Agreed. Key is to keep the kid playing at the highest level available and keep it fun. U14 is a big transition year!
As with a lot of the responses, it depends. The U14 team you mention, how good are they? What type of schedule will you play? Travel? Training during the season? What is end game...looking to repeat and go to Prep next year? How big is your child? Not to say there are not big 14 yr olds but it is definitely a jump to go to HS hockey with an 18 year old senior that could weigh 200 lbs.
Locally the best full season U14 teams have been the Eagles and Flames. The Flames had kids playing for their HS teams - would that be an option for you? Eagles was a full time commit and they traveled more.
If you are not on one of the top teams looking to go National bound then you should play split season and HS - IMHO. Play for your town and enjoy the experience. You can always go Prep at a later point in time if that makes sense.
A lot of it depends on the high school team too. Is it a D-3 non-competitive, whack the puck around and take a few runs at kids league or is it a top D-1 or C.C. high school where the kid won't see any varsity ice time? My guess is it's somewhere in the middle.
My older son had a similar offer and the high school is a top D-I type team (although the coaches do nothing to get the kid looks from junior teams or college coaches) and my first question to my son was, "do you want to play hockey in college?" If he said 'yes' I would have had him play the full season. He said 'no' so he ended-up on JV behind the assistant coaches kid and the son of overly involved parents (PTO, helping the h.s. coaches, drinking buddy, beer league pals...) and he didn't really enjoy it.
So yeah it all depends on where the kid wants to take it realistically.
unless a private, go u14. if elite ehf, it's better than public HS all day. even in other leagues it's better than d2 or d3 by far. HS hockey is a joke now.
D1 High School overall is better than EHF Elite U14. However, your player might be better off playing against the more skilled 14 year olds than less skilled , more mature 17 year olds.
He would most likely get more ice time with 15 year olds than competing with 19 year olds (the C.C. schools like to keep them back a year) for ice time let alone safety issues. Again, it all depends. A Tier I BA team would smoke most high school teams and simple beat the rest. A good USPHL would be competitive.
When you say USPHL you mean u16 or u18 Right? Not Premiere?
Yes. top teams only.
I would agree. Jr Bruins, IHC u16 would beat up on a typical Div 1 High school team and would be competitive with Catholics.
u18's would beat them handily and be competitive with most preps outside of top 20.
Selects Academy's u16 and u18 which play in the USPHL would beat up on all of them. The top 20 Preps would lose to their u18 team 8 of 10 times.
The top Premiere teams would handle the Selects u18 team pretty easily.
Pretty accurate I'd say.
Full Season U14, U16, and U18 teams are mostly filled with players that think they are going to get a scholarship playing hockey. What a joke. Here is what happens with these players.
U14 1 season = ~$4500
U16 2 seasons = ~$7000/year = ~$14,000
U18 2 seasons = ~$7000/year = ~$14,000
Then if their kid/suckers are still around you get an additional 3 years on a crappy EHL team.
18, 19, 20 = ~11000 / year = $33,000
Then it is over and on to club hockey or the beer leagues.
These people were just swindled out $93,500 for the above 6 years of hockey. Last time I checked, $93,500 is at least 3 years of college. Dip S-H-I-T-S. I see stupid people all around doing this.
Here is the path of a player that will play D1.
plays hockey for 3 years at High School = ~ $300/ season. Playing 1/2 season with clubs = ~ $2000/season.
plays 2 years of USHL for free.
on to college for maybe 3/4 of his education paid for.
Play high school hockey and if you are good enough then you will be found. Until then, have fun funding the club team owners.
Your path is maybe for the top 2-3% of players. For the kids that love, love, love the game and want to play in college or use it as a lever to get into a better school or even D-3 a couple years burned post high school can work. Or as many good players have chosen to just play club in college.
One kid in our town played four years of h.s. hockey, graduated, attended a couple camps with USHL teams and was offered a spot. He attended the camps just for fun, thought about it and turned the team down and went onto the school of his choice and is going to play club hockey just for fun. He said, "I didn't want to deal with the pressure of playing seriously in college and also trying to get good grades." But it can be done!
Correct. But, the point is a college education is worth more and is more of a sure thing. You want to have fun playing a game, then do it without dropping $93,000. This is also my point as to saying that college hockey should do what the other college sports do. One year as a red shirt and then start playing as a sophomore. These club teams and pay to play junior teams are killing the sport.
One more point, burning a couple of years of college post high school graduation is also stupid. The longer you wait on starting college the less of a chance that player will want to even attend college for academia. C'mon people, spend your money wisely and put it towards their college education. If you haven't figured it out, playing D3 or college club means you will be paying for his hockey as well. Again, you will be found if you are good enough. If you don't have something in hockey by your junior year then the direction should be onto college and the real world.
Pretty true but there are exceptions and especially for defensemen where they wait to see how big the kid will get. Also, many kids are only on a partial scholly. If I had to do it over again I would have pushed lacrosse...5'10 and can run with some skill, D-1 full boat no juniors.
Full boat? C'mon...