My son is going to be a 18 year old premier player next season. With so many teams, which division is most competitive. He will definitely be leaving home but not sure where to reach out to, wants to leave New England unless that division is most competitive but seems with divisions all over the US its worth looking at all the options.
Aside from the NE and mid Atlantic divisions the Florida and Southern divisions have some good teams and take it seriously. Be careful since some of the others more west look great on paper then get a reality check at tournaments by eastern teams. But if he wants ice time that may be a good option. Good luck.
Premier is tough, each teams starting 5 are usually good then downhill after that. Programs with an NCDC team are usually stronger because they will move players between the 2 teams at times, but 1 or 2 kids who are bubble NCDC usually light it up in Premier and get a ton of ice. Unfortunately, no matter where you go the reality is that no scouts are watching. Maybe a few local D3 or ACHA once a year but that’s it.
Also, not much of a development model, think flow drills and PP at practices. I would consider EHL, it’s a better development model and closer relationship to D3 schools.
Some comments about the New England and Mid-Atlantic divisions already. Florida and Southeast have some good programs too.
Looking at the rest of the Premier, the Midwest East (Detroit/Chicago) and Midwest West (Minnesota/Wisconsin) are solid and get scouted by the 3 area D3 leagues. A lot of good local talent to draw from with good Minesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin HS hockey in the area. Midwest West might be the most competitive division top to bottom as even the 7,8,9 teams in the division will play teams hard and move a kid or two on to college hockey.
I wouldn't go further west than the Midwest. I think there are some good teams out in the Mountain, Northwest, and Pacific divisions but they're relatively new to the USPHL so I really don't know much about them or if they have any track record of moving players on. There just isn't D3 hockey out west. There are some good ACHA D1 programs though.
The Florida, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest East, Midwest West, New England, and Southeast divisions all have some good programs in their divisions. The league has grown so big, diverse, and is nationwide so it's hard to put a label on the entire Premier. You really do have to look at it by division. Good luck finding a program that is a good fit.
Personally, NA3HL is the direction I would lean. Either with a NAHL or without, there is pros and cons with both scenarios.
Lots of wolves in sheep's clothing out there in the Junior world, please be careful and do your homework
Stay east of the Missouri River.
Short of a MN-based team, get as close to the Atlantic Ocean as possible. The west is just a fund raiser for the NCDC.
Take a look at the scoring leaders..either its the weakest league in Jr hockey or this league has the most "late bloomers" in the history of hockey. Leader with 58 points in 16 games, why is this kid not in NCDC or NAHL? 291 players with 1 PPG or Better.
Ignore the player stats.
Sure some good players but most of the western teams are weaker, and any decent player out west pads their stats playing against them regularly.
Then at tournaments they play eastern teams with much different results.