Ice Hockey DBoard

The Official New England Ice Hockey DBoard 


Click Here to Visit Our Facebook Page

email: icehockeydboard@yahoo.com

Youth Hockey
Start a New Topic 
Author
Comment
14U Season

Many people I talk to say their kids are leaving Fed to go to E9 for the 14U season. They are saying the the E9 becomes the better league starting at 14U. Does this sound right? Should we be looking for an E9 team?

Re: 14U Season

At U14 many kids are looking for a 1/2 season option as they will be playing high school hockey also.
The E9 seems to have more competive 1/2 season options than the EHF. No matter what you choose, full season teams will blow up come Thanksgiving.n

Re: 14U Season

Anon
At U14 many kids are looking for a 1/2 season option as they will be playing high school hockey also.
The E9 seems to have more competive 1/2 season options than the EHF. No matter what you choose, full season teams will blow up come Thanksgiving.n
Just not true. Some teams dismantle, some stay together. My kid played for the same coach for the same program for both U14 years. Couple of kids changed out, but not so much that it was disruptive of the season.

Re: 14U Season

I've heard similar but I've also heard that some on the North Shore will also go to Top Gun. My kid is at IHC and I know they are putting together and emphasizing U14, U15, U16 teams as options to keep kids in the program. From what I've heard, RG is interested in competing at those levels more consistently with the teams from the mid west (LC, Chicago Mission, etc).

It seems like everything is pretty well structured from mites to PW but once you hit Bantam and Midget it's a free for all. Not trying to sound uneducated about the options but for non-hockey parents it seems like the progressions are a bit unclear once you get past PW Major.

It would be helpful to get an idea what the paths are from people who have went through this already. I know I'm breaking some commandment asking for advice or personal experience on the dboard... let er rip.

Re: 14U Season

I’m curious too... kudos to you for asking because you know there will only be one serious response amongst 14 sarcastic ones!

Re: 14U Season

Never ceases to amaze me that kids leave for low end varsity or worse, JV!

Re: 14U Season

Anon
Never ceases to amaze me that kids leave for low end varsity or worse, JV!
Agree, but the full season options have to be worth your time as well. Seems like more and more teams are holding it together for a full season than a few years ago, which is a good thing in my opinion.

Re: 14U Season

Go look at River Rats results against EHF teams. E9 does become better. Eagles would be exception, but for the most part it switches.

Re: 14U Season

River rats is where a lot of the top kids in EHF and E9 go for u14. No more daddy coaches and coaches drinking buddies kids. They play e9 but also play beast which is a lot of the better u14 teams on the east coast.

Re: 14U Season

Anon
I've heard similar but I've also heard that some on the North Shore will also go to Top Gun. My kid is at IHC and I know they are putting together and emphasizing U14, U15, U16 teams as options to keep kids in the program. From what I've heard, RG is interested in competing at those levels more consistently with the teams from the mid west (LC, Chicago Mission, etc).

It seems like everything is pretty well structured from mites to PW but once you hit Bantam and Midget it's a free for all. Not trying to sound uneducated about the options but for non-hockey parents it seems like the progressions are a bit unclear once you get past PW Major.

It would be helpful to get an idea what the paths are from people who have went through this already. I know I'm breaking some commandment asking for advice or personal experience on the dboard... let er rip.
My kid is 17. He played Full Season U14 in the EHF for both Bantam years. I believe strongly that FS is the right place for U14 players. Some of his teammates left to play HS Varsity (for bad programs) or JV (even worse). They do it to play with their friends, (nothing wrong with that) or are pushed by their parents so they can say he played Varsity as a Freshman. Problem is, if it's a good HS team, they aren't playing much if at all, and if it's a bad one, they aren't getting pushed. Either is a lost year in terms of development at a critical time.

Some of those kids returned after the HS season was over. Or, we played with them on a summer team. They all took a major step backwards due to their decision to play HS. They also failed to make the U16 half season teams they tried out for. I can't find them in Elite Prospects, which is the database where the better players' teams and stats can be found.

The HS season is short, in most cases not well coached, the practice times tend to be less (because of cost and availability), and the coach is there so he can keep collecting his couple of grand, there's no focus on development.

In some cases, parents are concerned that if their Freshman plays Club it will hurt their changes as an upperclassman. Problem is, in the time since my kid was that age, MIAA hockey has really fallen off. The private Catholic schools used to be good, and attracted some draftable talent. Not any more. The best players would hang in until they are 16, then go Prep and today they aren't even doing that.

And, the U15, U16, U18 FS private teams in the T1EHL and NCDC and Tier III Juniors, U16 and U18 teams in the USPHL are catching up to the Preps. I don't think they are as good as the Top preps, but they're better than a lot of Prep teams.

So, if your kid can play as a 16/17/18 year old, the coach will welcome him with open arms. And I really believe the development path in the FS teams is better than 1/2 season + HS.

