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NCAA Rule Change – Impact on imports?

The new rules set new dates for first recruiting contacts with the goal of slowing down and improving the recruiting process. The changes will significantly alter the timeline for Division I hockey prospects. How will they impact European (import) players?

The changes restructure the timing of permissible recruiting activities. The most important changes are:

  • Eliminating all recruiting conversations (whether initiated by the coach or the prospect) prior to Jan. 1 of a prospect’s sophomore (grade 10) year.
  • Establishing Aug. 1 prior to a prospect’s junior (grade 11) year as the first date when NCAA coaches can make a verbal offer.

I don’t want to go into the details of the rule changes which are generally perceived as positive by parents, HS and D I coaches and also the NHL fully supports the recruiting rule changes. To learn more see College Hockey News Release.

In my opinion it has also a positive side for import players who usually come over when they are 16-18 years old. With the old rules the colleges already had issued a lot of commitments which worked to the detriment of imports. With the new rules which slow down the recruiting process a European player has a better opportunity to compete for the coveted D I roster spots!

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