Tuesday, June 18, 2024

How To Get Recruited For College Hockey

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Multi-Year Deal Designates NCSA As Official Recruiting Services Provider

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. USA Hockey announced today it has signed a multi-year agreement with Next College Student Athlete to serve as the official recruiting services provider for USA Hockey.

Were excited to welcome NCSA, said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey. Education is a key part of our value system at USA Hockey and NCSA provides resources for student-athletes and their families related to the college recruiting process.

As USA Hockeys recruiting partner, NCSA will provide educational tools and resources to high school-age USA Hockey athletes, with the goal of assisting families in navigating the college recruiting process.

Athletes will have the option to create a free NCSA profile when registering with USA Hockey and gain access to NCSAs online recruiting resources.

NCSA will also provide recruiting education to student-athletes and families attending USA Hockey events, including its series of youth national championships, and host exclusive online webinars for USA Hockey members.

I know from personal experience how competitive and overwhelming collegiate ice hockey recruiting can be, said Lisa Strasman, NCSA president and former Yale womens ice hockey captain. NCSA is something that would have been incredibly helpful to me in my recruiting process. Im thrilled that NCSA will be able to guide the next generation of hockey players on their recruiting journey.

Get Recruited To Play College Field Hockey

Taking the field and competing for your college is the dream of many high school field hockey players. In order to get there, its important to set realistic goals and understand the steps that need to be taken in order to be recruited. Field Hockey at the NCAA and NAIA levels is a womens only sport and is offered across the country. Field Hockey is a non-revenue sport for universities so the college field hockey coaches dont have a lot of spare time and a large recruiting budget to go out and scout athletes. The reality is that field hockey coaches across the country are recruiting their athletes through online field hockey recruiting profiles. If you want to be recruited and maximize your scholarship and recruiting opportunities you must create a recruiting profile and get it in front of college coaches. Exposure is the name of the game!

What Are Colleges Looking For

So now that you know how competitive it is, and that there may not be as many full scholarships as you may have thought, you want to know what colleges look for when recruiting athletes.

So besides the obvious, being a good hockey player, what other factors can make you stand out among the candidates?

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When To Contact College Hockey Coaches

  • NCAA Division 1 college coaches can contact student athletes starting January 1 of the recruits sophomore year
  • NCAA Division 2 college coaches can contact student athletes starting June 15 of the recruits sophomore year

Though, this shouldnt discourage student-athletes from reaching out to coaches to market themselves and express interest in a program at any time. As soon as a student-athlete has a recruiting profile with updated stats and a recruiting video, they should reach out with an introductory email to college coaches at programs on their list of prospective schools. While recruits wont hear back from these coaches until contact is permitted by the NCAA recruiting rules and calendar, coaches will take the time to evaluate the talent of those athletes who reach out and possibly add them to their list of prospective recruits.

How To Get Recruited And Play College Ice Hockey

How to Get Recruited to Play NCAA Hockey

College hockey recruiting is much different than other college sports. Most college hockey players must play at least a year or two on a junior hockey team to get a ice hockey scholarship. So if you want to play in college, get a head start by playing on a good junior league team. Most college hockey teams are in the Midwestern, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic region. Try to get on a junior team in one of these regions to become more visible to coaches and increase your chances of landing a ice hockey scholarship. Put together a highlight video showcasing your hockey skills so you can send it to coaches and get a head start in the hockey recruitment process.

NCAA eligibility rules in hockey are unlike those in any other sport. The NCAA does not start taking away years of eligibility until after your twenty-first birthday, allowing you plenty of time to play on a junior team without negatively affecting your eligibility and hockey scholarship chances.

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Find Hockey Camps Combines And Tournaments

Ever attend a hockey combine or tournament and notice college coaches in the crowd? These are popular recruiting events for college coaches and they serve as one of the easiest ways for recruits to gain exposure and access to coaches. Finding the right event involves some research and, at times, willingness to travel outside of the recruits region. In this section, we discuss the differences between the various hockey recruiting events and provide a list of camps in your region.

How To Get Recruited By A D1 College For Hockey

If a student-athlete wants to compete for a Division 1 mens hockey program, their best shot at a roster spot is competing on a junior hockey team. But it cant just be any junior hockey team. Division 1 college coaches focus their recruiting efforts on two junior hockey leagues.

The first is the USHL, a tier 1 league that is home to the top mens hockey talent in the US. These athletes are masters of the game with the drive, experience and technique needed to compete on the biggest stages in hockey. In 2018, the USHL had a record number of 45 players selected at the NHL Draft and more than 400 players committed to an NCAA Division 1 school.

