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Re: Does EHF, E9 really matter?

EHF does not claim to develop players, and they definitely do not. At all age levels the EHF Teams are always looking to acquire players that were developed by other teams in other leagues by other coaches, to join EHF Teams. This is why overall the ehf has more skilled players on more teams. The EHF coaches are managers of the players their ownership or club marketing can deliver to them. You will not see much individual improvement in players skills, more time is spent looking for the the weak spots on the team, and how that weak spot can be eliminated.
Like it or not, it's the business model for the EHF, and it WORKS!
Don't worry about the coaching, just make sure little johnny can keep his skills up.

I don't think that, in of itself, is true at all. Development, Coaching, Systems all happen at as high of a level at the FED as any league. Obviously, some teams, organizations do a better job than others. The FED does cherry pick kids for sure. Mostly it is players/parents who want to play at the highest level. Nothing wrong with that.

I think this whole, " Yeah the FED maybe a better league but they don't develop kids" is a misnomer. Of course they do. Most of the better players go outside of their organization for additional skills, opportunities anyway but the coaching, skills, experience is completely independent of the league.

Parents, enjoy the ride. Hopefully your players make it to the highest level. Either way, hopefully you and they have many great memories to cherish.


In my experience, the EHF Elite teams are more focused on winning at the younger ages, since being ranked in the Top 5 as squirts/peewees is what strengthens their brand image and attracts the top talent. Many times (not all), this means that the better players get a disproportionate share of playing time, especially on special teams or at the end of games. Many times (not all), this means that players are introduced to system hockey at a younger age at the expense of more skills-based practices.

It's up to the family to decide whether this approach to youth hockey is best for their child. If your kid is in the top third of one of these teams, this can represent a great development opportunity for the player.

If your player is *not* in the top third of his team, it can still be a great development opportunity for the player, but this is where the parents' judgement should kick in. The parents should consider whether the more competitive level of play (but less playing time and possibly fewer puck touches) is a good trade-off for a team that rolls lines (giving your guy more equitable ice time and more chances to compete) and focuses practices mostly on skill development, easing into systems and team play at the peewee level.

I've made a lot of sweeping generalizations in the previous two paragraphs, I know. There are EHF Elite teams that take a more balanced approach, and E9 teams that are out for the win at all costs. But as a general rule, I've found the above to be true. Bottom line: make sure you know where your kid's coach stands before you commit to anything. It really is all about the coaching staff.

The best option for your kid is the one that gets him ready for the next level. It's very difficult to put aside your ego and make a choice that others perceive could be a step down, but parents should be honest about what their kid needs in order to reach their (the player's) hockey goals, and the player's hockey goals should really be focused on their post-youth hockey career.

After that long post, here are my preemptive answers: yes my kid played EHF Elite, yes my kid was middle of the pack, yes he was short shifted and the team focused too much on winning, yes we left for an E9 team, no he did not get cut, yes it was the right move for him, yes he has been "recruited" back to EHF Elite, yes he would probably be top third, no he did not accept, and yes he can't wait for HS hockey.

Re: Does EHF, E9 really matter?

Please no E9 bashing . This is a serious question. There are a lot of good players in both leagues. If parents of older kids could way in, that would be appreciated. Which gets more exposure? Does either league get better prep school scouting ? Does it matter in the quest for college hockey? What is the opinion of prep/hs coaches- do they care? Serious replies only.

Oh, it matters all right.

Re: Does EHF, E9 really matter?

1. A player develops on his own. The color of his uniform doesnt develop anything.
2. Playing against the best competition DOES help in development.
3. The EHF DOES have more talent and gets more "looks" from prep coaches.
4. There are good players in the E9 but they are often overlooked since they arent playing against the best competition.
5. If you have the option of playing EHF vs E9 - I pick EHF everytime for reasons stated above.
These are just my 2 cents of going through the process already.

Re: Does EHF, E9 really matter?

Nothing counts until U14. At U14 prep coaches begin to learn who the kids are by either parents reaching out or coaches going to showcases. Showcases are mostly during the spring / summer. By this age it makes no difference what league the kids are in and actually this year the leagues are playing each other quite a bit and no one seems to care. Parents are just grateful there are good quality games between the two.

If the argument is how does a kid get good up to U14, if EHF is better than e9 in this regard. Maybe. Maybe not. I would argue it doesn't matter looking at the rosters of these teams now and where they came from and where they are going.

Re: Does EHF, E9 really matter?

Great info! Thx for all the insights