Right now, as it is every year, I am getting a lot of phone calls and emails from people looking for free advice. Nearly 90 percent of them are asking if they should take a Tier 3 offer, or take a AAA offer.
This is a simple question to answer. My answer is always the same.
You NEVER leave AAA for Tier 3 unless you have no other option. Its that simple.
Look at the USHL, NAHL and NCDC drafts. The vast majority of players are coming from AAA, Prep, Academies, and High School. They are not coming from Tier 3!
A 16 year old has no business playing Tier 3. A 17 or 18 year old should only play Tier 3 if he can not make a AAA, Prep, Academy or High School team! This is common sense people.
Why so many parents and players think they are going to be the ones to change the system is mind boggling!!! The system is not going to change for you or your child.
Its time for parents and players to begin understanding that the Coaches and Scouts at the higher levels will tell you when you are ready to advance. It wont be you who tell them!
All the Tier 3 coaches talking about their NHL or NCAA or Minor Pro experiences you are listening to in recruiting, did not play Tier 3! So why would you? Just look up their playing resume and it will tell you everything.
If you are 18, 19 or 20 and you have no other options then Tier 3 is where you should go. This is it. Tier 3 was never meant to be a development platform for Tier II.
There are two great Tier 3 leagues in the USPHL and EHL. They move a ton of players to NCAA D-3 programs. They also move the most players to Tier II, when you look at the numbers.
Tier 3 Championships don’t mean anything. Fan support at Tier 3 games wont get you to college. A cool dressing room is only a stupid recruiting tool unless you plan on living in the dressing room.
Its time for moms and dads to say “NO” to the child who says they need to play junior hockey when they have other options. It is time to put the freaking “yes baby” statement in the toilet where it belongs.
Start doing the right thing when making decisions for your career, and maybe you will start having some success instead of all the failures you are already complaining about.
For those of you real smart parents, my email is below if you really want to take control of your child’s career.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser