Any chance anyone has some solid advice on hockey advisors for boys hockey (15/16 yrs old). Is it worth it, any recommendations, what to look out for, any massive red flags, when to start?
Well said. We have been helped along by coaches, school, skills and club, never needed an advisor. What level does he play at and what are his goals? High level team, with high visibility = no need for an advisor at all. If not, and you are convinced you need one, talk to some of their success stories.
Not worth it. Bottom line is kid has to be really good, and if he is, coaches/recruiters will pay some attention. Just keep pumping the positive talk and for god sakes, tell him to move his feet. Too many kids never make it because they are lazy players. I see it every weekend. Great players with potential, with hands, with IQ, game sense, yada yada, but the kid doesn’t move his feet and parents wonder why he doesn’t have a deal- focus on root cause and get him to move his feet
Its not worth it. College and Junior coaches dont want to hear from advisors. I wasted $$$$ on an advisor. They based do nothing - All the success my son had was on his own and his coaches help promote him. I am sitting here looking back - people told me the same thing - dont bother with advisors - The pull to not be let behind and get an advisor is real. It will be hard but dont do it. Leverage the coaches and skills coaches etc....
Not easy question to answer as everyone has their own path. Can only relate my story
Had advisor for 2 years made switch to another this spring. Had no problem with first advisor but new one worked with my son as a skills coach believed in him and my son had a great relationship with him. IMO unless you are going to the development team or your son is one of the highest rated players in your birth year then you will need a strong advocate for your son whether it’s an advisor or coach. Someone who will reach out and push your sons skills and talents to these coaches. Also, these coaches or advisors must have a working relationship with the college coaches. I say this because even if your son plays on a highly visible team coaches are going to games to watch specific players and your son will need to be one of those targets. Coaches don’t go to games looking for the next big surprise. They don’t have the time for that. Finally with all that being said, it all depends on your son. Is he really a D1 college player? Ask your self those hard questions and be truthful because as the saying goes “you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken $&&!. Even the best advisor won’t be able to commit your son. Finally, be patient. Everyone has their own path and when it happens it will happen quick. College Coaches will talk to advisors and junior coaches about kids for a long time. Once one makes an offer it usually comes with a deadline. This is where you also need you advocate to go to the other interested teams If other teams are interested, you will have choices with 2 or 3 days to chose.
Last piece of advice if you chose an advisor, make sure your son is in communication with your advisor on a regular basis so you know what is happening and who they are talking to. Also recommend a call once a month parent to advisor to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Good luck. Having an advisor worked for us. Not all are bad There are good ones out there that will help you find a home
NCSA will fill the needs of the majority of players.
As long as kid is willing to respond and connect with coaches he can find a prep, junior and college team using NCSA.
Helpful post on this topic pulled from another thread on the site...
In my experience, their are tiers of kids and the agents/advisors slot in accordingly:
Most Elite Players: NTDP level kids. Clear D1 scholarship and likely pro potential players. For these kids, the top agencies will find them and reach out. One of the top agents at the agency with current NHL superstar clients will call mom or dad, give them the pitch, get an agreement in place, and then connect the kid/family with a sort of regional assistant agent/advisor who will keep tabs on the kid, be the go-to, day-to-day contact, set up camps, etc. These services are free. The agency is investing in the kid, hoping to make money when he signs a professional contract...
Elite Players: National Camp attendees. Prep superstars. Very good USHL/NAHL/BCHL/Etc. prospects. Kids who will very likely be D1 college players and maybe develop into even more. Many of these kids get similar attention. The borderline players in this group get attention from smaller agencies and/or up-and-coming agents/advisors part of bigger name firms. Also free. They'd like to make money off an eventual pro contract too. So they'll invest time in advising your kid on where to play, making introductions, advocating for your kid to coaches, inviting him to free skills camps, coordinating video reviews of game tape, etc. But they will also charge money once your kids hits 17 or 18 and you want/need more help trying to find a college or junior team. The price tag for that is a few thousand dollars a year...
very Good Players: Borderline elite player to solid/average players with potential. Some kids might work with more highly re****ble or well-know advisors due to coach/family/association connections. But many of these kids are also approached by advisors from smaller, more upstart firms who will work with your kid for a fee. Somewhere in the neighborhood of five to seven thousand dollars per year. They'll do video review with your kid, likely to camps, etc. But they'll most position themselves as being there to help guide your kid through the midget/prep/juniors process and help find the best place for him. There are, of course, some shady characters who don't offer any real value. But there are also some very good advisors who do a ton to help their players and really do help move them on, mom and dad just have to pay for it. So if you can afford it, it very well might be worth it...
My opinion is, if you're good enough to be able to work with a high-end agency/advisor for free and you have a good level of trust and connection with the person, why not go for it. Otherwise, if your kid is good enough to potentially need an advisor, you've likely been in the hockey world long enough to make enough connections with different people who will be more than happy to help give you advice, so why pay a boatload of money for it? If your kid is running out of runway and isn't finding any opportunities, maybe then it's worth reaching out to and/or reconnecting with an advisor and paying to help open some doors...
I interviewed a ton of advisors but never retained one. I saw what was going on - the top players were getting spots on USHL, BCHL and NAHL teams and the second-tier guys with the agents were, at best, getting cups of coffee with one NAHL team after another. In short, things were working out largely as they should - the best were getting picked up and the second tier players were struggling. There was only one player who seemed to be getting a better deal than he deserved, but I his parents have major money and there are rumors of them giving teams some serious financing, so I don't count that one. The other kid who keeps getting a better deal than he should is gargantuan, so I see why teams are willing to take a risk on him.
Also, I spoke with several people and almost nobody has pleased with their advisor. I heard stories of advisors going into hiding after the check cleared, sending bills for travel, superficial talk and a lot of "I talked to" so and so with few real results other than getting their kids drafted in a late round, only to be quickly bounced off the team.
My son had a bad experience on his first NAHL team. Coach's mandated style was not right for my son. Nor were his temper flare ups. We didn't want to make that mistake again. So, as my son started getting offers to skate with other teams, got some tender offers, etc, I really wanted someone who could help me make the best decision - based on coaching style and temperament, billet situations, how well the organization promoted their players, where scouts did and did not frequent, etc. I mean, we can all look at the roster and success of the team, but these are important intangibles that are really important to me and hard to find out on my own.
So, we retained a guy with a ton of experience who claimed to know everything. While he may know scores of hockey folk, we was woefully unable to provide meaningful advice on the issues with which I needed help. When the first tender came along (not through the advisor, by the way), the advisor could only talk about the team's record, rink and the CURRENT roster players at my son's position (i.e., his competition for playing time). He wasn't even able to tell me if the team had tendered or was looking to draft people in that position. Worse, he couldn't answer any of my questions about coaching style, billet situation, team financing, how well the team promoted their players. He was basically like, "well, what do you think" and "do you want to take the tender, or not."
In short, every single offer/reach out came because the teams had been watching my son, and the advisor was completely unable to give the advice I wanted.
The moral of the story is: (a) while advisors might help a little, your kid's play does most of the work; and (b) there are important intangibles that we regular dad's don't know and that could make or break you son's experiences. Make sureyour advisor TRULY has the insider knowledge/insight to help with the practical questions. You don't want a guy who is happy just to find your kid a spot so he can put the name up on the website as being drafted or tendered.
PS: My son has received several college reach-outs and a couple offers. Not a single one came through the advisor. Each coach approached my kid directly, either via text, after games or by talking to his coaches.