You mention RG. He already has that in the USPHL (which he runs), at least for U16, U18 and NCDC. I could see him trying to do that at the U14 level through the EHF - they already do try by assembling teams to qualify for Nationals, but I don't think IHC has had much success the past 3 years or so. I don't see him trying to do that for U15 or U16 in the EHF. USPHL offers a better product than the EHF at those ages, so why try to overtake yourself?

Re: 14U Season

Spot on. Would love to see the USPHL and Tier 1 Elite League officially align. Tier 1 Elite better but would be good from a travel standpoint. Suck in the ECEL and NAPHL also. All good leagues getting better.

Re: 14U Season

Anon
Spot on. Would love to see the USPHL and Tier 1 Elite League officially align. Tier 1 Elite better but would be good from a travel standpoint. Suck in the ECEL and NAPHL also. All good leagues getting better.
Monarchs are actually already in both (T1EHL and USPHL). I don't see RG letting TL into the USPHL, and RG isn't going to leave the USPHL (since he owns it).

Re: 14U Season

Anon
Anon
Spot on. Would love to see the USPHL and Tier 1 Elite League officially align. Tier 1 Elite better but would be good from a travel standpoint. Suck in the ECEL and NAPHL also. All good leagues getting better.
Monarchs are actually already in both (T1EHL and USPHL). I don't see RG letting TL into the USPHL, and RG isn't going to leave the USPHL (since he owns it).
USPHL U18 is fairly competitive at the national level including vs Tier1 league. U16 not as much, but getting stronger every year.

Re: 14U Season

Anon
Anon
Anon
Spot on. Would love to see the USPHL and Tier 1 Elite League officially align. Tier 1 Elite better but would be good from a travel standpoint. Suck in the ECEL and NAPHL also. All good leagues getting better.
Monarchs are actually already in both (T1EHL and USPHL). I don\'t see RG letting TL into the USPHL, and RG isn\'t going to leave the USPHL (since he owns it).
USPHL U18 is fairly competitive at the national level including vs Tier1 league. U16 not as much, but getting stronger every year.
TiEHL U16 is actually stronger than U18 (realtive to age). The top U18s (outside this area) come here to play Prep, or go to the NAHL and the U.

Re: 14U Season

Anon
Anon
Anon
Anon
Spot on. Would love to see the USPHL and Tier 1 Elite League officially align. Tier 1 Elite better but would be good from a travel standpoint. Suck in the ECEL and NAPHL also. All good leagues getting better.
Monarchs are actually already in both (T1EHL and USPHL). I don\\\'t see RG letting TL into the USPHL, and RG isn\\\'t going to leave the USPHL (since he owns it).
USPHL U18 is fairly competitive at the national level including vs Tier1 league. U16 not as much, but getting stronger every year.
TiEHL U16 is actually stronger than U18 (realtive to age). The top U18s (outside this area) come here to play Prep, or go to the NAHL and the U.
You are absolutely correct! But, Prep and U18 ( Better local teams) are much closer to each other then years past. Slightly watering things down, but the best kids are still going to the midwest at 17, 18 and beyond with a handful staying or coming back to NCDC.

Watched some USPHL teams play some of the better u16 and u18 teams. Very good hockey. Only thing missing at u18 are the Elite, Elite types as most have moved on.

Re: 14U Season

U14 FS is a bit of a crapshoot and IMHO, it's the only age where you really have no idea what the season is really going to entail. I'm a big believer in coaches over leagues or teams but I think that all goes out the door for this one season.

U14 usually has a number of 8th & 9th grade players on the team, the 8th graders are committed to playing the FS because they don't have other outlets, some of the 9th grade players are committed to the doing a full season but many will tryout for their high school team. The inevitable scheduling conflicts that arise between club and high school mean many of these players won't be able to make practices and games on a regular basis, this in turn creates drama and stress.

To compensate for the inevitable changes after Thanksgiving, some organizations overfill their rosters. Not a bad idea but it does make the first half of a season a little more challenging with 20 kids on the bench. Other organizations know that there will be players available after November so they just assume the influx will equal the outflow and they are good. Unfortunately this doesn't always happen, especially with smaller org's so you will see practices with 5 kids on the ice and games with 8 or 9 skaters, so not a great situation either.

Here is the advice I give any parent about to enter the U14 season having been through it a few times now, it's a bit long winded so sorry.

If your kid is a freshman and isn't going to go the school route but is a good player try finding a decent U16 or U15 FS team to get him on. This can be difficult as there really can be significant size/strength differences from 14 to 16 but in my experience, kids playing FS U16 are genuinely committed to playing the season.

If your player isn't capable of making a decent U16 team as a freshman (don't get discouraged) stick with the larger programs in your area for U14 as they usually have the least amount of problems after Thanksgiving.

Now if you are willing to gamble at bit, sign your player up for a half season team and come 12/1 (really the week after turkey day), start emailing coaches that you think are a fit with your player at some of the smaller programs. Usually these teams will have openings and you can save yourself a few bucks. I know a number of players that found landing spots for a little more than the cost of the jerseys. Downside, you have to put in a little work and it may take a week or two to find him a team.

