Originally Posted by CatatonicMoose
Unless it's the NHL......... That's the only league he could play in.
But the IHL, CHL, ECHL etc falls under the same rules as the AHL.
For junior age players, drafted out of the Canadian Hockey League it's QMJHL or NHL until they're 20.
That only applies while the CHL team's season is still going on. When their junior season is over, players under 20 can go to the AHL. Bobby Sanguinetti did it in 06-07 and went to the Wolfpack after his season with Brampton was over. Nick Palmieri did it on 07-08 also. He finished his season in Belleville and went to Lowell to finish their season. Both players returned to the OHL the next season.
The IHL also usually only takes undrafted players, they're not affiliated officially with the NHL, so even if a team wanted their drafted player to play somewhere below the AHL after their junior season, they'd more than likely find them a spot in the ECHL.