Guptill (Michigan) - The Wolverines appear set for another strong season and one of the popular choices as to why in college hockey circles is this sophomore from Ontario. Guptill had 16 goals and 33 points as a freshman under coach Red Berenson last year. The 6'3, 185 lb forward hails from Newmarket, ON. Drafted by Dallas, 3rd round, 2010.
Connor Jones (Quinnipiac) - One half of the offensively dynamic twin punch of the Bobcats, Connor is coming off a 41-points season as the top scorer at Quinnipiac. The natural question would be why Connor and not brother Kellen, the 2010 7th round draft choice of the Edmonton Oilers. Connor has outscored his brother every year since 2007-08 and even that season he played 10 fewer games for the BCHL's Vernon Vipers and was just 7 points behind. Unrestricted Free Agent.
|Photo: ECAC Hockey
Joey LaLeggia (Denver) - The diminutive Burnaby, BC product notched 38 points as a freshman last season, third highest for defencemen in NCAA hockey. Although undrafted in his first year of eligibility, that wasn't the case after proving that his BCHL stats could translate to the college game against bigger, stronger and faster opposition. It's not out of the realm of possibility that LaLeggia could lead the Pioneers in scoring and collect a ton of WCHA hardware along the way. Drafted by Edmonton, 5th round, 2012.
|Photo: College Hockey Inc.
Daniel Carr (Union) - A Frozen Four appearance last season for the Dutchmen has many picking Union for a strong follow up campaign this year. Carr is a Sherwood Park, Alberta product that has had back-to-back 20-goal seasons through his first two collegiate years. Can the 6'0, 195 lb winger lead the Dutchmen back to a Conference title and to Pittsburgh next April? Unrestricted Free Agent.
Matthew Peca (Quinnipiac) - He may only be 5'9 and 165 lbs but Peca packs an offensive punch. Playing for Quinnipiac was the fallback plan after not being granted a move to the QMJHL's Quebec Remparts last year but it doesn't appear to have affected his development. Peca finished second only to Conner Jones in scoring for the Bobcats and will look to improve on his point per game debut now that he is a sophomore. Drafted by Tampa Bay, 7th round, 2011.
|Photo: Kory Wallen / UND Sports
Andrew MacWilliam (North Dakota) - Speaking of leadership from the UND blueline, the captain of the former Fighting Sioux is the senior from Calgary. The big stay at home rearguard should anchor a strong club in a very difficult WCHA conference this year. At 6'2 and 230 lbs, MacWilliam is physically ready for the next level but will hone his all around game for one more year in college. Drafted by Toronto, 7th round, 2008.
|Photo: Associated Press