NCAA College Ice Hockey Recruiting
How to get Recruited and Play College Ice 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 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 the chances of them coming to see you play. 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.
Coaches prefer to make contact and recruit players while they are still in high school. They follow players throughout their high school careers and into the junior leagues, but only if players are proactive in their hockey recruiting and reach out to them. Don’t think that just because there are coaches at your games that they are recruiting you; they might be there to see a teammate or opponent play. You will know you are being recruited when you are actively communicating with the coaches.
What Coaches are Looking for in Each Position
If you are a center, then you are likely one of the most versatile players on your team. As a center, you have an equal amount of defensive and offensive responsibility. Coaches recruit centers that work hard in both the offensive zone and the defensive zone. If you want to be recruited as a center, you must have the size to handle the responsibility of being a defensive and offensive anchor.
Scholarships are offered to wingers that are explosive and fast. When recruiting wingers, coaches will look for players with offensive skills first and foremost. Being adept at forechecking is a bonus, but your ability to score and create plays for your teammate is your biggest asset. Wingers can be smaller than centers and defensemen because coaches are most concerned with your speed and explosiveness. Put together a highlight video that showcases both your scoring and skating abilities.
College defensemen must have bigger frames than centers and wingers. You must have exceptional skating skills and a big body to get recruited. College defensemen are the best overall athletes on a team because of the combination of size and speed they must possess in order to compete at the collegiate level. The best hockey recruiting videos will showcase a combination of skills like checking, passing, shot blocking, and scoring ability. Defensemen are hard to find at the college level, so coaches will recruit and offer scholarships to good defensemen.
Goalies are the cornerstone of a good hockey team. Coaches will offer the most scholarship money to goalies because, at times, the great ones can carry a hockey team by themselves. Having a good recruiting video that showcases your skills and your goaltending style will go a long way in helping you get recruited.
Author: David Frank