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While this may have been true in the past, last year was completely different. The "good 'ol boys" network was dismantled and the festival is now run by Paul Pearl, Associate Head Coach at Harvard University. The evaluators are all current college coaches at different levels. You can check them out on the Mass Hockey website. The selections for the Festival are now based on the players' talent, not what select team they played on during the year or who Daddy golfed with. I'm speaking from experience as my son didn't make it to the Festival at all in 2016 and last year made it all the way to the Final 40. He does not play for a high tier/ name brand select team. I watched his "tryouts" at the Edge in Bedford in 2016. Out of the five evaluators with clipboards, only one was occassionally looking at the ice. The others either spent the time on their phones or talking with each other. It was evident that they had their players chosen already. That was not the case in 2017. Also there was no Cunniff Camp in 2017 and I don't believe there is one for the boys in 2018 either.
Why does Mass Hockey have this festival if the NTDP has already made its selections from throughout the country? Rosters were published a week or so ago.
^^^^^^^^^^Because its a money maker for them, and makes about 250 kids feel important.
Heard today a bunch of the better players (at least at the 03 level) cant make it to the festival on Saturday due to lacrosse and baseball. At least 10 players wont be there.
Thanks for the heads up!
How was the first weekend of tryouts?
As expected....plenty of kids that didn't belong and plenty that were good...
Looking for smaller, puck moving D who can jump up into the play and still get back...bye bye big boys with the slow feet.
Agree. A couple questionable ones at every level. One blatant favor at each age group. Typical corrupt MA Hockey. And no, my kid didn’t get cut. He’s on the list...
Take a look through the list and you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you know the 01/02/03 age group players there are a few kids on each team that shouldn’t be there. Clue for you, cross reference brothers and last names of folks who are friends with certain Mass Hockey people. Heck, one kid plays Tier 2 and HS JV....
My son is an 03 and did not make it. I see a lot of the given: Terriers, Eagles, Islanders, Rats which I get, but where are these other kids from? Western Part of the state?
Any surprises with the 03 goalie group
Complete joke and waste of time...
Why bother, they found a reason to keep certain kids off so why give them more money... My kid going in knew he wasn't going to be selected but still did his best on D along with his D partner by completely shutting down all the top forwards in the state and still didn't matter, neither selected to top 40 and it's ok, complaining can only hurt not help the future. Son will try again next year, a bunch of very good players in years past didn't made it through on the first go and did the following year. That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger!
The 03 division was stacked. Some really good players left off the list for this weekend while some really questionable players made it. I would agree with 80% of the players that were picked while there were clearly some better options. All of the goalies were outstanding and games were very competitive. Good first run for this age group.
It's been this way for a very long time and will likely continue as long as Mass Hockey and USA Hockey are run like the hack political organizations that they are. They honestly don't care about individual player development or representing the best possible outcomes. No different than most honestly..
Need to start by taking names off the eval sheets, have all the kids wear the same helmets and pants. Final 40 might look a little different. Also should post all of the evaluations so kids know what they need to work on in the eyes of the experts.
Feedback would be good..."you played well but you were wearing the wrong color pants"
Will be interesting to see if these highly touted 03's become the players their parents have convinced them and others they will be. Connections, opportunity and early puberty will get them in the door, but at some point your game needs to mature to stay on the ice.
Yes, other than Hughes, they have a long way to go.
If Terriers coaches kid makes it MA Hockey is a sham, joke, complete waste of time!
Guaranteed to be more red pants that make it then should.
Final 15 and goalies invites are in at 03....Legit? or you guys still think it's a joke?
Best of luck to this group...it is really as expected...
But it proves the old "if you are good enough, they will find you" completely false.
There were 10+ better kids in the group of 80 that were ignored because they were unknown and weren't wearing the right color pants.
I watched the first 2 games of each of the 03 teams, here are my notes:
White had 2 forwards that should have made the top 40 and didn't. #18 and #13
Orange had 2 that should have made it : #13 and #12
Black had 1 that should have made it: #9
Blue got it right
So I don't think they were that far off but I do believe these 5 were more deserving than some that were picked. What do I know, I have only been evaluating hockey players for 23 years. It was nice being able to catch these games during the USPHL showcase, kill 2 birds.
Good luck to all that participated in the Festival, Final 40 and moving onto Camp.
13 of the 17 kids are from two teams. 16 of 17 are from three teams. The pant comment isn't completely unfair though every kid on the final list is deserving and can really play. Last time I checked there are tons of teams around here and some kids don't go to those three teams for a variety of reasons (playing time/the dreaded daddy coach, logistics, developed later when these teams were largely full...) and two of those three teams didn't exactly kill everyone they played this year. I think its a higher hurdle for certain players/everyone knows there are favors being done at these things. A handful of kids were shocking to see at the top 80 level and even at the top 40 level. Its a strong age group so it wasn't an easy task for these guys.
What possible reason would the Asst Coach at Harvard and other D1 Assistants have to put their reputation on the line, give up their weekends to assess the kids and then not pick the kids they thought had the best chance to succeed at the next level? PP took the job over because there were questions in the past about who was being sent. These guys want kids from this area to be selected into the NTDP program. That reflects well on their abilities to assess talent.
It is true that two club teams had 10 kids of the total, but those teams were number 1 and 2 in the state and have been attracting the best kids to their programs for the past five plus years because of their success.
Right...shhhh...there is no politics in MA hockey at all...
The 2003 group is the first group under PP's leadership of the program. Let's see how they do.
There are also 2 MA kids who were just picked for the NTDP 2002 team.
Does any of this really matter? Does your kid really want to leave home and move to Michigan? It was a good weekend of hockey but nobody should feel heartbroken if the didn't make it. I think the saying goes "Politics beats talent when talent doesn't have Politics" something like that. Although, I was very surprised that not 1 of coaches sons made it to camp. It is a strong 03 group being sent and I hope they do well.
Is this the best ma hockey can offer? Disappointed to say the least. Hope there are some Diamonds in the ruff next weekend. Should have gone to lax instead.
HNIB/Festival a total embarrassment
What does HNIB have to do with the festival tryouts this weekend? Thought it was Mass hockey?
Anyone know the format of the tryout? Small area games or full scrimmage? Kid is starting to ask questions about this weekend just trying to calm the nerves.
When will the selections be posted
03 and 01 levels look very strong