Most Canadian players and parents don’t consider the option of playing US High School Hockey. If you are an American, you likely would not think of any other route.
There are a number of state and prep schools that feed players into junior leagues, such as the USHL, and sometimes straight to the College route. In teh past few years, high school hockey state championships have become a big deal attracting large fan attendance and players moving on to the college and NHL ranks.
I personally have witnessed high school hockey games with 5,000 fans in attendance, with marching bands and cheerleaders and the whole thing…., something most Canadians have never experienced….
For example….. Ice hockey is the most popular high school sport in Minnesota.
Approximately 256 schools iced sanctioned varsity teams competing in the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) last season, which are divided into two classes, AA and A.
Their season concludes with a four day tournament that features sixteen teams competing for championships in both classes. For those who have ever questioned the quality of High School Hockey in the US, check out this highlight reel from the 2011 Minnesota State Championship.
The next video provides a look at High School Hockey in the Boston area, complete with interviews of some alumni who went on to play college and NHL hockey.
One of the famous players to come out of the high school hockey ranks was Ted Donato who was selected 98th overall in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins. He played hockey at Catholic Memorial High School, before moving on to play college hockey at Harvard University and then moving to the NHL for the 1991–92 season. He played 796 career NHL games, scoring 150 goals and 197 assists for 347 points.
During his career, Ted played for the Bruins, New York Islanders, Ottawa Senators, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues, and New York Rangers, and now is the Head Hockey Coach at Harvard University.
Although the video talks about the advantages of playing for one’s hometown and staying at home, for those who leave home to attend a prep school, the environment is such that players fits nicely into the environment and are quickly accepted and immersed into the community. Itt’s just like being at home. In most cases, with the high quality of hockey and the high standards of academics, it’s truly the best of both worlds, and provides a wonderful life experience with the opportunity to meet friends from all over the world.
If you might have an interest in attending a Prep School for the next school year, you should know that players are already making inquiries, and we have already been involved in helping secure positions for the 2012-13 school year.
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