Next Tuesday we will have the annual NAHL draft. The USHL and NCDC drafts have already concluded.
These are the three drafts that all players talk about if they are not talking about Major Junior. These are the three events that really are the pinnacle of the spring camp season.
Here is a news flash for all of you.
You will probably not be drafted on Tuesday. If you haven’t been drafted in the USHL or the NCDC, its unlikely you will be in the NAHL. Time to read that again and then sit and digest it for a while.
The odds on any player getting drafted in any league are roughly 1 in 10,000. Remember, these teams draft from player pools all over the world and not just in the United States. These are the odds.
Your odds of being that 1 in 10,000 we determined by your play last season and the season before. They will not be determined by the camp you attend prior to the draft. All that will do is earn you an invitation to another camp.
So it is time to stop pretending that your odds on getting drafted are any better because you attended a pre draft camp last weekend. It is time to actually make a plan.
There are some simple rules to making a good plan.
Play within your age group. If you are U18 play U18 and dominate that age group. If you are U16 play in that age group and dominate. This is where the vast majority of draft picks come from, the U18 and U16 groups. So why are so many of you trying to reinvent the wheel?
As a 16 year old do you really think you are ready for junior hockey? No. You are not. If you were, you would have been drafted. This is your measuring stick.
If you were a third line player last year, what makes you think you are ready to be at a higher level when you haven’t dominated at your current level? Because mom or dad said so?
When you don’t get drafted on Tuesday, and the great majority of you wont. Then you better sign with that AAA team, or the Prep team that has been recruiting you. You better take a good offer now because the smart players who aren’t drafted, will be taking those offers or have already agreed to one as a backup plan.
Being prepared is what coaches tell you to do. All summer everyone talks about preparing for the season. That doesn’t just mean physically. It means developing a plan where you are set with a team early in the summer so you aren’t chasing camps and wasting a lot of money all summer.
If you think after going undrafted that you are making a Tier I or Tier II team as a free agent attending an “open” camp, your odds are closer to 1 in 20,000. These are the real numbers. This is the truth that a lot of people wont tell you.
If you have an Adviser, he has already done his work and contacted teams on your behalf. If you don’t, then you needed to be a top producer. Its that simple.
There are plenty of really good organizations still looking for players. We get inquiries every day. So when Tuesday comes and goes and you are left without a team, and you haven’t made a backup plan; I look forward to hearing from you.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser