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Confessions Of A Junior Hockey Coach – Choosing The Right League To Move Up From

To be sure I am like to make mad a lot of people today.  I care not.

The other day a few hour before the NHL draft I stumble across a story talking about how good one league is.  To me it is the joke of all joke when people write such nonsense.

Let me be clear to the parent and player.  If you want to move to the NHL there are 5 “league” to do it.  The OHL, USHL, WHL, QMJHL, and NCAA.  These are the five top developer of NHL player.  Period.

If you want to move to NCAA Division 1 there is ONE leader.  The USHL.  Everyone else is second.

If you want to move to NAHL or Canada Junior A, there is no Tier III league that is better than any other at moving player up to that level.  Let us stop with the used car salesmen pitch.

All you parent and player who keep comparing one league to another are simply stupid!  Leagues do not move any player up to any level.  Memorize this and save youself a lot of time.

Individual player, their skill, and body of work, along with the individuals supporting that player are what move player up.

This all start at Bantam and Midget hockey.  If you not playing in good Bantam or Midget organization, you go nowhere.  Unless you playing prep school, or High School hockey in Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, or New York.

There are good team and bad team in every league.  Some team move player up, some do not.  So the “league” do not matter.

I talk about this today not just because the article I read, but because so many of you have no clue how to evaluate where to play.  So many of you always in the hurry to rush the development.  So many of you think you better player than you really are.

Success is found in being the best player you can be in the organization that uses you the most effective.  Why so many of you aim way beyond you ability is crazy.

Just because you on a roster in some league mean nothing.  If you not top player, you are going nowhere.  So why would you want to simply be the role player at one level, when you could be a dominating player at the next level down?

Unless you in the NHL getting the big paycheck where it do not matter if you the top player, you should always want to be a dominating player.

Player in Major Junior or USHL who is fourth line player is not going to NHL, top line player in Canada Junior A or NAHL have much better chance.

Fourth line player in Junior A or NAHL is not going NCAA D-1 and will have hard time to get to D-3.  That player much better off to dominate Junior B or Tier III and go to D-3.

I say this because “league” like to use propaganda to make “league” look good.  They all do it.  No one want to admit they have little brother who just not good.

I also say this because every year I go from camp to camp doing the scouting.  Every year is see many people going from camp, to camp, to camp thinking if they go to enough someone might want to take the chance on them.  It is time to get the understanding that those player are simply just not good enough, or ready for that level of play.

This year alone I look at my camp rosters and find two dozen player that have been to more than six camp I have been to.  This is ridiculous!

Stop wasting time and money.  Stop dealing with the unnecessary rejection of being cut every weekend.  If there is the team that want you at the level below, get on the team and focus on the season ahead.

The highest levels are not meant to be reached by everyone.  Give you best shot, but be smart enough to realize when you simply are not good enough or ready enough.  If you think all the coach who cut you are wrong, then you are the one who need to talk to the professional because you can not be honest with youself.

Sign the good team.  Do the best you can do and have fun while you are there.  This “living the dream” will one day force you to wake up from the dream.


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