The second league is the NAHL. This is the only tier 2 junior hockey league that acts as an alternative to the tier 1 USHL. These athletes compete at high-profile events like the NAHL Showcase, the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament and the NAHL Robertson Cup Championship. Six NAHL athletes were selected in the 2019 NHL Draft, while more than 230 athletes committed to an NCAA Division 1 program.

Outside of junior hockey leagues in the US, Division 1 college coaches focus their recruiting efforts on elite international athletes. In 2016, 21.6 percent of NCAA Division 1 mens college hockey players were from outside the US, including Canada and Europe, where hockey is a popular sport.

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Are You Good Enough To Play Hockey In College Find Out Using Our Hockey Recruiting Guidelines

If junior and high school hockey seem challenging, just imagine what it takes to play at the collegiate level. Student-athletes with aspirations to play for an NCAA mens hockey program must be able to adapt quickly to the many changes that come with the transition from junior and high school hockey to college hockey. This includes an increase in training hours, a busy schedule of home and away games and the added pressure of competing for a scholarship. While adjusting to their changing athletic schedule, student-athletes must also manage their academics, especially those on academic scholarships.

To find out if a recruit is cut out for mens college hockey, visit our section on the recruiting guidelines to learn what college coaches look for during the recruiting process.

What Are My Chances Of Playing Womens College Hockey

How To Get Recruited For College Sports

Earning a roster spot in college hockey is no walk in the park. Recruits will need to dedicate a great deal of time to proactively building relationships with college coaches and maximizing their opportunities to get discovered. Below are a few hockey recruiting tips for student-athletes as they take initiative to better their likelihood of making a college roster.

  • Pick up the phone: Even if college coaches cant contact the recruit yet, recruits can still pick up the phone and leave a voicemail with information on their current team, position, year and interest in the program. If the recruit is calling after June 15 of their sophomore year, be prepared with questions for the coach, should they pick up the phone.
  • Send introductory emails: Reach out to one school each day using a templated introductory email to express interest in a program. The recruit should include a game and tournament schedule and their high school or club coachs contact information.
  • Create a letter of recommendation: Ask the recruits high school or club coach to send a letter of recommendation to their top five programs.
  • Complete recruiting questionnaire: Fill out the recruiting questionnaires found under the My Progress tab on the recruits NCSA Recruiting Profile.
  • Utilize social media platforms: Recruits can turn to Twitter and YouTube to create hockey brand by posting updates on their athletic progress and sharing videos for college coaches to see.
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    Understanding The Junior Hockey Tier System

    Tier 1

    Tier 1 is made up of one junior hockey league, the United States Hockey League . This league is home to the best amateur hockey players in the US, ages 16-20. Tier 1 junior hockey offers free tuition, housing and travel. Training, coaching, equipment and other services are covered by the team and league. The free equipment is offered through a partnership and includes skates, sticks, protective equipment and training apparel.

    Tier 2

    There are two tier 2 leagues: The North American Hockey League and National Collegiate Development Conference . These leagues are known for the social maturity and skill development of student-athletes looking to play at the collegiate level or professional hockey. Tier 2 athletes enjoy free tuition, travel and equipment. All athletes are given sticks, pants, gloves, helmets, jerseys and socks. Each athlete is given a housing stipend. More than 200 tier 2 athletes make NCAA commitments per season.

    Tier 3

    Dont Get Caught Shorthanded

    Womens College hockey is an equivalency sport. Therefore womens teams have more players than scholarships. As most coaches try to award partial scholarships to as many players as possible, full-scholarships are rare for all but the most elite players. That means, even if you do land a partial scholarship to play hockey in college, youll still need to pay for the remainder of your college costs. Know the costs of each school youre interested in, keep your grades up to maximize your chances of adding an academic scholarship, and be aware of other available merit-based scholarships and aid packages.

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    The Puck Is On Your Stick

    Most womens college hockey coaches dont have big recruiting budgets so, unless youre an elite talent with recruiters clamoring at your door, it will be up to you to get on a coachs radar. To do that, figure out several colleges that you might be interested in attending and reach out to the coach or recruiting coordinator at each of those schools. Start by filling out each schools athletic departments recruit questionnaire . Then, pick up the phone and call them. Be ready to explain, either directly to the coach or in a voicemail, a little bit about yourself, your position and experience, and why you think youd be a good fit with that program and that school.

    Follow up your calls with personalized, introductory emails to each coach or recruiter that reinforces your ability, experience, and interest in that school. Make sure those emails include links to your recruiting profile, your highlight video, your coachs contact information, your upcoming game schedule, and an invitation for the coach to see you play in person. You can also ask your coach to send recommendation letters to each of the coaches on your list. Finally, be sure to utilize social media such as Twitter or YouTube to bolster your online profile and to post updates on your progress and accomplishments.

