Throughout the country Tier 1 is considered the highest level of hockey, except in New England where it is considered a level below Elite Hockey, which throughout the country is synonumous with Tier ! Previously Elite was Elite and Tier 1 was called AAA, which is also synonomous with Elite throughout the rest of the country.
Once your player has reached the end of his youth hockey career and starts considering the next options, he needs to keep in mind that Elite is no longer, Elite! Premiere is Elite. Which must be really good because youth hockey doesn't even have a Premiere. Elite is now the equivalent of Tier1 here in New England but of course not so much the rest of the country. Actually the rest of the country ( in the world of Juniors) sees our Premiere as AA, which I haven't discussed because I have confused things enough for you. Elite would be a ( as not even a capital A like Intramural's ( Not even club, that would be Premiere).
So before you go and write a check for $3500 + for an organization that claims to be " " or whatever it claims to be, go watch a few practices and forget what they call themselves and decide yourself.
The best athletes are those who have confidence. They know without hesitation that they can and will beat you, no matter what.
Put your kid in the best position to build his confidence.
The difference is that Tier 1 is basically useless as no one cares .
Elite level NHL scouts are at all the games ....
if you have a good coach and teammates then stick with it. You will find out how few players make it to college or the top junior leagues. Let your kid enjoy the sport.
You can see the difference in the skating and how they see the game and how plays develop! At times it can be striking!!
Do everything you can to get him on the ice at a practice with the elite team. You'll see if he can hang, and it'll make your decision easier.
I agree in principle with the point that better competition/faster pace is better for development, but only if your player is good enough to actually maintain possession of the puck and make good decisions at that pace. If he's not a good enough skater yet to handle the pace at the elite level, keep him where he will be able to develop his hockey sense by actually possessing the puck, and work on improving his skating so that he can make the jump in the future.
Good luck. And don't forget the cardinal rule: don't leave a good coach for a bad one just to jump up a level.
My kid played on an "elite" team a few years ago that had horrible coaching. Coaching is the biggest thing not the Elite tag. Parents get way too wrapped up in the Elite nonsense. Good luck
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All offering advice are correct:
*The longer you stay at Tier 1, the harder it is to move to an "elite" team
*Skating with better players will help your player develop
*Playing against higher end competition will help development
*Coaching is more important than the elite tag or the organization badge
*Do your homework
I guess what I haven't seen offered & it's possible I missed it, if your child moves to the new team & he's the best on that team, he won't develop any faster and could develop some really bad habits as he tries to compensate for those around him, especially if the team isn't competitive.
If your current coach is good, your child gets along well with his teammates and they are competitive, I would probably stay if the elite team isn't squared away. If you really want to develop him & can afford the additional costs, get him some outside assistance, that will help make up for the lack of superior competition. If the elite team is squared away and he isn't 3rd line or bottom pairing and he fits in and the coaching appears good , than go for it.