Great post and very true. The irony being that USA Hockey does not practice what they preach. They talk about playing other sports, developing as an athlete, late bloomers, when competition should start (the LTAD model), putting down the hockey stick for the summer, etc.
Then proceed to hold all their festivals and camps over the summer and instigate this rat race where if a kid isn't "chosen" by 15 in the USHL it is an uphill climb and those players that were "chosen" will get chance after chance to fail their way out. Once you are labeled a certain caliber of player (Tier 1, 2, or 3) it gets tough to shake that label.
As for my oldest, he's in his final year of juniors and playing in the USPHL Premier, a returning captain from last season. These last two years have been the best years of hockey in his career. This coming off his first year of juniors where he was lied to, healthy scratched, bounced around positions, and finally traded in the rat race to climb up the levels many of you described in prior posts. He now loves playing hockey again, his team, his entire situation, and doesn't care that it is "Tier 3" because he's happy playing hockey and he's at least talking to D3 and ACHA D1 schools so those opportunities to play 4 more years of competitive hockey might be there for him.
Junior hockey is hard. I don't care if it's Tier 1, 2, or 3, it's a grind and it is hard. If you can experience success as a player at any of these levels, even Tier 3, you've had a better hockey career than 97% of players in your birth year when you first started the game 15 years ago.
NCAA D1 is a pipe dream for 99% of players. Once you understand that, embrace your path, and focus on being the best hockey player you can in the best opportunity you can find so that you can ENJOY playing hockey you will be much better off.
Lots of good 03s on rosters, but everyone has to wait their turn. The Best goalie in Prep last year hs not seen a puck yet. It’s ok, they all just have to wait their turn.
Lots of new faces in the supplemental locker room today. This should not be allowed to happen. How did the guy with the lease make out? Hope he has an escape clause or perhaps he can sublease it to his son’s replacement. Gheeeez
Not trying to be a jerk, but I don't agree with the "bide your time" approach for an '03. If your son isn't playing as an '03, I recommend you work hard to find a place where he will play.
If your goal is to get your boy noticed, he won't get noticed on the bench and its unusual for colleges to start looking at someone during their age-out year (unless the kid is just absolutely tearing it up). If your son's goal is not to get noticed by NCAA scouts and just wants to have fun playing hockey during a "gap year", then it pretty much goes without saying that he should find a team where he will play. It isn't much fun being scratched every weekend, or working your *** off to get two shifts a period.
So, if he isn't playing by now, or by mid-October at the latest, time to find another team. There are like a gazillion junior leagues. If your kid isn't playing in the NAHL, look at AJHL, SJHL or NCDC teams. If your kid isn't making it there, look at one of the many Ontario leagues or the Manitoba league. If an '03 can't get significant ice time in one of those leagues, it's time to face reality - NCAA hockey isn't going to happen for him (indeed, NCAA hockey isn't assured for NAHL players) and he should either start college and play ACHA or find a NA3 or USPHL premiere team where he will play and have fun during a "gap year."
I would add that sitting the bench on one team does not always mean your career is done. Different coaches see things differently, or have different assets in the pipeline. Four quick stories of '03 players I know. Player 1 tendered with a top NAHL team. They kept saying they loved his game, but he sat, sat and sat until he finally just quit. Last year he tore it up with a different NAHL team and committed to a strong D1 team. Player 2 was drafted by a team in the NAHL South. Made it though camp but was then told he wouldn't play much. He demanded a trade, got traded and scored a ton of goals for a different NAHL team. He is now playing USHL. Player 3 played for a notoriously psyco coach, basically got replaced by two USHL cuts, stopped playing and then left the team. He is now a key player on a different NAHL team. Player 4 got cut from a NAHL team last year, dropped down to play 18U for the balance of the year, and is now playing top minutes for a different NAHL team.
That said, I can tell you several horror stories about players who decided to stick with their team despite barely playing and never got off the snide. They had horrible experiences, never got a chance to improve, never got seen and spent their last two years looking for the fleeting chance to be noticed.
Again, not trying to be a jerk, but riding the bench the year before age out is hockey death. He needs to play to improve, to be seen and to have fun.
And don't get me wrong. I played ACHA and think it was a great decision because it allowed me to focus more on school with a real major, have fun and do some other activities.
What have you done lately? Kids need to get on the ice to show they can play at the next level. Better off getting reps in premier than sitting. IMO
Who the **** do you think you are? Pls-for you to say that these players suck….what level did you play at that would qualify you to say that? You really are the worst of the worst
unfortunately, their are lots of teams and very few have a code of ethics, and even fewer have good coaches. It is what it is.....but I do agree w Karma. If you cut someone that you gave an opportunity to, so be it. But if you recruit a kid, he comes in and for the first time is living on his own, and you never even give the kid a fair shake, and by fair shake I mean at least one full game with decent linemates to prove that either you are right, he is not good enough, or you were wrong, he can play and you have a chance to make it right. It's the guys that are inviting kids to move and play for their organization and then never let certain recruits get one oppty to prove themselves, those are the guys that Karma visits. If your running a tier 3 Junior team, and you ******* kids over like this....you'll prob get yours. And, yeah, my kid got cut.
According to Elite Prospects for the US Born 03's
USPHL Premier 436
USPHL ELite 90
Total 03 US Players: 1,797 players trying to get seen. So, do your best, but the reality is your not going to make it. Reach out to D2 and D3 coaches that have academic programs you are interested in, if no interest back, look at Club at D1, D2, D3 schools that have academics your interested in. Numbers don't lie. Good luck on your futures.
Plus, you can pretty much assume that all the American USHL and BCHL players have commitments or offers, and there are probably 50 '03s already playing NCAA. So about 200 spots are already gone. And you left out most of the Canadian leagues, like the OJHL, CCHL, NOJHL, GOJHL, SJHL, MJHL, etc., most of which are as good or better than all US-based leagues except the USHL and the NAHL. Junior leagues in Europe, too. Many of those players are shooting for college opportunities, as well.
It's tough to play NCAA hockey.
So what makes a kid stick to a team? Is it the level of compete? Is it game points? Is it something else? I assume it takes a player a little time to adjust to a new level but do coaches have patience with these kids or just healthy scratch or cut the kid completely? Any level, just curious the thought process.
No idea but coaches have their reasons and it is not always apparent. Who is the "better" player is a very subjective thing. I was watching a NAHL main camp last August my oldest was in and one of the D on his team was awful, absolutely awful. Could not skate, stumbling every time he transitioned, terrible footwork, just a terrible skater and he made terrible decisions throwing the puck all over the place. Worst D man on the ice. Myself and another guy I know that were watching just kind of looked at each other in disbelief and chuckled a bit. Jokes on us, that kid made the team and our kids did not. Not saying they should have but there were also more deserving players there that I thought should have made the cut but didn't as well. Frankly, still a bit chapped by that. I've seen this same thing over and over again. What is it these coaches see in "that" kid? I got over trying to figure it all out and my life has been better off for it. These people are going to choose who they want to choose, just hope your kid gets the call. It's outside of your control.
My sons in his first year of Juniors and if he's not competing or doesn't produce I would expect him to be cut. Jr Hockey isn't Youth or Prep Hockey. These kids know their job and if they can't do then they get skipped over. Makes sense to me. I'd hate to see my kid not playing but its up to him now.
URI club team better than many lower level d1 hockey schools
I said they stopped counting at 10-0, it was more.
Son cut this week, team wont release his rights? Does this make sense? He has other teams that want him. Is there a way out of this?
If the other teams really want him they could work out a trade.