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There are basically 3 ways to get to the USHL from New England since the teams in the USHL really don't scout here: (1) have an announced college commitment, (2) make a National Development Camp, and/or (3) have the right last name.
The USHL combines and camps are all complete money grabs. Here's a true thing to keep in mind--all of the kids at the combines have been pre-ranked and their jersey numbers reflect that ranking. The lower numbers correspond to the higher rankings. If you look at the draft results you'll see that of the very few kids who attended a combine, only the highest ranking kids (lowest jersey numbers) are selected. You'll also see that pretty much all of those kids come from Michigan or Minnesota since that is where the USHL scouts live and that is where they scout. All of the kids from those areas have been seen multiple times and didn't even need to go to the Combine anyhow. Since NE kids have mostly never been seen before the combine they all get high jersey numbers and, outside of the 3 categories above, never get picked in the draft no matter how well they do because the team scouts generally leave after the first day anyhow and aren't going to draft your kid based on one viewing unless he's a complete stud, in which case he's in category 1 or 2 above anyhow.
Not to any appreciable degree. USHL teams are at all the games in the top Midwest leagues. You might see a couple at the Flood Marr, but that's about it.
No team has the resources/staff to scout all over North America so they use local guys to help create a short list of players that they go see when they can. New England is no different.
Holy smokes! Why do people that don't know how the league works insist on showing their ignorance?
Who said anything about a "no name kid from NE?" What is that, anyway? If your kid is a USHL caliber player, he has contacts that will make a call on his behalf. Boom! No longer a "no name."
I personally know three players from here that were drafted that are not committed, not family and didn't attend development camps.
The first USHL draft is at age 15, and kids from NE DO get drafted. And at 16. And at 17. It's about becoming an affiliate for the drafted players, not about making a roster.
I think I saw this week that there were 25 16 year olds on USHL active rosters this past season. Including two from NE that I'm aware of. I'm sure it was a pretty large number of 17 year olds.
And, it's rare for a 20 year old "rookie" to make a USHL roster. I'm sure it happens, but it's probably rarer than a 16 year old.
You'd better be looking to make an impression - in person - at 17, 18 at the latest.
I've got an 04 who we decided that it wasn't worth playing in T1 Silver division and went back to town hockey. He received 3 Futures Camp invites to 3 different teams. His only future in hockey is the bench on his HS team but he loves the game. Not judging what anyone does, as my youngest is the exact opposite and I know how easy it is to get caught up in the hype, just passing along the info. Perfect example of data mining and email bursting to get more "futures" to the camp.
Most camps are predominantly fund raisers. That's just the fact of the matter. Juniors of all levels and now even the NCAA camps primarily serve to supplement coaches incomes, travel/recruiting budgets etc.
If you want your kid to go and see what it's like then go. Just don't think he's going to be "discovered". He will be discovered racking up points in prep, racking up points in fall midget hockey, getting invited to and doing well at USA hockey development camp. If he's not doing those things, and he hasn't been drafted or been contacted by colleges, then he's just not good enough and no camp is going to change that.
Most camps have 150+ players at them. Multiply that by the number of teams out there. There simply are not that many high end hockey players out there but it keeps the dream alive and many kids, especially for main camps, go from one to the next each summer. USHL teams are typically looking for 7-10 players each year, most of those slots will be filled by affiliate players or those coming from junor a.
Everyone is getting this spam.
Got one from the STEEL 3 weeks ago.
Got this one from the Austin Bruins: "Want to be playing in the North American Hockey League? The Austin Bruins want to offer you an EXCLUSIVE invitation to attend our 2017 Futures Camp for prospective players and goalies born between 2002 and 2004."
Our Invitation to You
Got this one a month ago:
Hello again future prospect of the USHL and parents,
This is our last email to remind you of our 2017 Futures Camp and Goalie Camp this upcoming summer at Young Arena in Waterloo, Iowa. The deadline to register for our camps is June 1st but they will fill up before then. If you are planning to attend, get your registrations in as quickly as possible.
July 27-30 | 2002 Birth Year - 90% FULL
Only a handful of player spots remain. If you are a Forward, please sign up and take advantage of this opportunity! Defense and Goalie spots are full but we will accept waiting list requests.
August 3-6 | 2003/2004 Birth Year - 95% FULL
Only 3 forward spots remain and a handful of goalie openings. Defense spots are full but we will accept waiting list requests.
August 13-16 | Goalie Camp Only - only 1 spot remains out of 63! Register now and save the final spot before it's closed out. *If birth age appropriate, participants can register for the 2003/04 camp as a Goalie.
Register now based on your birth year using the links below.
Kid in our town played D-I high school hockey two years ago and was probably the best defensemen in high school hockey locally. He skated where one of the USHL scouts works on occasion and went to their combines. Kid finished high school and went out to the midwest over the summer and attended a hockey camp put on by a couple USHL coaches. Both coaches wanted the kid as an 18 year old and said to his dad, "where has this kid been?" Funny he was skating right under a scout's nose for 2-3 years and the teams never heard of the kid. But you can fall into it if you're good and have some size.
Here you go. Safe travels http://www.ushl.com/page/show/1209138-team-tryouts