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Pucks and PR

Because hockey is more than just a game

Quite honestly, I just wanted an excuse to post this video. Thanks to several Twitter posts from sources such as BizNasty and Yahoo’s Puck Daddy, many in the hockey community will now know the name Eliezer Sherbatov.

Much like past YouTube sensations such as Linus Omark and Tomas Jurco, Sherbatov will definitely earn brownie points with fans, if nothing else.

In a sport where prospects essentially have to market themselves to scouts, it never hurts to have a little extra exposure. So long as they don’t get labeled as nothing more than a YouTube player.

The big benefactor in all this is the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). As a member of the CHL, the QMJHL has a tendency to get lost in the mix when compared to its fellow CHL member leageus – the OHL and WHL.

Despite a history of elite prospects, which include Mario Lemieux, Patrick Roy and Sidney Crosby, the QMJHL is seen as playing second fiddle to the OHL and WHL. A lot of that could result from geographical location, with the OHL and WHL having teams located in higher populated regions, which results in more coverage.

Some contend the league is seen as too soft when compared to the other major junior leagues.

Whatever the case, more exposure will never hurt. Goals like Sherbatov’s really creates an audience. In no time a player who had six points in 21 games with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, is the talk of the hockey world. And despite being scored at an international tournament, the QMJHL continues to be referenced in discussions of the goal.

Similarly, Nathan MacKinnon, who was recently acquired by my hometown Halifax Mooseheads for two roster players and three first round picks, was the talk of Twitter-verse with his highlight reel goal from the World Under 17  tournament.

In MacKinnon’s case though, he is drawing comparisons to fellow Cole Harbourite Sidney Crosby. And yet, Sherbatov’s goal will get just as much or more online publicity. With mediums like YouTube, it isn’t who you are, it’s what you do.

The YouTube generation runs on videos like these. Hockey fans can spend hours watching amazing goals, incredible fights and bizarre moments from almost any hockey league in the world.

The QMJHL can be thankful for the number of players they have with starring roles in social media. So long as the videos stay positive, and incidents like Jonathan Roy’s are kept to a minimum, the QMJHL should be able to gain more acknowledgment for their NHL prospect development in the major junior world.

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