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Another question is, how many are paying full boat and how many get what kind of discount? I suppose the guys showing up with a D-1 commit have a value attached to them because a) the team can list it on their website and b) those coaches will then be showing up to games to see their commit and the other kids and the program benefits from that exposure.
Sour Grapes, Nope personally experienced. Both my kids are in Prep school and both play. My daughter is captain of her team. But after 4 years we are realizing she has fallen way behind her peers who stayed playing on their select teams. Same with my son he plays (and scores) but he is not what he would have been if he skated Aug - March for a coach who's goal is to develop players. He would have been better off development wise staying in juniors. Their season is so short they don't have the time to develop kids. And why is it every time someone posts a sincere evaluation the comment is always sour grapes? Sometimes it is a sincere evaluation by someone with really good knowledge.
I can see totally see what you mean. Yes the junior teams need to ring the register but they are judged on developing the kids and moving them on to good teams. Prep coaches I suppose need to win and the season is too short. one option my son had was to do a P.G. year and a couple coaches said "you know I'm not really interested in seeing him play against kids that are 3-4 years younger than him" and listed 4-5 teams where he would rather see him play.
Junior hockey is expensive for sure. However, I am seeing more and more kids go to college right out of HS and flunking out. Personally, I think my son would have been one of those kids who got carried away with the freshman year madness. Instead, he played 2 years of Junior hockey and has been accepted to all 7 colleges he has applied to. Granted none of these schools were Ivy League or better, but just the same the 2 gap years helped his maturity. He will help pay his college tuition with some loans, so if he flunks out, the debt will be on him. Because of his 2 years of junior hockey, he gets to keep skating provided he continues to work hard. Good luck with your choices.
Will your son be playing hockey in college? Team or club?