    Scholarship Limits Per Team

    How To Get Recruited For College Hockey

    Depending on division, coaches are bound to a maximum number of scholarships they are allowed to hand out to their athletes. The athletic scholarship cap is set by the respective governing body, such as NCAA, NAIA or NJCAA and athletic departments need to make sure they don’t award more scholarship money than what they are allowed to. It is important to understand that while the scholarship limits below are the maximum amount permissible, a school may decide to allocate a coach less budget, for reasons such as budget constraints or a newly started team, which needs to establish itself first. A team, which has the full amount of scholarship money to spend is called a fully-funded program. A team, which works with a smaller budget than peer schools, is called partially funded.


    HCheadcount sport: the scholarship limit is absolute and the number of total athletes on a scholarship limited to the maximum number of scholarships.If basketball is not a HC sport, it is an equivalency sport in scholarship terms, meaning the coach is free to award available funds to any number of athlete, up to the maximum limit.

    NCAA D3 and NJCAA D3 teams dont award athletic scholarships to athletes, but students are able to receive other types of financial aid, such as academic scholarships.

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    How College Hockey Coaches Recruit Prospects

    If you look into the stands at large hockey combines, showcases and tournaments, there are likely college coaches sitting in the crowd watching the talent on the ice. These events serve as one of the main recruiting opportunities that college coaches rely on to evaluate prospective athletes. Some of the most popular events include junior hockey combines, the CCM showcase and national festivals.

    Hockey recruiting camps are another recruiting opportunity for college coaches where they have the chance to actually interact with recruits with hands-on instruction. We suggest exploring NCAA, global hockey and ACHA camps to maximize on exposure and access to college coaches during the recruiting process. Recruits can find hockey camps and tournaments near them.

    Another tool that college coaches turn to in their recruiting efforts is highlight video. This is why its crucial for collegiate hockey hopefuls to create a strong highlight video with strong varsity game footage. Learn, in detail, how to create a quality highlight video.

    When Does The Recruiting Process Begin For College Hockey How Does It Work

    Division 1 college hockey coaches can begin contacting recruits after January 1 of the recruits sophomore year, while Division 2 coaches must wait until June 15 after the recruits sophomore year. Of course, there are steps in the hockey recruiting process that recruits should take before contact is permitted. Below is an outline of the college hockey recruiting process from early recruiting to national signing day.

  • Early Recruiting: Its common for college coaches to evaluate talent at tournaments, hockey recruiting camps and combines before they can begin contacting recruits. During these events, coaches will build a list of prospective recruits that they will reach out to once communication is permitted by the NCAA.
  • Communication and Verbal Offers: Division 1 and 2 college coaches can begin contacting recruits after January 1 and June 15 of the athletes sophomore year, respectively. College coaches must wait until August 1 of the recruits junior year to make a verbal offer.
  • Official and Unofficial Visits: Starting January 1 of their sophomore year, recruits can schedule unofficial visits. Starting August 1 of their junior year, recruits can schedule an official visit and talk to recruiting with college coaches on campus.
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    How To Get Recruited To Play Ncaa Hockey

    Recruiting is an exciting, but often confusing process for aspiring collegiate athletes. College hockey doesnt have a draft, meaning elite prospective players can have more control over where they want to play. The NCAA is a governing body for intercollegiate sports. Schools register to be members of the NCAA, which helps regulate playing and eligibility rules. This article will serve as a primer for aspiring NCAA hockey players.

    Getting Recruited For A D1 Or D2 Hockey Program

    How to Get Recruited by College Coaches (Trinity College, Hartford CT)

    Not only has ice hockey itself evolved rapidly over the past few years, the role of women as a competitive force in the field has evolved right along with it. Men have bumped up their proficiency, skill, and practice in the sport, as well. In fact, the standard of play has progressed so rapidly that an athlete recruited as a D1 player a few years ago might be recruited as a D2 now. With these factors in mind, it is important to keep a few components above all else as you search for ways to fund your education with ice hockey as a key tool:

    • Make your academics at least as important, if not more so, than hockey. No recruiters want to accept an applicant that has either one of these out of balance.
    • Contact coaches as soon as you are eligible for play and stay in touch. Send letters to introduce yourself. Tape and send videos of your best games.
    • Research, research, and research again the programs in which you are interested. Know the coaches, know who they recruit, from where, and how they operate. Access this information in press releases, news articles , NCAA hockey pages, and even specific college hockey pages. Make use of resources like Athletes USA to familiarize yourself with recruiting procedures.
    • Dont leave out your academic expectations: make sure you like the school outside of its hockey program. Get to know the extracurricular programs and courses as much as you know the hockey.

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