If you are going to let you kid tryout @ high school and have him play V/JV, do everyone a favor and sign up for a half season team and find your player a spot as an alternate if you feel he isn't getting enough hockey. Although I don't begrudge any parent/player who goes the school route, you aren't being fair to those who are still there. I've been on both sides of this decision and wish I followed my own advice. My son & I got some peace of mind but we also got a fair amount of grief when we missed 50% of the remaining games and 90% of the practices.

If your kid is an 8th grader, stick with the larger programs or go half season and find him a home after 12/1. I'm going to face this particular dilema for the first time with my youngest in two years.

That's my .02 cents, I'm sure I will get eviscerated for my response but U14 really is a strange season.

Re: 14U Season

anon


That's my .02 cents, I'm sure I will get eviscerated for my response but U14 really is a strange season.
Yeah, because what you see as the best avenue is ridiculous. Any 14 year old that can play for a good FS U16 team isn't worried about any of this. They are coveted players on U14 teams that shooting for Nattys and on Prep school's radar.

So, that leave the 14 YO that can make a crappy FS U16 team> Now, why would anyone see that as desirable? You're spending twice as much - or more - than a top EHF/E9 FS team.

And, i hope you realize that FS U16 teams travel, and have Friday and Monday games. You gonna pull your kid out of school for 6-7 days?

Then, of course, there's the safety factor. A U14 player has been checking for exactly one season. Even if he is undersized, the U16 game is MUCH more physical than U14. He needs to learn how to play that game, gradually, not thrown to the wolves.

I assume you did this, or you wouldn't be recommending. it. What U16 team did he play for at 14?

It isn't really very hard to know who the good FS U14 teams are. Just look at the league schedules and see who's still winning. Then go to a game.

Re: 14U Season

Speaking about .02 cents. Now how about the $$$ and cents. Any word out there about program prices for the U14 season next year. E9/BHL or Fed (PLEASE no league hating comments), full or half season prices.

Re: 14U Season

Thank you for your posts... most valuable thread I have ever seen on this site. I’m struggling with this for my U14 incoming 8th grade goalie for next year and even though you guys are talking about players you’ve given me more to think about. Thanks,

Re: 14U Season

Anon
Thank you for your posts... most valuable thread I have ever seen on this site. I’m struggling with this for my U14 incoming 8th grade goalie for next year and even though you guys are talking about players you’ve given me more to think about. Thanks,
Goalie is even more unique. Keep the reps coming. Lots of pucks. Play u14, u15, u16 until ready to move up. Too many goalies sit and watch

Re: 14U Season

I know and this is my fear... he has been approached to be the #2 for an E9 team and a #2 for a T1 EHF. Don’t want to sit on the bench!

Re: 14U Season

My advice is to ask the coaches what the story is with other goalie. If they are on the path to play high school then you have a half season as the one and only

Re: 14U Season

Anon
I know and this is my fear... he has been approached to be the #2 for an E9 team and a #2 for a T1 EHF. Don’t want to sit on the bench!
At that age they should be splitting evenly. Perhaps if one is quite stronger than the other or playing better, then split based off of strength of opponent. No reason to have a #1.

Moving forward, absolutely, positively have your goalie play FS through High School. If he is CC, D1 ( Quality) or Prep, have him play FS until he is guaranteed to get playing time and even still the trend seems to be towards FS. Keep training hard! It gets really competitive as you go up the pyramid!

Now if hockey is not his main sport or he is not "All In" ( Relatively speaking) then save your money, play half season and see what happens in High School.

Either way, enjoy the journey and best of luck.

Re: 14U Season

Thanks for the advice! He is a great golfer and a great LAX player but he is “all in” as a goalie and has left club lax and his jr golf team. He has a goalie trainer and off ice trainer so he is chugging along!

Re: 14U Season

Anon
Thank you for your posts... most valuable thread I have ever seen on this site. I’m struggling with this for my U14 incoming 8th grade goalie for next year and even though you guys are talking about players you’ve given me more to think about. Thanks,
Eagles looking for a full season U14 goalie

Re: 14U Season

Where do they play out of?

Re: 14U Season

Anon
Where do they play out of?
Newton

EHF Elite full season team

Re: 14U Season

OOFA! That would be a haul! Live in the Attleboro area and used to commute up to Newton for work BEFORE they built up the area with TripAdvisor, etc! BOCH and Hyde Park are doable... Newton is a stretch...

Re: 14U Season

Anon
Thank you for your posts... most valuable thread I have ever seen on this site. I’m struggling with this for my U14 incoming 8th grade goalie for next year and even though you guys are talking about players you’ve given me more to think about. Thanks,
I agree. Thank you for your insight. It's good to hear many different opinions on this, especially as a first time bantam hockey parent.

Not surprised it came in a thread about 2004s. Congrats to the 2004 parents for making it this far and being by far the least nutty of all birth years (at least in my years on the dboard). There could have been a lot more 2004 chatter on these boards over the years, but I think most of us just sat by and watched the other birth years duke it out while our kids' teams stayed out of the spotlight.