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A couple of days ago, I received a message from a young hockey player.
In the note, he said “Great Draft”.
I responded, “What was great about it?”.
He responded, “Seven of my friends were drafted”.
He was referring to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft, which was held on June 2nd 2018.
I wrote back and asked if his friends were happy, and he responded that they were ecstatic.
Of course, I have been watching the hundreds (if not thousands) of tweets where players have been congratulating one another, and thanking their coaches, and parents, and others.
I congratulate all players, who were drafted, on the recognition that they have obviously achieved.
I reminded him that although I could understand the ego associated with the fact that a player is drafted and recognized for his playing talent, the truth of the matter is that the purpose of the draft is really for the League, and the teams, and not the player.
Let me say that again, “the purpose of the draft is really for the the League, and the teams, and not the player”.
It has to do with keeping the league stable, and teams on equal footing.
If anything, being drafted limits a player, by ensuring that he will only play in that league, if the team that drafted him says so. Many great players have been drafted by one team, and have not played, whereas if they had been drafted by another team, or if they were a free agent and able to play anywhere within the League, they would have played.
My young friend then went on and stated that his friends were excited and that they would be training hard all summer long, to ensure that they earned a roster spot in the Fall.
He had a friend drafted in the 3rd round, the 5th round, the 7th round, the 8th round, the 10th round, the 11th round, and the 14th round, of Saturday’s Draft.
He said that they all felt they would play in the QMJHL next season.
I asked if he realized that it was not very long ago, that 16 year olds had to be drafted in the first 5 rounds of the QMJHL Draft…. and even then, if a player was not chosen in the first three rounds, the likelihood of ever playing in the QMJHL was slim.
He said that he was not aware of that.
I then asked if he realized that only one player who was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2017 draft had played more than 25 games in the regular season this past year…., and one from the 5th round…., and none from the 7th. One player, who was drafted in the 8th round had played 27 games. last year in the regular season (which meant that he sat in the stands for more than half the games).
He was shocked, as he felt that if a player was drafted, he would play….. and that he “had arrived”.
I told him that I believe that a few years ago, the QMJHL changed their policy of only drafting 16 year olds, during the first five rounds in order to have players step onto the ice, and commit rule NCAA infractions that would forever prevent them from playing college hockey, to protect their future business interests.
Of the 251 players drafted in 2017, only forty-four 2001 born players ended up playing a game during the regular season, with six playing 10 games or less. Two played 1 game, and two played 2 games.
With players having to weigh the fact that most will become ineligible to play in the NCAA if they attend a CHL training camp, important decisions indeed are ahead.
Being “the property” of one organization, within the CHL, means that you do not have a fair bargaining position at the negotiation table, and so you have to take advantage of every opportunity that you have to maximize your position. You need private and confidential professional advice.
Not every player is treated the same.
If you think that you need help understanding what you need to do to protect your best interests, and to understand the many rules, and how you can truly maximize the true benefits of being a well regarded hockey player, click below to set up an appointment to talk about how we might be able to help.