I hope everyone is having a great summer.
Many young men will have very tough choices to make this summer, and I encourage them to make decisions based on wise research and not on “ego”.
Yesterday, Patrick O’Sullivan (ex NHL’er) tweeted “I had played junior since 13 and the Ice Dogs wanted to pick me first overall. I’d go NCAA if I had a do over“, and he followed with “If you’re good enough hockey wise you’ll make the NHL either way. Right now I’d love to have a degree or part of one“.
Working with hockey players, I often hear this comment….. even from those who go on and play at the highest levels. As I was telling one young man last week, I never have heard someone who has played NCAA hockey ever say that they wished they had played Major Junior hockey….. and if you know of any, please ask them to contact me because I would love to quote them.
Having said that, trying out for Major Junior hockey is the right decision for some players, and I fully encourage it for those players. I have many clients that have played major junior hockey, and have done very well and have received wonderful development opportunities and other benefits (which I have negotiated following the draft].
One piece of advice that was given by a player along the way, which I believe is very valuable…… when making a decision, please take the time to talk to other players (and parents) who were drafted at the same spot you were drafted.
If you were drafted in the 4th round by Team X…., seek out other players who were drafted in the 4th round by Team X and have a conversation with them…. if you were drafted in the 12th round, talk to other players who were drafted in the 12th round and find out what their experience was like and what their playing/billet/ and educational opportunities and playing situation was like. Talk to players (families) who are 4-10 years older. Not doing so will be a huge dis-service to yourself. Make an informed decision.
Do not make decisions based on the experiences of 1st and 2nd round players if you were drafted in the later rounds.
I encourage all parents to remember that many decisions that need to be made in the next short while are important adult decisions, and should never be left up to a 16 or 17 year old to make alone. In most cases, these decisions are life changing choices and need to be made carefully and with full understanding of their impact on these young lives….. and please do not get sucked into thinking that your son may never forgive you (in the future) for making the wrong decision. Tough decisions are tough, but need full disclosure and understanding.
It’s easy to make the wrong decision.
Also, please remember that if a player ever wishes to possibly play NCAA hockey, they have very stringent rules, and it is possible that attending a summer rookie camp, or summer training camp, and a main camp for a major junior team could forever disqualify you.
If you think we can help, please do not hesitate to write me a note to firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyways, best of luck to you. I hope that things work out for you all, and remember to take some time (this summer) to go fishing (or to the beach, or anything else you might enjoy) too….. and most important, stay true to your family and it’s values.