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OP and second responder (11:12) - at what age were you approached by the prep coaches (or after which grade), and was it completely unsolicited? Or did your sons attend a camp or have previous conversations with connected people?
Some coaches get out and scout, few have the time to take in all that much so they leverage tournaments, giving talks to AAA teams that coaches set up for them, or simply emailing coaches for contacts of good players who might be seeking Prep as an option.
Don't get all that giddy or disappointed if your kid has or has not been recruited. It's not college and there are no scholarships. These schools have college like campuses with very small student bodies so they need kids to pay tuition. They have their formulas for the mix of kids that pay full v. get need based aid so if you think a headmaster is going to go before their BOD saying he has blown the FA budget on hockey players to eek out a few more wins your crazy.
I can give you this advice from the few kids I have coached that have gone onto private HS or preps. 99% of the conversations went exactly like this
School/Coach: "would your kid be interested in coming to _________ to play hockey ? "
Parents: "yes, but we cant afford that for high school !"
School/Coach: "well, what do you think you could afford ? "
Parents " Probably around(insert low ball offer here) or we were paying $4000 for private middle school "
School/Coach: "SO you would play for 4k ?"
School/Coach : "He's in"
Parents to each other: "****, we should have said 2k"