With our blog post yesterday, we here at Roster Point thought it would be time to devout some time to college hockey recruitment. Roster Point is an amazing platform to get your tape out, but after colleges make contact you are in somewhat unchartered territory. Recruiting in the NCAA is very different than junior, and with that in mind, here are the top five things to know about the college recruiting process.
1. Don’t Jump at the First Offer
The NCAA does not have a draft, and instead, it offers a year-round junior hockey recruiting mechanism that allows teams to offer a player a scholarship to attend their school. Do not jump at your first offer, take the time to think about the school, and if you would be a good fit academically, athletically and most importantly in the city. Teams will wait, and although they will pressure you to sign, make sure to weigh your options before accepting or declining an offer. Once you commit, you generally cannot back out, so if this is not an ideal situation, it might be best to wait or decline. Remember, you will be planning to be there for the next 4-5 years, so take the time to make the best decision.
2. Social Media can make a difference
In the age of social media, you need to be extremely careful on what you post, and that goes with the parents as well. The grandparent’s rule is best, if you are not comfortable with your grandma or grandpa seeing it, it is not appropriate for your social media. As well, ensure that you are not retweeting videos or memes that could be deemed offensive, a retweet is not an endorsement, but for a scout, it could be seen as one. Remember, social media is a place where everyone can see you, make sure you are presenting a good side of you showcasing maturity and your priorities.
3. School matters
The college route ensures that you are also going to get an education at one of the 62 Division 1 hockey schools. Of those 62, 14 are ranked within the top 50 of the United States in terms of academics. If you are not academically inclined it is ok, but remember that the better you perform in the classroom the more options you will have going forward. Take, for example, Chris Higgins. Higgins now with the San Jose Sharks, played his college hockey at Yale, an ivy league school. Not only has he succeeded in the NHL, but with an ivy league degree, he should do well post career.
4. Commit to the school, not the coach
The NCAA is more than just a coach. You are committing to a team and a school with a history. When you commit, make sure that you are committing for the academics, the social life, the winning culture, the facilities, the location, the way it produces NHL players, the history or the program or the size. Coaches come and go, but the legacy of a school and the players it produces does not.
5. Make the most out of your options
The NCAA is not for everyone, but more and more Canadians have seen the college hockey route as something they want to pursue. It gives you an opportunity to play hockey in your early 20’s and an education at the same time. As well, the NCAA has Div III hockey as well as club hockey that will allow more players to enjoy the game. Ensure you find a fit that works for you and your family, and who knows we might even see you in the Frozen Four soon enough.
Roster Point is one of the few platforms that allows you to connect with college and junior teams here in Canada. As a player, you will have full access for free to our database, and an opportunity for you to get your film in front of some of the biggest schools in the US. Sign up today, and see how Roster Point can get you to the next level.