I was first pointed out the selection bias in the NHL by the writings of Malcolm Gladwell. He noted that more NHL caliber players were born in the first three months of the year than any other three months.
The NHL has had this proven to them where scientists found that from 1980 to 2007 that 36% of the drafted players were born in those first three months and 14.5% of drafted players were born in the final quarter of the year.
The reason for this is clear. When these hockey players start at ages 4 and 5, there is definite differences between them due to those few months. As a result, those that make the rep teams are more likely to be the oldest kids. And those kids get more coaching and work on skills more. As a result, those minor differences add up in the lifetime of a player to make the older players seem more talented.
My suggestion is simple. Canada should institute two hockey systems. One for those with birthdays from January to June. The other league would have the players born from July 1st to December 31st. It’s only fitting that Canada Day will lead to more good Canadian hockey players.
Anyhow, this whole new branch of Canadian hockey should be just as good as the older kids. Perhaps they could officially be drafted half a year later. Everything else being equal, statistics should bear me out and more players from the Canadian system will be NHL caliber.
This has such a long wait time for the talent and the proof of the talent that maybe it will never be instituted. But if not acted on in Canada I wouldn’t be surprised if some smaller country, like say Sweden, enacted this scheme for exactly the same reasons. Expect that country’s adult teams to eventually be more competitive.
I don’t think this will be a hard sell to hockey parents whose kids are born in the latter half of the year. They will want an equal chance to be NHL ready. Every community big enough to field two or more teams of the same age ought to do this.