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Yes, NCDC is higher. It's tuition-free, pseudo Tier II hockey. I say pseudo because they aren't sanctioned by USA Hockey. It's really Tier II-A. Not as good as Tier II.
Premier is Tier III Pay-To-Play. Premier is national, over 50 teams. NCDC is only in the Northeast.
What's weird is, the Premier teams on orgs that have NCDC should be able to benefit from the spill-over of talent. They don't. Premier teams in other parts of the country tend to be better. From my experience, the NCDC players that are sent tot eh Premier teams are disinterested, and it shows.
As far as ages go, I imagine Premier teams do tend to be older, as you will get some good players with D-I commits already in NCDC if the parents don't want to send them out of the area at 16 or 17. Yoou dont get D-I commits in Premier, so it tends to be older players trying to get a D-III gig.
Premier, NA3HL, or EHL how do they stack up
Good and bad teams in every league, but in New England, EHL by a lot, then Premier, NA3 a distant 3rd.
Be careful in the EHL, though. Some teams have 33+ skaters rostered. Every one of them told they were Top 9 / Top 4.
Premier this year could gave the same numbers issues as NCDC rosters get trimmed. One NCDC team had 50 kids in camp. Those players have to go somewhere.
Some of the NA3 teams in other parts of the country aren’t bad. Here, nor as much.
Getting late early, isn’t your kid already playing?