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Exactly! Excellent advice. You must be another one of those internet lawyers.
If a player is looking to possibly move up in the hockey ranks, DO NOT SIGN an NCDC contract. And any player worth his salt is looking to move up in the ranks.
But on the other hand, if realistically the DIIIs are stretch schools hockeywise, and odds are the player will be lucky to make a good college ACHA club hockey team, the "tuition free" NCDC is a dream come true. If a player is merely looking to occupy a roster spot - and not advance - in that case, a player should lock in, and SIGN an NCDC contract.
In the NAHL players can leave and go to other leagues without paying the team anything. However USA Hockey has agreements in place that if they go to another league the teams work out compensation. For instance a player can just leave a team and play for say the EHL but the NAHL team must give the player his release (which they usually but not always do) or work out a trade with other team. But can't just leave one USA hockey team and go to another USA hockey team. Same for ushl. But there is no financial penalty for player as in both leagues there is no actual "contract" signed as it is free to play. Player is simply put on a USA hockey protected list.
They are only the same technically in that they fund by taxing others. The concept is the same, but in practice there is no comparison.
And watch out for the grammar dbag. He'll be coming for you.