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Not sure how much of an impression a 120 lb kid can give when they haven't hit puberty yet? I'd wait, my son went to the combine for 2 years and decided he wasn't ready when the time came, he didn't want to leave home. It hard not to caught up in the hype but a 16 year old isnt always ready to go live with a billet and leave everything behind.
For all the bashing and rightfully so at times, Jr hockey in the area can lead to college commitments and give your kids a few years to mature mentally. Do your homework and get involved with the right people, stable teams, and let your kid develop.
The logic is this. The futures draft is just that, for the future. Very few kids will play in the league the following year. The NTDP team will play with the best '01's and lose just about every game. If they are not talking to you and your kid directly and your just getting emails then they will want you to come out for fund raising purposes. If your kid is drafted, then maybe attend the main camp to see what it's like but spending all that money on travel and the camp provides little benefit when he won't play in the league for another year or two. If money is not an issue, then go and have fun.
But consider that even main camps are primarily fund raisers. There are 16 teams holding camps with anywhere form 80-160 kids at each camp. There are not that many elite players out there so there is a lot of bad hockey at the main camps. If you want your kid to make a team for next season, consider that most teams have 10 or more returning players so they are not looking for all that many and they are going to have their 98/99 affiliate players next in line. Many 00's and '01's on teams will most likely be at the end of the bench and so do you want your kid spending a year out there as a fourth line winger or 7th dman?
I always laugh when I hear parents say, don't you want your kid playing against the best. Sure, but only when he is ready. There are many from New England who have gone out too early and it's hurt them. They were not ready to play against 19-20 year olds. Were not ready for getting scratched or playing 6-8 minutes a game.
USHL is marketed as a development league but it's not the core of how most teams run. Coaches are there to win. They all want to move up in their coaching careers and they do that by winning. They also want kids there for multiple years. They will bury younger kids at the end of the bench to show "they are not ready" to move on. They tell kids/colleges that the kid needs another year.
IF you haven't gone through it then it would be foolish to make assumptions like "what can go wrong". Lots can go wrong.
Great Post! Spot on!
I always laugh when I hear parents say, don't you want your kid playing against the best. Sure, but only when he is ready.
Like you said, watching 54 minutes a game and playing 6 minutes is not playing against the best.
Once the kid is ready by all means, make the move.
Here's another point to consider. 1/3 to 1/2 of junior games are special teams. If your kids not a top six F or a top 4 D getting PP or PK time, then he is already limited to half the game. If he's only out there every 3rd or 4th shift at even strength, he won't even need to shower after most games. Might sound good to tell your buddies in the men's league that your kid is playing in the USHL but deep down you will know you made a mistake.
Yes but if your kid is a bottom six forward on HS or prep then you wouldn't be asking about the USHL.
1/3 is not far off with majors but point stands, if your kid is not playing special teams, it's seems like an eternity, especially when the line rotations might start over from the top. But hey, if that's good development for your kid, go for it.
Well hurray for you.
Whether its 25% or 33% or 50%, we all know special teams is a big part of the game and if your kids not out there, it also means he's not out there in the last 5 minutes of the third period so it's a bad spot to be in.
Easy to be a dink on the dboard but most who have gone through it get it. To each is how and pick your own path but they all have pitfalls. Lots of kids go to USHL too soon and never develop. Now had they waited would they have been better off? Who knows, maybe they just reached their peak and would have faded away no matter what path.
Same goes at other levels. Some kids leave college early and never pan out. Some are told to leave, but stay in and make it to the NHL.
Everyone peaks, just at different times. Don't have numbers but there seems to be more NCAA/Undrafted players now in the NHL than ever. It just highlights the issue of rushing kids when they are still growing and not giving them a chance to pan out.
Bottom line is there are no do-overs.
Yes highlighting exceptions and applying their path it to any kid is a great way to prove your point. Bravo Beavis.
If a kid is good enough then the next step becomes more obvious. That happens for very few.
Was there anyone out there saying these guys were anything but automatic for the NHL? Why else would they have left school skippy? Playing college, world juniors is a heck of a lot closer in level and a much more reliable predictor than new england hs or prep to the ushl. If they weren't close, they would have been told to stay.
I'm sure all the scouts following your kid are telling you he is ready for the USHL so you go for it.
Yeah ok your right. It really is the same as predicting a HS kids ability in the USHL.