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The Death Pool – Tier 3 Combines – WTF Are You Thinking?

A Tier 3 combine. Yes, really, a Tier 3 combine, not just one, but multiple events to sucker players and parents into paying to attend events designed for Tier 3 teams and leagues alone. And its not just the EHL trying to develop combines for Tier 3, there are now independent companies trying to develop these things.

Any player who aspires to play Tier 3 does not need a Tier 3 combine. All they have to do is attend any Tier 2 camp or independent showcase event and you will get all the Tier 3 team offers you can ask for.

If your only goal is to play Tier 3 then you should not be playing junior hockey. Tier 3 is a safety net, not a goal. If you cant get Tier 3 offers while at Tier 2 camps and independent showcases, then you are not ready for junior hockey at any level.

Don’t try to bullshit yourself and say maybe some Tier 2 teams will be there, because they wont. Tier 3 events are exactly what they say they are. Tier 2 teams do not go to Tier 3 combines.

The USHL, NCDC and NAHL all have their combine events. Not one of them is for Tier 3 teams, but they all show up to recruit players who don’t make it to higher levels. So why does anyone think that a Tier 3 combine is anything more than grabbing what ever money is left on the table?

There are plenty of great summer showcase events that will have NCAA, Tier II and Tier 3 scouts attending. Go to one of those and you will get plenty of interest.

A Tier 3 combine is a suckers play. Its mid February now, and there are dozens of teams still playing without full rosters at the Tier 3 level who will sign any free agent player. With that many openings, and with a ton of Tier 3 expansion coming next season, no one needs to attend a Tier 3 combine.

When junior hockey is having Tier 3 combines, it is time to really think.

Several years ago TJHN did a few studies on Tier 3 teams and camp invitations. We sent out fake resume’s multiple times to dozens of teams. 90% of the team the team or league was willing to take a player into the combine or tryout camp as long as he paid.

90% of the time a completely non existing player with fake stats and no elite prospects profile was invited, and coaches responded to the non existing player that they had seen him play last year. The players name was Kanapka Szynka, which is Polish for Ham Sandwich.

Don’t be this years Ham Sandwich.

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