Not a parent of an 07 either but have been through the chaos for far too long. Here is what you will see at any age level when comparing E9 to EHF.
The top 3 teams in the EHF are better than any other team or league around here. It's a simple as that.
Teams 4-8 in the EHF are good teams that can play each other all year and have competitive games. The top 3-4 E9 teams will fit nicely with these teams. Competitive games no blowouts.
The bottom 2 teams in the EHF are weak compared to the top teams and usually get blown out. These teams would be mid to bottom in the E9.
And here's the difference the bottom teams in the E9 don't get blown out by the upper teams. They lose but can hang in a game. Top EHF teams blow out weak teams.
Another crazy parent that thinks checking is such a big deal. At the higher levels it's really not much of a factor, you will see once your kid gets there. Skilled kids are too slippery to catch very often so the focus remains on playing the game. Low level & especially Town hockey you have kids taking runs at others all of the time. Go watch a Prep or Super 8 type game and you will only see a couple big hits per game which the kids shake off usually.
The kids that don't pass the puck are the ones that are impacted most by the switch to checking. It's the hockey gods' way of meting out justice.
It had 4 E9 kids, if that was the most represented E9 team in the tournament (33%) that is not much to brag about.