Confessions Of A Junior Hockey Coach – Player Movement Up

To be sure all player want to play at the highest level possible.  It is only natural that player want to challenge himself and grow.  If you did not want to move to highest level, then you are truely not a player.

There is the question though of when to move to the next level?  It is only players at the Tier II and Tier III level of junior hockey that are always talking about how they want to move up.  The Major Junior and USHL player are only looking to move to pro or college hockey, for them there is not much more movement up.

There is the right time to move up and the not right time to move up.  The key is in knowing the difference in the time.

If you are leading scorer on your team now, and an opportunity to move up comes along, you must look at the opportunity and evaluate if it is right for you in the long term.  Why would leading scorer at Tier III want to go to Tier II and be a role player?  Unless you have 2 years left to play junior, and can afford to take the time in that role, then the call up does not help you.

The goal scorer must always be putting himself in a position to score goals, not being concerned with simply getting to the next level.  The top scorer at Tier III has the same, or better opportunity at going to college than the third or fourth  line Tier II player.

The top line Tier II player has just as much if not better opportunity to go to Division I NCAA as the third line USHL player.

Simply playing in the top level leagues is no promise of what the future may bring.

To play Major Junior is no promise to play the NHL some day.  Why would player go to Major Junior unless he had a University back up plan for when the NHL does not come calling?

It is time for the player and the parent to start making smart decision.  It is time that the player and the parent stop thinking the way they always have and they expect the results to be different.  If you keep to looking up, you can not focus your eyes on where you are.  If you are the dominating player where you are, why would you want to be a role player at the next level?  Simply to be at the next level does nothing for your career and is only making the choice to make your ego happy.

Who gets the most attention from the scouts?  The top player.  Be the top player where you are, and be patient.  Moving up not always the best thing to do, especially when it will mean not having opportunity to be top player.

Coach

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