Confessions Of A Junior Hockey Coach – Congratulations On Being Drafted

To be sure, being drafted is an honor.  Whether is be Major Junior, USHL, Tier II or Tier III, it is an honor, and something to be proud of.  But what do it mean?

Most important it mean you work has only just begun.

It important though to remember, being drafted is only a statement that the team that pick you is drafting you on what they see to be you potential as a player.  Nothing more.

Potential is nothing without effort.

With the OHL draft complete, the WHL, QMJHL, USHL, Tier II and Tier III draft yet to come, you have some important decision in front of you if you picked.  You also have some rule to follow in case NCAA is an option for you.

Because Major Junior team pay players who have already signed NHL contracts, and pay player a monthly stipend, it is considered professional hockey by the NCAA.  So, any player signing an agreement with a Major Junior team risks losing their NCAA eligibility.

Remember that under NCAA rules, teams cannot contact student-athletes prior to Jan. 1 of their grade 10 year of high school. Unless you have visited a coach on campus or reached out to them on your own, you may be drafted without ever talking to a college coach.  Being drafted by a Major Junior team doesn’t mean an NCAA program is not interested.

If you are lucky enough to be drafted by a Major Junior team, remember that while you are attending any Major Junior camps you can not play against another Major Junior team.  No scrimmages, no practices, and no pre season games against other teams.  A scrimmage or pre season game mean you NCAA eligibility is over.

Do not accept gift from any Major Junior team.  This include, jersey, equipment, or anything else of value.

If you go to a camp, you have 48 hour to decide if you want to sign.  If you stay more than 48 hour, you have to cover you own expense.  If you do not, NCAA eligibility is gone.

Be smart in you decisions making.  Be realistic in what you goals are.  If you not a first round pick it is alright.  Not everyone can be a first round pick.

If you not drafted it mean nothing.  Plenty of player go undrafted each year who make it to where they want to go.  Just look how many player sign contract in NHL at the end of NCAA season this year that were not drafted.

Each player have his own path in life and in the game.  Educate youself on which path is best for you.  Know and understand the rules, and the game will give you more than you give it.


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