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Madison poorly run
So they can't invite your kid if he is drafted by another team so "official" invites can't come out until after the draft. The phase 2 draft has many rounds so if he is really a candidate, he should be drafted by one of the teams that claims interest. If he wants to play out there next fall then he should go to the main camp. That's where the team is primarily selected. If he is not drafted then you are free to go to any camp but just remember that very few undrafted kids ever make a roster. It happens but not that often. This is the year there could be many sleepers becuase of the lack of games and scouting opportunities so never say never but it's a long shot.
By and large the USHL has good clubs. The negatives i heard about were also Madison and the old Bloomington/Central Ill (out of businees). So I would just keep your kid skating and wait to see what happens in the draft. That may make your decision and easy one.
So we just started thinking about next year also as we can’t get an answer from my sons prep school if they will be playing, if they will let kids play fall, etc.. and with him being a senior he may bail and play instead of living on campus. He only played a handful of games this past year due to Covid. Are these teams approachable? Due they take the past into consideration, as he has won and produced at every level. This entire situation sucks!
Yes it sucks and anyone who tells you there is a better path is lying. USHL is going to be backed up with kids who thought they were going to college this fall but now are pushed out a year. Canadian jr. leagues barely played if they did at all so more kids than normal will be eying USHL. Normally clubs turn over 40-60% of their rosters. Now it will be much less so there will definately be fewer spots. There will also be pressure to raise the number of over age kids.
If you think he is good enough for USHL give it a shot but know that his chances are limited and you'll need a most likely plan whether that's local juniors, NAHL or just split season hoping prep will play.
I wouldnt bet on preps playing at all. Some schools have agreements in place that they can play spring sports against each other with no spectators. No shot, kids will play hockey next year
Op here, what other options for a MA 18 year old? Not interested in USPHL Premier as we were told the hockey is just bad. Any suggestions? If USHL is slim to no spots, and MA prep not playing, where are all of these 02/03/04 players going?
Tampa to play lacrosse.
College to study and get a job
So Canadians come here for Jrs and Americans go there for Jrs? Makes sense..WTF!
If your kid has a shot to play in the USHL, any team, you take it. 99% of players who stick for any time in the USHL play D1. The level of play is high, very high. There is no such thing as a bad USHL club. Madison was brought up. Madison has its issues but if your kid is a regular on the Caps he'll be signing D1. The USHL is arguable the top Junior league in the world. If your kid has talked to a coach or team scout and gets a main camp invite he should go. There are some teams that mass email main camp invites. Those invites are for the first 2-3 days. Those players are weeded out and some are held over for when the real main camp starts. A phone call is different though. If your kid can make the camp all-star game he will end up on lists that go to almost every other USHL and NAHL team and there will be coaches and scouts from NAHL teams at that USHL camp looking for players who don't make the final cut at the USHL level.
The next level is the NAHL. If your kid can make the roster on 80% of the NAHL teams you take it. I would actually say 100% of the teams because once you are in the league you can be traded. So just because you start out with on team doesn't mean you will end up finishing with that same team. It's free to play and it is high level hockey. The NAHL sends more players to D1 than any other league.
In the northeast there is the NCDC. I don't know where your kid is presently playing but I would dare say any NCDC team is better than where he is currently at. If he can't make the USHL or NAHL and has an opportunity there he should seriously consider it. Beware of teams talking to you about NCDC but really setting you up for their Premier team.
These first 3 leagues are better and deeper than any Prep team. This is Junior hockey. It's different.
You asked the question about if Canada is closed than where is everybody playing. The answer is in the U.S. and wherever you can find a spot and get solid playing time. That includes the Premier, NA3, and EHL. Because of all the shutdowns there has been huge competition for roster spots and players have been getting pushed down levels. Players that were in the USHL pushed down to NAHL. Players that were in NAHL or Canadian Jr A pushed to NCDC, Premier, NA3, EHL. Look at some rosters from this past season. NA3HL teams with full lines of players that a season ago were logging 40 NAHL games as regulars. This downward push is happening everywhere. The level of play at the Tier 3 level was very high this past season and will probably be that way next season as well.
2020 was a mess and 2021 is setting up to be just as difficult unless Canada gets themselves straightened out, opens the border, and the leagues resume play. Problem is after getting burned last season how many of those players are going to risk trusting the Canadian leagues and possibly losing another season or playing limited games? There will be more Canadians looking to get across the border to play in the USA this coming season, I predict.
USHL is a business, if your kid is not ready, don't send him, and its more the mental aspect, dress one night and not for 2 nights with no explanations given. Coaches are there to win their league not help you get or keep a college commitment. If your boy gets a chance, go when ready or it will be a terrible experience.
But if he's graduated HS he should go. If he can't make it at that age then he can't make it in college. It's the first level where mommy and daddy have not say any longer. Lots of kids persevere through those challenges and come out better off for the experience. Others wilt.