Old school thinking of "if they want you, they will call you" died a long time ago.
I would start with your kid's current coach and director of the organization. Ask them which contacts would make sense, often they have some ties to coaches who have taken players from them previously or other guys involved in college hockey whom they have played with in college.
"The kids who get college deals tend to play on top teams." Is about right. And 'top teams' often refers to the teams associated with past NHL and D-I players and their kids. Scouts love hanging around their local hockey heroes and go way out of their way to watch their little soon to be NHL prodigy play or watch the dad on the bench throw water bottles and yell at the refs. Ask 'scout' Jeff Cox who's games he takes in and who's kids he always writes glowing reports about.
"But the reality is that if they are not reaching out to you via advisors/agents/high school coach, then your kid probably doesn't project to be a player they are interested in." Not to worry. Especially if your kid is a defensemen as they have no idea how the kid is going to pan-out in 4-5 years. If the kid is driven, better than average, loves the game, has a singular focus on playing college hockey and is a plus plus skater then college hockey isn't an unreachable dream. If he has all that then he has to do is grow.
It's not dead really. If your kid is good they will know. Hockey in NE is a small world. It's very easy for coaches to reach out to a number of sources and compile a list of potential players. They know who the players are at each age group. Then they will go watch the festival, beantown etc to get viewings. If your kid isn't there and able to compete at that level, it won't matter how many phone calls you or your contacts put in.
Your kid should be putting all of his energy into getting better as a player and getting to the most scouted events. If he does then the recruiting will start to take care of itself.
That whole post is a load of old school false assumptions. "If your kid is good they will know" is THE most laughable, overused cliche in hockey. Everything about hockey disproves this stupid old saying. Like how and why parents work the PR channels, why there are such things as family advisers, why just being on the wrong team can get you overlooked...forever and a million other things.
My son played with a kid who was a defensemen a few years ago, didn't get a regular shift on his D-1 public school team until his senior year, played in all of the tournaments shutting down prep and D-1 committed players, went to the local college combines without one college coach reaching out to him, has the local writer / 'scout' merely mention 'oh he's a good transitional skater' as he has his nose up every kid's behind if the kid's dad played in the NHL and on a whim the kid went out to the Midwest and skated for two USHL coaches and both coaches were all over him and said, "Where have you been?" at the age of 18.
Yeah, "If your kid is good they will know" :mega:
Great story. I like stories. So a kid who wasn't good enough to play public HS hockey until his senior year in HS is now a USHL player and a D1 prospect. Yeah, ok. So what's the kids name?
I know the kid's name and I know his parents. He burned out, had enough and went straight to a good college where he is doing quite well. But your 'they will find you' is foolishness. The high school coach had no idea what he had and played a connected underclassman defensemen in front of the kid and the little kid got run-over (who is now playing D-1 college hockey...not very well but connected is the word). They don't 'find you' as they barely look outside of a handful of teams and in most cases the kid needs to be almost packaged and delivered to the colleges. The old days they could scout around the Metro league and see little kids and how they move along, now they are spread far & wide.
Ok now I get it. It’s your kid, not a friends. And sorry but your kid is not as good as you think he is or was. Sorry but college coaches don’t jeapodize winning and their careers for lesser players whose parents work the system. College coaches are not everywhere but they go to places where their network tells them to go. They hear from HS and junior coaches, advisors, agents who are everywhere. They say hey you need to go see this kid. Or the kid that’s good enough and goes to the festival or beantown which is scouted by everybody. The truth is if your kid is good enough, there is actually no place to hide.
My kid is 12. Been asked to play in numerous spring/summer hockey tourneys. Did a few, said no to most. Some of the ones he turned down I had to do a doubletake because if it was me I'd force him to do it, but then I realize it is not about me. Plays spring sports, and good at the sports. Loves hockey more than anything, works on his shooting in the driveway, rollerblades, will do summer hockey skills, while playing baseball all summer. All his choices. The running around takes a toll on my wife and I, but we gladly do it because HE WANTS to do it. If I thought for a minute he was soured on anything, bam its over. And FYI I had my moments as a kid playing sports, so I am not living vicariously through him. I just expect him to put the effort in. He does and all is good. SO you all need to chill out and focus on what the kid wants. If he decides to smoke weed and chase the girls, then that is a tell sign that he is not the athlete you pictured him to be. To each their own. :wink:
"...coaches don’t jeopardize winning and their careers for lesser players whose parents work the system."
Coaches wont' do anything to jeopardize winning but they will and do give nods to "lesser players" who (and their parents) work the system. The most obvious one is giving spots to younger brothers who are not as good in-order to land the older brother. So, Player A is a top prospect and his brother, Player B is a very good player but not a legit prospect yet both players end up on a DI squad. Player B may never see the ice but he'll get a letter and (if the coach has anything in the budget) some $$. If you follow NCAA hockey you've seen it happen many times.
Also, working the system does help with visibility and may get a kid somewhere.
True Story: A decent goalie (a rising senior) I know got no DI offers but could have played DIII at several places. He was accepted at his dream hockey school and chose to attend. He e-mailed the coach and asked to have a "walk on" try-out. He tried out and didn't make the team but made himself known to the coach. He e-mailed the coach asking "what can I do to improve" and all that drivel his parents advised him to say. He tried out again next season didn't make it. Again, more e-mails and a stronger relationship with coach. He tried out again and didn't make it but during the course of the season he was pulled up to practice with the team a few times and made a splash in the schools club program (DII national bound). Well this fall the coach e-mailed him and offered him a spot on the team. No $$, No playing time guaranteed (3rd goalie), but he got his dream of being a DI player and all the perks that come with it (Varsity gym privileges, flexible schedule, a letter, free team/school swag ect...).
So one kid (who may never play a minute) used "the system" to land a spot and live his dream.
OP here. Thanks for all the stories about some tall D-man. My kid decided to reach out to some schools, and has actually received 2 responses, both asking where he will be this summer, but its a start.
Good luck. You need to stay in front of them because if you don't do it 20-30 others will.