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Junior Ice Hockey – Prospect Camp; Main Camps

Main CampWe are again in the midst of the “camp season”. From May to July most Junior organizations are holding their prospect/pre-draft and main camps where they select their roster for next season’s team. The USHL Main Camps are mainly held in June whereas most of the NAHL teams have theirs in July, and Tier III, depending on the league, from May until August. As most European players are not familiar with these camps and, accordingly, have lots of questions, I thought it was a good time to answer some of the questions. Do I have to attend a camp? Which one: prospect, predraft or main camp? Can you just sign up? How are my chances as a free agent of getting a roster spot?  [continue reading…]

Is Canada the only path to the NHL for Swiss Juniors?

When I talk to Swiss players and their parents, I often get the impression that they think the only way to the NHL is by playing Junior hockey in Canada. This is definitely not correct. Analyzing the November 7, “NHL Draft Watch List 2019” and EliteProspects table “2018-19 NHL Players Produced per League” paint a different picture. Although the Canadian CHL remains one of the leading options to get drafted there are plenty of alternatives. [continue reading…]

NCAA College Hockey – Also a career path for Swiss Junior players

In Switzerland only three of the four available paths to the NHL, for Swiss Junior Ice Hockey players, are commonly known: the Swiss National League, Sweden’s SuperElit and the Canadian Hockey League Major Juniors (CHL). Up to now most of the talented Swiss Junior players chose the CHL path (Sbisa, Niederreiter, Bärtschi, Meier, Andrighetto,  Hischier etc.). Only a few tried the alternative USHL/NCAA path (Luca Cunti, Brady & Jordy Murray).
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When to start with your search to play US Junior Hockey?

Every year European players and parents approach me in late spring, early summer, looking for an opportunity  to play Junior Hockey in the US. While it is not impossible to find a team relatively late in the selection process, it becomes very hard. This leads to the question when should I start exploring my options to play Junior Hockey in the USA? [continue reading…]

Is Tier III the path to Tier II Ice Hockey?

What is the best path to Tier II or how can I get into Tier II? This is one of the most common questions asked when somebody contacts me. There is not one best answer. For every player there is a different path. Of course, the stats show you where most of the Tier II players come from. But, as mentioned before, it’s not the complete answer. [continue reading…]

USA Junior Hockey Tier III – do your homework!

Tier III Hockey (pay to play leagues) in the US is offered all over the USA. There are 7 leagues with a total of 171 teams (number at the beginning of the season). Before you send the first check to a team you better make sure you did your homework about the league and the team you will be playing for. Not all leagues and teams are the same! [continue reading…]