Correction... Most intelligent people don't like to get, or be hit.
Similar to touching an open flame. It's not fun.
What you meant to say is successful athletes that play contact sports learn to accept/deal with it, and some enjoy being the hitter.
I see quite the opposite that the smaller and, in the past, quicker kids that could zip in and out are being slowed down by bigger kids who had gradually developed their skating and learning the game how to slow down those faster kids by body positioning, controlling the gap, ability to battle and win on the boards. However, since we are talking about 11/12-year olds this all could very well level off and smaller kids adapt and also alter their game to match the higher physical contact. Not all but some. I do believe that regardless of the size if a kid is properly developed and has natural athletic ability, hockey smarts and passion for the game, he (excluding girls since they do not really hit) should be fine when the physicality of the game is notched up a few levels.
The problem is the next level requires not only big and strong but quick and fast and smart...it's no longer an either / or proposition.
No matter how you slice it - size matters! If you take two equally skilled players where one is much bigger, guess who wins!? Smaller players have to overcompensate for the lack of size by developing other aspects of their game and generally be better to stay in the game and be able to compete.
Size is still a huge factor as you move up the food chain because you face people who are big and strong skaters with skill. The small skilled guy is still more the exception than the rule even as speed and mobility are the driving force in hockey now. The 6'5" guys that can skate like Colin Miller or Brandon Carlo are still what every team is looking for.
BU only has 3 kids over 6'2, passion, work ethic and skill is all you need.
Here is my .02...
The great thing about hockey is that it can be played at a high level by small players. Small players that can skate, are balanced and use heavy sticks during puck battles are just as effective as a taller player AT ALL LEVELS OF HOCKEY. The smaller player who skates well and balanced can effectively use body checking by swinging their hips into the gut and hands of larger players to separate their opponent from the puck. If the smaller player is aware of his strengths and limitations, I really don't see too much of a disadvantage.
I think the real factor to consider is not size, it's maturity (puberty). And it DOES make a difference from PW major through High School. Kids who have matured have an obvious advantage over kids who haven't - they are both physically and mentally stronger. I have seen plenty of smaller U14/U16, mature players dominate taller, immature players - they understand the game better and skate circles around the bigger/taller immature kids.
At the age levels where maturity has been reached (U18/Juniors/College), the 5'8 (really 5'7") and the 5'9" (really 5'8") player is commonplace on rosters.
Spot on. Size isn’t just height, although that matters if all things equal. The kid who is physically light or weak fades away. Look at the little guy in Hingham. One of the smartest, most skilled and best skaters around that has much less of an impact on the game now than 2 years ago. Unless a miracle happens unfortunately one of the best of his birth year will be done after his u18 years. Not knocking him, it’s just fact.
? ? ? Not ‘The Little Superstar’. Who you talkin’ about???
The fact of the matter is that the magic number for size in higher level hockey is 5'10" and above (assuming they can skate and play as well). Yes, there are exceptions for some smaller players but they must be "exceptional" players and really stand out playing with older and bigger players. This coming right from the mouth of the people that are evaluating our little benders...
Do yourself a favor..take your player to a St.Sebs, Rivers, Brooks, AOF game and then come back here to respond to the size vs speed question.
It's interesting to see how the Bruins(and other NHL teams) are kind of all over on this. Bruins have Chara, McQuaid and Carlo yet also run with Krug and Grzelcyk so it seems size IS a factor but it's not the only one.
It’s about the odds - hundreds of good players 5’7”-5’9”, but as you get above 6’ and then to 6’2”+ then not so many. So while a few smaller size kids can and make, it is a lot harder to do.
It's like the old Nintendo hockey game 2 skinny guys, 2 medium, 1 big. Balance.
Thayer academy, highly skilled no real size. Proctor academy no size, St Sebs no real size other than couple but across the board these teams are same size as public school,just more skilled.
You mean the "prodigy"?
Is that the kid whose dad looks like he's off his blood pressure pills? The parent who has his son try to play 06 because hes "better than"? That poor kid.