I don’t know what people pay for Tier 3, but you are 100% correct that a good percentage of players who were in Tier 2 end up in same place as Tier 3 players. Playing in the NAHL in no way guarantees you a D1 commitment. Every NAHL roster has kids that go D1, others that go D3, and a percentage that don’t play in college at all. Almost every D3 roster has a mix of NAHL, NCDC, and Tier 3 players. Most Tier2 and top Tier3 players have multiple options for college. There is more to a decision than what conference or team is considered good at that time. Majors, financial aid package, school location, coach, potential playing time as a freshman are all factors. D3 hockey is good, especially now with the extra year of eligibility. Usually the club hockey crowd and dads that haven’t accepted the fact that their kid is done that say otherwise.