Recruiting hockey players involves a lot more than watching games everywhere from The Soo to Finland to Arizona. While the verbal surrounding the draft still focuses on finding the best player available, from team to team, best player available has different definitions. The amount of hours spent on this individual by scouts, player personnel types, and general managers is astronomical.
For the Buffalo Sabres its a little easier. Is Rasmus Dahlin a good person? Is he a cancer in the dressing room? Ok, not as good. Yes, skill on the ice matters. However, if character, practice habits, or expectations prevent that skill from being utilized? Recruiting hockey players at the college level is its own animal.
No one likes to admit halfway through they made a mistake. So we rely on youth and junior coaches we trust to give us constant updates on their players and others in their area.
And I can tell you that there are coaches that we trust, and others that we know will sell us anything-under-the-sun for their own self interests.
One that is Honest with you — Has a history of making players better — and Has a history of moving players on to the next level. Their Honesty and History of Development mean a lot to recruiters.
They should mean a lot to you, too. Let me take you into a late-night conversation between college coaches after a long day of scouting at a tournament. It usually involves some wings, a few drinks, and a lot of talk about hockey. The number one issue griped about? All they want are players that are ultra-competitive and hate to lose, yet they feel like the competitive kid today is a dying breed. There are a ton of talented hockey players out there.
There are not a lot of talented hockey players that compete hard. If you want to get recruited: It is becoming harder and harder to find, but significantly more valuable to coaches on the recruiting trail.
You have to score goals to win hockey games. That is a fact of life. So if you are one of the points leaders on your team, we will probably take notice. Now, not everybody can be a points leader on their team. Not everybody has that kind of ability. In fact, very few kids have that kind of ability.
There is room on any roster for players that can grind it out and may end up being a captain one day. College coaches talk about needing player leadership like scientists talk about humans needing oxygen to breathe. Here is a great example:. Now, this was a team that had Shayne Gostisbehere, Danny Carr, and a roster of talented players that eventually went on to win a National Championship. Because he was one of the best leaders Coach Bennett had ever seen.
He kept the locker room together and held his teammates accountable for buying in to what the team wanted to do. As a young coach, this was an eye-opening conversation for me. To college coaches, player leadership is GOLD. But I know many coaches that have daughters.
And to hear a hockey guy say that…all I can say is, WOW. Great people allows for a great culture, and a great culture is the most important characteristic of a winning program. Be a good teammate.
Stay out of trouble. Play hard every day. They take a commitment to being a good person, which is every bit as important as being a good player. There are 60 Division One hockey programs in the country.
The better your grades are, the more schools you can get into. Thus, you will have a greater opportunity to play Division One hockey. Many DI hockey schools are very good academic institutions:
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