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Re: MA Div1 or Prep

anon
In recent years many kids jump from D-1 public to prep after their sophomore season at a public. They do a repeat year and give the coach his three seasons. This is rapidly changing as the draw of prep hockey is waning.

First, prep hockey isn't 'all that' anymore. Go to the summer tournaments and you tell me. The full season players, prep, C.C. players, top public kids...you can only tell the difference by the stickers on their helmets.

Next, coaches aren't too interested in seeing your 19 year old prep player beatdown a 15 year old who hasn't hit puberty yet. It tells them nothing.

Next, parents are now doing more math. The cost benefit of prep school for a hockey player in today's world is highly questionable. (And spare me - "Oh it's the education...it's the education..." because if it was all about the education your kid wouldn't have time to play a serious sport, he would be in the library and not the rink). The cost benefit for an academically motivated student is much different, obviously.

Next, the kid will be playing juniors anyway he might as well get with the program now. If he is a stud he will play in the Midwest, if he wants to go D-3 or you beleive he is a late bloomer he will play juniors locally. Get to know the coaches, get to know the grind, decide if he wants to go through with it.

So just 4-5 years ago you still saw kids jumping to prep but it appears the trend now favors jumping to full season teams and directly to junior teams. The $8,000 - $12,000 cost is much more favorable and the exposure is better.

Good luck


I agree to a point..If your going to spend the 12K (Tuition, Travel, etc.) Why not spend 15K, get a good education and decent hockey at Prep?

Re: MA Div1 or Prep

Better exposure, not playing against kids, get into the junior system, better hockey, don't want to repeat a year, maybe public school is challenging enough,. . .

Re: MA Div1 or Prep

anon
In recent years many kids jump from D-1 public to prep after their sophomore season at a public. They do a repeat year and give the coach his three seasons. This is rapidly changing as the draw of prep hockey is waning.

First, prep hockey isn't 'all that' anymore. Go to the summer tournaments and you tell me. The full season players, prep, C.C. players, top public kids...you can only tell the difference by the stickers on their helmets.

Next, coaches aren't too interested in seeing your 19 year old prep player beatdown a 15 year old who hasn't hit puberty yet. It tells them nothing.

Next, parents are now doing more math. The cost benefit of prep school for a hockey player in today's world is highly questionable. (And spare me - "Oh it's the education...it's the education..." because if it was all about the education your kid wouldn't have time to play a serious sport, he would be in the library and not the rink). The cost benefit for an academically motivated student is much different, obviously.

Next, the kid will be playing juniors anyway he might as well get with the program now. If he is a stud he will play in the Midwest, if he wants to go D-3 or you beleive he is a late bloomer he will play juniors locally. Get to know the coaches, get to know the grind, decide if he wants to go through with it.

So just 4-5 years ago you still saw kids jumping to prep but it appears the trend now favors jumping to full season teams and directly to junior teams. The $8,000 - $12,000 cost is much more favorable and the exposure is better.

Good luck
I agree with most of your post. You lost me on the education part. If you don't have a kid in Prep school, you're talking out of your ass. Not a good look.

ALL Prep students - athletes, artists, the fat kid with the bad complexion - are ALL required to "play" a sport each season. In some cases, they are satisfying the requirement through non-athletic extracurriculars, like supporting the arts, or being a team manager. But, they all make the same time commitment. Every one of them.

The difference between the Varsity hockey player and the Varsity hockey team manager is the player is in the gym at 6:30, instead of sleeping until 7:45 to make an 8:00 class. That's it. They are in the same classes, they have the same homework load, they are getting the same education.

Now, some take dumbed down classes, but so do non-athletes. And that's a choice each kid makes.

I was talking to a freshman parent/co-worker this week, and what his daughter learned - she is Straight A's, into arts, not sports - is that she was not using her free blocks to get her work done. So, by the time she got done with classes, play rehearsals, dinner at school, took the bus home, and got to her homework, she was busy until midnight. So, she has had to adapt her approach, by learning that a "free block" isn't free, it's time to get work done.

The same lesson the athlete learns.

And, that's why colleges prefer prep student athletes. They already know how to balance academics and athletics. They are better at time management. They are better PREPared for college.

Is that better PREParatory education worth the extra money? That depends on the individual family, and their financial situation.

But, don't pretend for a second that the education isn't, on average, better. It is. Just like I'm not going to pretend that the education at some public HSs isn't better than some Preps. It is, too.

Re: MA Div1 or Prep

anon
In recent years many kids jump from D-1 public to prep after their sophomore season at a public. They do a repeat year and give the coach his three seasons. This is rapidly changing as the draw of prep hockey is waning.

First, prep hockey isn't 'all that' anymore. Go to the summer tournaments and you tell me. The full season players, prep, C.C. players, top public kids...you can only tell the difference by the stickers on their helmets.

Next, coaches aren't too interested in seeing your 19 year old prep player beatdown a 15 year old who hasn't hit puberty yet. It tells them nothing.

Next, parents are now doing more math. The cost benefit of prep school for a hockey player in today's world is highly questionable. (And spare me - "Oh it's the education...it's the education..." because if it was all about the education your kid wouldn't have time to play a serious sport, he would be in the library and not the rink). The cost benefit for an academically motivated student is much different, obviously.

Next, the kid will be playing juniors anyway he might as well get with the program now. If he is a stud he will play in the Midwest, if he wants to go D-3 or you beleive he is a late bloomer he will play juniors locally. Get to know the coaches, get to know the grind, decide if he wants to go through with it.

