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Watched so much hockey this year on video, FS, Prep, Jrs, is it luck that some kids get college looks, is it connections? Watching these games and seeing BC, BU, ND, UMASS etc.. next to some of these kids names that are no different than the kids without commitments. I don’t get it? What is that gets those kids opportunities that the others do not? In prep they seem to be puck hogs and just try to go end to end like mites, in FS they seem to lack hockey IQ, and Jrs they are good so I have no idea why player 1 is committed but player 2 is not.
Well it still is very much the 'old boys network.' The old "if the kid is good, they will find him" is now commonly called the 'biggest lie told in youth hockey.'
Today it is the kid's bloodline - dad or uncle or brother - where did they play, who do they know. A thousand examples of this. If the kid's dad played in the NHL then move to the front of every line - they will need to find a hundred reasons to cut you. D-1 player's kid, ditto, NHL front office, brother drafted in the NHL. . . and all of these lucky sperm club kids actually think it's their ability.
Next come the PR darlings - good player with a little created hype. Often these are the kid's who's parents figure it out - play on teams coached by former pro or high level college coaches and make sure the teams a sprinkled a bit with legacy kids - these are the teams the 'scouts' and writers go out to see. The PR kids are often better than the legacy kids and shine on these teams in front of the right audiences.
Then the rare 'head-and-shoulder kids.' They are the complete packages - size, skating, hands, IQ that coaches can't overlook. Early birthday kids who have stood-out on their own with a buzz about them since Peewees. Yes, they play on the right teams, coached-up along the way, continue to grow, continue to love the game and why not? They are told all along the way how special they are.
Who are your parents, what is the buzz around the kid, is the kid the complete player and finally, what is the kid's ability.
The pro connection is a big one. My neighbors kid played defense with a kid whos dad played D1, drafted and then in the AHL. Both kids played together for years, are both same size, good kids, were always considered the same skill level and IQ, and got similar results.
One is playing USHL with a D1 commit, the other is still with everyone else. Just the way it is.
A local here, a kid makes it to the NHL, builds a nice career and his little brother who would have a hard time making a good team as a youth player keeps working at it, never above average. Plays local teams, goes to a prep school, gets drafted in the 4th round (yes, drafted into the NHL), plays a couple years of marginal college hockey and now in 5 years at the age of 28 has played about 25 games total in the ECHL.
If his brother wasn't an NHL starter for more than a decade the kid would have played a couple years at a D-I high school and then beer league.
If you're good, they will find you*
*depending on who you are related to
Yes you are all right. Every coach at the NCAA level and every GM at the pro level only want players with names or connections. They don't care about winning or how bringing up those players will impact the teams ability to win or thier career.
Sure, whatever it takes to justify that your kid really just isn't good enough.
Identical according to who? You? A Know it all parent?
Of course stat lines in youth hockey are so accurate, and of course no one actually goes and watches. I mean the eyeball test of who creates, who defends, who skates better etc etc has nothing to do with evaluations of future potential. Yes, youth hockey stat lines and blood lines are all teams use to select players.
And since BC doesn't want the second kid, the rest of the hockey east and ecac coaches also conclude that well we shouldn't want him either.
Yep all makes sense to the eye of a youth hockey parent.
As the cream rises, it can often be difficult to tell the difference between players. Similar size, similar stats, they must be the same player, right? Player A might have a significantly higher hockey IQ and thus is raising the level of play for others on his line. The difference could be player A is more willing to battle along the boards than player B, or maybe they both are willing to battle but player B loses the battle far more often than he wins. Player A might be a solid two way player but Player B has a tendency to be slightly out of position in the defensive zone. BC might be looking for a left shot winger and the other player is a righty. Is one player a great student and the other has rocks between his ears? The coach might be telling others that player A is always working his tail off but player B is inconsistent. If they are really the same player than yes, it can simply be a matter of "I know the family" but no coach is wasting a scholarship slot for "family and friends", they simply don't have enough of them.
Hype certainly plays a roll, more so now and going forward then ever before. Scouting departments across all levels of hockey are changing significantly with much more reliance on iso tape than in person evaluations. The "if you are talented" requires that someone sees that player, I'm here to watch player A but I keep being drawn to player B sort of thing. You don't get that on an iso video making it more and more difficult for the unheralded player to be noticed. Everyone can make fun of guys like JC but if he's getting a few eyeballs on good players that were later bloomers, it's worth it.
At the highest levels, scouting is an inexact science. For example you need to look no further than local boy done good, C. Garland. Nobody had him tabbed him as a future NHL talent, he was "too small" there were questions about his work ethic and his decisions off the ice. He was ok his first two years in the Q but nothing spectacular and went undrafted during his first draft eligible year. Year 3, he lights up the scoreboard in the Q and Arizona takes him with a late round pick a year after every team said "no thanks". Today he's a solid NHL player. When you realize that most teams only hit on about 14% of their picks, I'm sure more than one scout is kicking himself for passing on him.
