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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…]

Changes in the US Junior Hockey Tier I & II Leagues!

Over the last few days both top US Hockey Leagues announced changes in their league team rosters for 2019-20 which will have an impact on the US ice hockey junior landscape. While the Tier I USHL will operate, based on the current level of information, with one team less, the Tier II NAHL will add two teams. It is good and bad news but overall good for players as it will add, a net, 23 free to play Junior spots for next season! [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…]

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…]

US Junior Ice Hockey – Leagues

In a previous post I compared Swiss Junior Hockey with the USA Hockey Junior model  {Junior Hockey: Comparison USA – Switzerland}. The US Junior Hockey system is hard to understand for a European. I see this in the dazzled looks every time I try to explain the various Tier’s, and Leagues in the Tier III, and the emails I receive on the subject.  Here’s an attempt to explain the US Junior Hockey system, mostly based on a recent article by Alex Kyrias, Director Communications and Sales, NAHL (Junior Hockey: make the smart and informed decision) [continue reading…]