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High School & Prep Hockey
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Re: Prep Info ?

Do prep schools recruit all there hockey players ?
Varies very much school to school. You also didn't mention if you plan to board your kid. That makes a big difference too, in terms of choosing a school where he might play or not play.

In case you haven't gotten this far yet in your research., the umbrella sports organization in NE is NEPSAC. Within NEPSAC, 16 schools, mostly in MA, make up the ISL.

As I understand it, talking with dads whose kids are legacies, back in the day the ISL schools decided to have two conferences, Keller and Eberhart, and one of the main differences had to do with recruiting - Keller schools would do more recruiting, while players at Eberhart schools were to be the true "student athlete." That has blurred over time, though.

At some schools, the coach has his team "picked" by when the letters go out. Of course some recruited players will be recruited by other schools and not accept. Some kids will switch schools. So there's a small second wave of recruiting after the acceptances are all in. You'll even find that they might recruit a player mid-season to fill a void from injury.

Are the tryouts open to all students.
Yes. But again, you don't make the team at some schools out of tryouts, so he can skate but with no positive potential outcome. The JV kids don't even attend tryouts, for the most part. Other schools, yes, definitely, tryouts (and the equivalent of Captains' Practices) will determine the team.

He is more interested in the academics however does want to play as well.
Then find the right school for your kid's academic goals and learning style. Some schools use a very structured approach, others use more socratic learning. If you have two or three schools that fit that description, then maybe you lean towards the school where his odds of playing Varsity are better.

Keep in mind that the coaches at the better Varsity programs expect 20+ hours a week in season. That's 3 hours a day, seven days a week. So if he is at a public now, meaning the workload is probably higher than he's used to, that's a consideration. If you usually travel during the holidays, you'll want to find out what tournaments they are in, and whether practices are mandatory. I know that was a "discussion" in my house that we needed to be here for Thanksgiving because of hockey.

Great info , thank you , looking to board NH/MASS . Will apply to a couple of schools that he is interested in and go from there I guess . Hopefully it will all work out . Thanks

Re: Prep Info ?

You say your son is more interested in the academics, but you don't say how good a student he is. At the better academic schools, the coaches are very interested in kids that can actually be admitted. That means really good grades and very high test scores. [The better he is as a player, the lower the grades and scores can be within reason.] Go to the school's website--there's usually a link to submit your interest in the school to the hockey coach, where it'll ask his grades, scores,...etc. If your kid looks like a good fit, the coach will probably get back to you pretty quickly.