NCAA is about winning and making money. If your kid is good enough, he has leverage and can play at 18 with a 4/4. If he's not, he gets jerked around, pushed out and or cut to make room for next years superstar.
Welcome to life.
Moan and groan all you want about how unfair it is but all your really saying is my kids not good enough.
The whining from hockey parents about how you can no longer control the outcome for your kids is so amusing.
So your saying that a kid who has played HS hockey as a senior in Massachusetts has absolutely no chance to play D3 hockey-i can think of a number of examples the last 5-7 years that would refute your claim, including a number from the town that I live in which plays D2 HS (had been D3).
I can't think of any other NCAA sport that routinely shelves players (go play juniors for a few) without burning eligibility the way hockey does. The only applicable example in other sports that I can quickly think of is JUCO for football, baseball, hockey and unless the rules have changed (which is always possible) the time a player is enrolled in JUCO starts his 5 year clock ticking. So at least in that regards, hockey is the worst.
Make commitments binding from both sides and put an upper age limit as to what a 4th year player can play at in college (23?). Away with the 13 year old 'commits' long before anyone knows if they can play, away with the repeat kids doing two years of juniors and showing up on campus as a bearded 21 year old, enough of 'committing' when it means nothing, away with spots being pulled at the last minute because a team over committed to kids...you sign them and you're on the hook for at least X% of 4 years of college...