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High School & Prep Hockey
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Re: High school hockey - has it changed?

It\\\'s a fairly accurate assessment IMHO.

The big thing for me is that most teams lack any kind of offensive imagination or coaching. It\\\'s carry with your top guys or dump it with your 3rd liners. Same for breakouts. Most just chuck it out and hope for the best in the NZ.

Skating and pace is probably better, which makes sense, cause i think we\\\'re developing skaters not hockey players. Passing and catching is poor and a reflection of the lack of emphasis and development in this area. Don\\\'t see many passing coaches out there..

The hitting has become downright stupid. Lots of kids not looking to make plays (because they probably can\\\'t) and just out there taking runs every shift to either impress their meathead coach or dummies in the stands. If seen kids skate right past loose pucks just to launch into another player while the play moves down the ice. Atta Boy! Play the body.. Wonder why we don\\\'t develop and keep \\\"Hockey Players\\\" at the MIAA level? Skilled ones leave and you\\\'re left with football and Lax players throwing elbows and head shots on a Saturday night for the locals.
Agree with this 100% - especially regarding skills - almost totally lost. Yes, the meaningless hitting is prevalent too - much of this stems from poor coaching at the HS level - especially in the Merrimack Valley Conference with D2 players as well. Some of these coaches have been hanging on too long, and new blood is needed to help these boys learn and play a better game.
I honestly don't blame the HS coaches that much. IMHO by high school the coaches are there to teach systems, motivate the kids, add some discipline but they aren't there to develop skills, especially basic skills. Skating with your head up, passing, moving to open ice, body position, etc. are skills that should have been developed at the youth level but aren't. We are now just seeing the current crop of ADM, no hitting kids getting to HS and the lack of basic skills and rudimentary hockey IQ is astonishing to me.

Now that I wrote this, maybe you are right. Maybe the next generation of HS coach needs to concentrate on skills vs system to see if they can't develop a few players for their own benefit. It's an intriguing value proposition to me.

Re: High school hockey - has it changed?

It is a crazy culmination of factors and a crazy result we now get to watch. First, the delay to checking has really hurt these boys. It's still new to them and the idea of blow-up some kid in the corner even if the 'hitee' goes flying onto the ice seems to be great fun. The teams with more kids who have played higher level off-season hockey have a clear advantage but man, where have the players gone?