Confessions Of A Junior Hockey Coach – If You Are 16 or 17 Read This


I truly enjoy the month of July.  Every camp is in the full swing of thing.  It is a great time to catch up and watch the prospects I follow all last season to see where the development is after a two month of time in the gym.

I also truly hate the month of July.  For the same reason I enjoy it, I am also very disappointed each year.  Player simply are not listening to the common sense, and parent either do not listen or choose not to hear what is being said.

I took some time the last two week to review some Major Junior, USHL, NAHL, and Junior/Tier II Canada roster to provide this information to you 16 and 17 year old player and the parents.

Unless you are the dominating, physically mature player in Midget hockey, you are not going to play in the top Junior league as a 16 or 17 year old.  More important is that you should not be playing in these league to begin with.

Look at the roster.  The average team has 1 or 2 sixteen year old player on the roster in the top league.  That player is almost always an NHL prospect who dominated at Midget.

So, if you an average Midget player what make you think you should be playing junior hockey?

Look at the roster again and you see these team only have 3 or 4 seventeen year old player.  Again that player is almost always an NHL prospect who dominated at Midget the year before or is a returning player who has now been elevated to a top performer on the team.

Average, or good player should not leave Midget hockey for junior hockey.  End of the story.  Average or good player should not do anything other than train in the summer to become the better player.  That is to eat right and spend time in the gym.

I see hundreds of player going to top level camp because they think they can rush the development process.  I see hundreds of player get cut week after week because they think they will be the exception to the simple truths of what I have just said.

The 16 or 17 year old player who can go back to Midget should go back to Midget.  Concentrate on becoming the dominating player at the appropriate age level and then the scout will notice and you become a prospect.

You are not going to change the system.  You are not going to change how thing work for one hundred year.  You can not make square peg fit in round hole.

Be smart, accept and embrace the process and you will go further.  What you may want, and what you should have are often two very different things.