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Junior & College Hockey
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Re: Hockey Advisors

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.

Re: Hockey Advisors

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.