Knew no one. Was scouted in hs/prep. Invited to USAH summer camps. Drafted and played a year in USHL.
If you look at HE rosters that's the story for most kids.
Don’t overlook the off ice stuff and character. Plays a big role in kids that are visually equal on the ice.
Coaches and scouts are going with the player that works harder in the weight room and off season, has better character and is more coachable every time. Even if the other kid may have the slight skill advantage.
Another thing we have learned recently. Is why some kids are getting prep offers over other kids who may be a tad better.
Well I know everyone want to specialize in hockey. But all the schools asked what other sports he played. And let me tell you. The better options came from schools that had two coaches interested in him.
Covid has really screwed up recruiting which is also contributing to younger kids "not getting looks". Everything is delayed. The transfer portal is packed and will get much deeper. Seniors who just finished four years can now play another year as a grad transfer. Kids who didn't get much ice time can transfer without sitting out. If my kid were going through this again I'd have him finish HS here and then go to USHL or Junior A and worry about comittments then because getting looks today isn't going to mean much. A number of articles and posts out there talking about the mess this off season will be.
--->>>Ok show me one HE roster where 3/4 are lineage of some type? My kid plays HE. There is one kid on the team who has a parent who went to the school and none have parents who played college or above. But don't let the facts get in the way of your excuses.<<<---
Someone here posted the BC roster here 5-6 years ago and the number was something like 80% of the kids had hockey family connections. NHL dads, NHL front office, Dad's who had played in the program. . . the list was really eye opening.
Here is the current roster at BC, BU, Umass Click on the name and read the Personal Info, you can form your own opinion if these guys just "made it themselves" or if Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister, Uncle, had some influence.
People aren't saying its rigged, they are saying that since scouting is a crapshoot, and requires a lot of time and effort to scout a player properly, when all other things seem equal, they will choose the player with the family bloodline speculating that they have been around the game more, were taught properly by their dad, and also have the genes to play at high level. Some argue that its a lazier approach for the scout to assume that, and that the scouts are taking shortcuts. Who knows.
Its a shame, some really good hockey players from New England just wont get an opportunity. Play Prep or high level Midget, go to Jrs for a year or 2, then age out or go D3 as a 21 year old Freshman is the path for many of us poor souls.
So 5 years ago BC had a bunch of legacy players so that means my kid can't make it? Where's the numbers for the "all of college hockey is rigged" conclusion? What are your numbers in the aggregate for BC/BU/Umass/PC/NE/Harvard today? Still think your kid can't make it cause of his name or is it just the reality that it might be hard, merit based and he is probably just not going to be good enough.
Sorry your kid won't make it.
Kids are often more resilient than their parents.
Why cause the kids are good and yours will never be able to play at that level?
This is a great thread. Its an argument since I played college in the 90s. My son is on the older side, still at Prep and has not talked with 1 College team for 1 reason and that's because he is not ready. The jam in college hockey recruiting is the best thing that could happen for my kid, gives him another year of Prep to play and grow. I see no problem with a kid going to college at 21 or now 22 due to this crazy year. Why talk to a school when your are not ready, makes no sense, and I feel the verbal stuff hurts the kid, other schools lose interest, an 18 year old may be a bit different at 21/22, why commit to a place when you wont be there for a few years when you have 60 other options. Play, grow, process.
It is fixed and you have to be lucky at the same time. Many D1 players aren’t that skilled. Big, fast and work hard. Most teams have 1 skill line and 3 meathead lines. Raise a meathead. If your kid isn’t big, lower your expectations. Unless the kid is a ringer. They always get looks. Scouts don’t work hard. That’s a fact. They rely on coaches and ex players for tips.
My son has another year of prep left and after watching the college hockey tournament with 23/24 year old men playing most of the game in good with him hopefully committing at 19/20 and going into College at 21/22. Trust the process!
The “if you are good they will find you” and the “lineage” arguments are so overrated it is not even funny. The odds are against you, and you have to work relentlessly to be seen and be in the recruiting coaches mind. If you are good enough to play D1 they might or might not find you. If you are head and shoulders above your peers they will. If you have an NHL name it helps, everyone else fir every roster spot there are probably just 100 kids that are as good as you are.
My son has began emailing coaches, he's had 50 schools respond. So does he have shot or are they just polite?
So basically every school in the country has responded? or are you talking D3 as well?
Many will respond, especially now with recruiting blackouts but you never know what the outcomes might be. It's like applying for jobs. You throw the net wide. You might be qualified to work at every company but not all have openings/needs.
Same for colleges. They are competing for the elite player but the player can only go to one school, so the others move to the next guy on their list.
Some schools have specific needs. Maybe they need a depth and PK guy and your kid fits that need. You never know. You keep playing, improving and you never know when your at the right place at the right time with a shool that has a need.
I will say i agree with that post about the need to be extremely patient. The transfer portal will create chaos and that's where teams are focusing for next year.