The 2011 NHL Entry Draft had an international flair, led by three Swedes in the first six picks. Overall, 32.4% of all draft choices were of European descent. Below is a breakdown of all of the selections by country of origin, via Wikipedia:
As countries like Switzerland and Denmark continue to build on international hockey success, it's likely that the number of drafted players will begin to rise slowly, eroding the North American percentage. After the jump I'll look at the latest IIHF rankings, released after the World Championships.
The explanation of the rankings criteria can be found here. The methodology only uses five tournaments to complete the ranking:
The IIHF World Ranking is based on awarding points for the final positions in the last four IIHF World Championships and in the last Olympic Ice Hockey Tournament.
|47||United Arab Emirates||165||NA|
|48||Bosnia and Herzegovina||50||-1|
Canada slides three spots to number 4, while Finland rises to the second spot on the strength of their World Championship win.
Great Britain has risen from 25th a year ago to 21st today. Star goaltender Ben Bowns should backstop the British team for a number of years and has a chance to carry the team a couple of slots higher.
It's a bit of a surprise to see both Germany and Norway surpass Slovakia, but Slovakia was missing a number of their best players due to the NHL playoffs.
The Chinese have slipped 10 spots in a little over a year.