If better hockey is the primary reason for sending your son away in the first place, then it makes sense to send him to the school with the better hockey program and the better coach if there is a place for him. I don't think it's necessarily a great developmental opportunity playing as a freshman for a team that might not be very competitive. Learning from upperclassmen, being part of a winning culture, competing against the best competition you can day in and day out in practice -- those things, I'd argue, are more important than being on the 3rd or 4th line for a mediocre team as a ninth grader.
It’s not boarding. It’s day. He feels great at both places. I’m more worried about long term play time. At one school I know he will be a contributor for sure and the other, tbd. That’s why I’m struggling. What if I send him to the better hockey school and he doesn’t wind up playing much? Should I go for the one where he has the better chance to play. He would do either school and I want to know which to guide him toward
It depends on the kid and what he wants from hockey. If you are considering BH vs Nobles, they are very similar hockey wise, but it is more difficult to play on varsity at BH, even as a sophomore. If it is BH vs BBN, they are very different in terms of hockey, and they take different kids.
What are your son's ambitions in terms of hockey? Usually, the top kids in their age groups who want to pursue high-level college hockey aren't worried about getting buried in a lineup at a top hockey prep school that actively recruits them. They're confident they can go earn their top six/top four minutes. If you're son is more of a solid player who wants to get a good education, play the highest level of high school hockey he can for 3-4 years, and then hopefully earn a few college and/or junior hockey opportunities afterwards, it probably makes sense to go to the prep school where you think he is going to play the most. If he develops into a top prep player, it's not going to matter what school he plays for. The "BBN vs. Nobles" framework is seems like a good one for you to consider. Both good day schools. Nobles is a hockey power. BBN can barely hang with them. Playing hockey at BBN type school could be a great experience for your kid, he just might not win a lot of games...
If all things are equal he will have a better experience where he is playing the most. Being on a team with limited ice time can take away from the overall experience. Send them where they will be happiest.
BBN could not hang with a good d1 public
Op here. Never did I say bb and n and never would I send my kid there!