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If a kid is strong decent size, A "smart" player that keeps head up, skilled enough and assuming the coach will use him in situations that are fitting, why hold him back. Yes there's a chance he could get hurt but there's a chance they can all get hurt. What a about those kids that didn't even start playing hockey till 7th or 8th grade and then get on a HS team skating with head down and don't know the game. That's an even worse scenario! I'de rather see a skilled 8th grader with good hockey sense out there.
I have no idea what school your kid goes to but "What a about those kids that didn't even start playing hockey till 7th or 8th grade and then get on a HS team skating with head down" doesn't happen at our H.S. Kids that start in the 2nd or 3rd grade are late bloomers for most average to good teams.
sounds like a great team to be on.