It makes a huge difference. If you think it doesn't matter go and look at all of the legacy kids with the recognizable name on their sweater. Were they any better as a young player? 95% of the time it is not really. Look at the current BC roster - and that team pretty much blows for being a powerhouse which could recruit any kid they want out of Jr. Hockey.
And the kids who get 'moved along' sometimes just get better by playing on the better teams with better players. Assessing talent in the sport is too subjective to think PR doesn't matter. We aren't talking about 100 meter times here. We're talking about a bunch of old guys often with bad eyesight who just love to hang with the ex-NHL dads.
If his name was Schwartz and he had still had 30 pts in 60 NHL games then he's still be in the NHL. 90% of his success isn't because of the name, it's because of the production. If he had 5 pts he's be out of the league. His name, his dad and his uncle don't skate or shoot for him so someone had to put in some work.
Everyone has an excuse and wants a shortcut. Gee my kid sucks but he doesn't suck because he sucks, he sucks because I'm not connected so if only I could change my name or put highlights on youtube he'd be a star. Help your kid get better as a player so when he's seen he'll be ready to be seen.
Take jeff cox out for a round of golf or a nice steak dinner and lil johnnie will get their press.
Stay far away from CH and HockeyConcepts. They are the biggest scammers. They had an ex Fed Ex driver on staff saying he was an Agent. He also works at HighEnd low results hockey. I understand that people want to be something in life but if you do not have the experience or the resources do not take people's money and time.
Not all PR is good PR. Recent examples of kids Getting named “ top uncommitted’ and their progression has ended , Plateaued, several in same age group and younger are better 6 -12 months later. Gotta wonder if the PR machine hurt these kids.
Lacrosse players post pr video after each season, as early as freshman year or even 8th grade. Why not in hockey too? Hockey dads and boys are less tech savvy?