You will not know for sure that your kid is being recruited until 1) you are encouraged to apply, 2) you go for interview and the coach spends a good amount of time with you and 3) the coach is calling you directly usually once every other week after the interview. Tell your kid to keep working hard. And you should actively but quietly reach out to coaches of schools that your kid is interested in. An important question during interview should be how do you see Johnny making a contribution. BE open and honest with all the coaches you are interacting with. If they are worth a **** they will appreciate it and if you kid truly is talented they understand that many schools will be recruiting him/her.
You will not know for sure until you have an admission letter and a commitment for financial aid. I know lots of players that were "recruited" in January and February and then wait listed. I also know players that were accepted with no financial aid, meaning no "skin in the game" for the school. And I know players that were recruited, with aid, and still barely get playing time.
Don't think for a second you are being told the truth by the coaches or the school until you have it in writing.
Staying in public school and playing USPHL U18 is looking more attractive these days. It seems like the competition top to bottom in the U18 division is much stronger this year. Looking at the teams records vs Independent Preps and U18 teams outside their league leads me to believe it is getting stronger. Most of the better U18 players are playing Juniors ( midwest or local) but maybe with the NCDC affiliated U18 teams in the USPHL many players are staying put??
Has anybody seen many games this year and or thoughts on this?
Unfortunately, don't think these coaches and GMs are telling you the truth, either. We've been blatantly lied to the last two years at the time my kid was offered a contract. It has worked out, both times, but way more difficult than it needs to be.
Others haven't been so lucky. Many in a worse situation then my kid. Giving up eligibility for MIAA for a Junior team, only to be put on a lower level team or getting limited shifts.