So just 4-5 years ago you still saw kids jumping to prep but it appears the trend now favors jumping to full season teams and directly to junior teams. The $8,000 - $12,000 cost is much more favorable and the exposure is better.

Good luck

Some good info in this post, but I can't help but think it was authored by someone with some skin in the USPHL. My advice to people would be to seek input from a wide range of people with varying interests and perspectives, then make your decision based on all of the information you have gathered. And good luck to all the New England boys striving to reach their full potential on the ice. We should be rooting for all of them.

Re: MA Div1 or Prep

No, no I currently have no skin in the game. I agree with a couple of your points. Yes, each kid and each situation is different and yes, we should be pulling for all of the local kids.

My experience is like this. I watched a handful of years ago when my son's D-1 high school team had a few high-end players. They lit it up and the parents were convinced by outsiders that the only way to go was prep. A couple boys made the jump, stayed back a year, help the prep school win a championship and then as 19 year old graduates...nothing. The boys had to scramble to find interest and both ended-up entering D-3 schools to play hockey. Recently I talked to one of the parents and he agreed that during his kid's time in prep school things changed. The local juniors route became a lot more attractive, cheaper than prep and no need to burn a year....and he has regrets this wasn't as available a few years earlier. And I think this is why you have seen a rapid talent drain from the prep schools as others see what has happened.

I think if the kid is very motivated in the classroom and he doesn't have to stay back a year I'd say prep is a great way to go. If it's all about hockey, then I would do everything possible to make it in Junior hockey and preferably in the Midwest or Canada and roll the dice on the education. Some kids aren't suited for rigorous academics...or academics much at all.

Re: MA Div1 or Prep

What about those without Div I aspirations - hoping to land at a highly academic Div III school - what's the best route?

Re: MA Div1 or Prep

Wrong on several points.

As previously stated, you need to look at the top 20 prep schools. Those are the schools that get most of the attention, although there are outstanding players (D1 commits & future D1/D3 players) scattered throughout the top half of the prep rankings. I can guarantee you that the top 3 lines on those teams are better than almost every public player and the vast majority of catholic players. There are exceptions, but they are few.

A good rule of thumb - top 1-2 players from a D1 tournament-qualified public high school team = top 5 players from a tournament qualified CC team = top 15 players on a top tier prep school team.

As far as summer tournaments are concerned, check out the rosters for the only summer tournament that really matters, the Summer Beantown. There are more prep than junior players, and the junior players tend to be older than the prep players. Fact.

As far as 19 year olds playing against 15 year olds, that very rarely happens. Out of the 24 teams (roughly 480 players) that made the prep tournaments this year, there were 6 players (1.3%) born in 2002. Not an issue.

Yes, prep is more expensive than juniors, but despite what this poster said, the education piece is a big deal. Unless your kid is a stud or you don't care where he goes to college then the education piece is important. And many junior programs require players to miss a substantial amount of school time for hockey. Not good.

I am not saying juniors or full season is not a good option - it certainly is for some people. But the narrative that "the draw of prep hockey is waning" is simply not true. You just need to choose your prep team wisely. Good luck!

Re: MA Div1 or Prep

10 out of the 46 players invited to this years NTDP evaluation camp played in the New England Prep league this season, Mass Catholics 0

Re: MA Div1 or Prep

anon
Prep coaches ideally want a player for three years. And, not all "prep" is good. Lots of prep schools have bad hockey. Focus on Keller Division ISL schools, Founders Div in CT second, top Eberhart schools like Rivers third. Beyond that, the hockey drops off fast.

Founders League is the best Prep School League hands down.

Re: MA Div1 or Prep

There are also NEPSIHA Independent schools like Gunnery, Dexter, Andover, Winchendon, and Exeter. They get to schedule games against any school they like, and they tend to have very strong schedules. They can choose to play against top Lakes teams, like Kimball Union, then play in strong holiday tournaments (St. Sebs) vs. top ISL teams.

The independent teams listed above have multiple college commits.

Re: MA Div1 or Prep

Anon
There are also NEPSIHA Independent schools like Gunnery, Dexter, Andover, Winchendon, and Exeter. They get to schedule games against any school they like, and they tend to have very strong schedules. They can choose to play against top Lakes teams, like Kimball Union, then play in strong holiday tournaments (St. Sebs) vs. top ISL teams.

The independent teams listed above have multiple college commits.


They are all strong. Some years certain teams are stronger than others. All and all strong hockey.

Founders actually had an off year

Re: MA Div1 or Prep

anon
anon
Prep coaches ideally want a player for three years. And, not all "prep" is good. Lots of prep schools have bad hockey. Focus on Keller Division ISL schools, Founders Div in CT second, top Eberhart schools like Rivers third. Beyond that, the hockey drops off fast.

Founders League is the best Prep School League hands down.
This either Jeff Cox or someone that is channeling Jeff Cox.

Down year is putting it mildly. Three teams in the tournament.

Re: MA Div1 or Prep

anon
anon
anon
Prep coaches ideally want a player for three years. And, not all "prep" is good. Lots of prep schools have bad hockey. Focus on Keller Division ISL schools, Founders Div in CT second, top Eberhart schools like Rivers third. Beyond that, the hockey drops off fast.

Founders League is the best Prep School League hands down.
This either Jeff Cox or someone that is channeling Jeff Cox.

Down year is putting it mildly. Three teams in the tournament.


ROFLMAO I don't even think he actually ever goes to any games!!

Re: MA Div1 or Prep

He only loves little danglers. A couple years ago the top defense in H.S. Hockey and he had no idea who he was...