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Lots of US kids bailing
BCHL is a good option for New England kids if they are willing to go. Play in a high level league and not loose college eligibility. More and more kids are going to be taking this path.
I would love to see the data but I bet high level D3 (NESCAC, SUNYAC, the Wisconsin league, etc.) age of incoming freshmen is same 20+ years old as D1 and a huge % are coming from juniors.
Might even be older on average because D1 does get some super high level 19 year olds and D3 probably has more kids who stick to the end of juniors because they are on the bubble of D1 or high-end D3 but I don't have any data to back that up.
There is definitely data at the D1 level that you can look up online that shows average age and also that for the 2019-2020 NCAA D1 Season just under 80% of all the incoming freshmen played in the USHL, NAHL or BCHL the season before. If you lump in USPHL (3%) and the other Canadian junior leagues (AJHL, OJHL, CCHL, SJHL and MJHL) you get all the way up to 93%. Kids going direct from Prep school to D1 was literally 2%.
So if you have to go to juniors and if 80% come from 3 specific leagues you're going to see people from this area trying to go to those three leagues including the BCHL.
Big question now though is does COVID blow this model up as I heard the BCHL is going pay to play and have to wonder if USHL and NAHL may have to do the same given fewer ticket sales. Might actually be a window for something on the East Coast to get started if people keep it small and competitive and run it for quality vs. max cash.