Aside from money and egos, NCDC was started so New England teens wouldn't have to move to IOWA for 4 years to play good junior hockey. The recent NAHL migration to New England is changing that advantage.
Either will get you to D3.
Take Trouba for example - the captain of a good NAHL team and league all star, along with the brother of an NHL player now plays D3. Looking at that example a lot of people have to get more realistic about their little superstar's future.
Just proof of two things. 1. How hard it is to make it to D1. 2. That NCAA D3 hockey is still a pretty darn high level of hockey.
If your kid can play NCAA hockey, D1 or D3, they've accomplished a lot more than most kids who ever paced up the skates. That's a pretty good hockey career.
NAHL is a better league.
Just because you make a team or play means little.
Plenty of NAHL alumni scarmbling or playing D3
Two years of Minot / Lewiston/ Johnstown-bus therapy to end up at Worcester State or Plymouth state is not a win.
It is pretty rare to see an NAHL kid that aged out of junior end up at a MASCAC school. MASCAC recruits at least 80% of their rosters from the EHL.