Canadian Major Junior Hockey League They begin recruiting kids as early as 14 and once a player heads north for Major Juniors, as opposed to Junior A or Junior B in Canada, they lose their NCAA eligibility. It is one of the many reasons D-I coaches use for having to recruit kids so early.
Guys, just remember there's a big difference between the Canadian Major Junior Hockey Leagues (CHL) and Canadian Junior Hockey Leagues (BCHL, AJHL, OJHL, etc.). Canadian Junior Hockey Leagues keep their college hockey eligibility. The CHL does not.
If you look around, a lot of very experienced hockey people don't bother pursuing a commitment or accepting one for their own kid(s). Agree it only puts a target on a kid and most agreements are pretty meaningless. And who hows what college is a good fit for a 12 year old...heck, we still weighing offers for our daughter and she needs to sign by May 1st of this year!