My son is 8th grader and I am somewhat certain where my son will be playing in high school (one of NE prep school. don\'t ask me why.). My son may be interested in being selected to some of Mass CCM high performance camps and festivals, but I don\'t necessary see him playing at junior or college. He definitely wants to do well at the varsity team and have a meaningful ice time at the games.
Then, how much should I pay attention to these \"exposure\" events or \"combines\" for U14s or U16s in upcoming years? He doesn\'t have to be exposed to another prep coaches, junior teams, and college coaches. If you go to these \"exposure\" events, do anything good happen to my son other than occasional appearance in the JC\'s or IM\'s article?
If you want him to improve or get better so he plays more on varsity then you're much better off at investing in individual skills schools. For example, Laura Stamm Power Skating, Pertti Hasanen, Turcotte hockey, etc. Can make a massive change in your kid's development, it did mine. Went from 4th line Varsity/healthy scratch freshman year to 3 years on the first line and on to D3 college. Most high schools and even prep work on flow, systems, PP & PK 90% of the time. Get your kid lots of skill development if you want them to get better and play a lot on varsity.
If he does get better, he'll get noticed and asked to be on elite summer and fall teams. No need for the exposure camps if he's playing prep & on a solid off season team.
OP...I appreciate this response, as well as "dinosaur" story. I will be very keep on learning if he wants to be a dinosaur. Thank you everybody.