Over the last twenty seven years, I have heard a lot of things. A lot of claims, a lot of bragging, and for lack of a better phrase, a lot of bullshit.
I know you will find this hard to believe, but there are teams, and therefore leagues, that are making claims of NCAA commitments that aren’t exactly accurate, and pretty damn misleading. Shocking I know, to think that a team or a league would intentionally put out information they knew was not exactly accurate.
Nearly every player at the junior hockey level outside of Major Junior, is looking to get an NCAA commitment at some point. That is the big picture goal. Teams and leagues understand this and it is why recruiting is so heavily dependent on previous team commitment numbers.
But what about those commitment numbers? How accurate are they? Does a reported commitment really tell the story of a teams development success? Or is that development success based more upon the viewers perception of success? Perception is after all reality, and not everyone’s perception is the same.
Your perception though may not be as good as you think. Saying something, does not automatically make it an absolute truth.
Lets make one thing absolutely clear. The “league” doesn’t make the player, the “players” make the league. The “team” doesn’t make the player who they are, the “players” make the team what it is.
Commitment claims are just that, “claims” or “announcements”. They mean nothing until the player is enrolled at the school and actually playing NCAA hockey.
Hundreds of “commitments” from leagues are duplicate claims. Leagues are claiming commitments from players who are “alumni”. Not exactly an honest claim of getting the player committed.
Hundreds more “commitments” are claims made by leagues when the player enrolls in an NCAA program even though he had his NCAA commitment before he got to play in the junior league making the claim.
And then there is the sneaky commitment claim;
There are a number of teams in a number of leagues claiming NCAA commitments when in fact those players are ACHA commitments.
It’s time to start going through those “claims” of “commitments” before you agree to play for a team. Don’t look at last years commitments.
Drill deeper. Look two seasons back at the commitments. See who they announced as a commitment and then go an see if they played.
See if those “committed” players actually played NCAA hockey. See if those “committed” players actually made the commitment while playing for that program. See if those “committed” players actually played or are playing NCAA hockey.
So many players do not clear the admissions process, or do not make the team in the case of D-3, that the commitment numbers being reported by many leagues can not be trusted. Yes. At D-3 you have to make the team every year.
In the last twelve months alone I have had five players who were announced as being NCAA commitments by their team and league contact me because the team had decommitted them, or because they could not complete the admissions process.
Simply put, more players are announced as commitments than there are openings in NCAA hockey.
When a team starts talking about “commitments” in the “league”, unless they are an expansion team it means they have no commitments of their own worth talking about.
Don’t fall for numbers. The numbers are being manipulated. Be smart if you want to go to college, and do the math before you play junior or commit to a team.
If you can’t do that, then hire an adviser. If you’re not willing to do the work, then when you are left disappointed, you have no one to blame but yourself.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser