After the most recent drafts taking place in Canadian Junior A – Tier II, the NAHL, and now the NA3HL, we have been flooded with questions.
Here are a few basic rules to remember when dealing with “drafts”. While in most cases it is an honor to be drafted, there looks to be a lot of confusion over what is allowed after being drafted.
When you are drafted into any league that only means the team that drafted you owns your rights within that league.
It does not mean you have to report to the team that drafted you. For example, if you were drafted in the NA3HL but want to play AAA, you can go play AAA and you are under no obligation to report to the NA3HL team that drafted you.
If you were drafted in the CCHL, but want to play in the NAHL or NCDC, you are free to do so. You are under no obligation to report to any team drafting you unless you want to play in their league. Even then, if you don’t like the team that drafted you, you can request a trade.
If you were drafted in the NAHL and you want to go to the NCDC or BCHL or any other Junior League you are free to do so.
The important thing to remember is that until you play one regular season game, under USA Hockey rules anyway, that team does not officially own your rights.
You can not be forced to “pay to play” in any Tier III league. That said, once you sign a contract making a financial commitment to a Tier III team, you will likely be obligated to pay that contract, or at least a potion of it before you can leave for another team.
Here are a few simple suggestions for you at this very confusing time of year….
If you are being emotionally manipulated to sign, do not sign.
If the Coach who wants you has not spoken to your parents, do not sign.
If you are being pressured and being told the spot wont be available for you a week or two from now, do not sign.
If you are unsure of moving up, you are not ready.
The team that really wants you now, will be there waiting for you later if you need time to decide.
Finally, whether you were drafted or not, when you commit to a team, if you are asked to sign anything, make sure you read it. Do not simply sign a contract that has any financial commitment in it. You will likely live to regret it and will likely end up paying all of it.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser