Players and Parents have a lot of questions when thinking about a career in Major Junior or a College Scholarship. Some people choose to use a Family Advisor or an Agent. The choice is ultimately the families but we have included some excellent information on both options for you to read through or even navigate to the particular leagues website for further information.
Roster Point is not an advising or agent service and we do not make any recommendations to players or parents regarding their future in hockey. We do not represent any hockey leagues, teams, agencies and we’re not affiliated with any other organizations. We are providing this information only as a value added service.
The Western Hockey League’s (WHL) 22 Member Clubs are located throughout Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. Players who reside in the Western Canadian provinces of Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Yukon, and the Western U.S. states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming are within the protected territory designated by the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) to the WHL. Players are eligible to be drafted or placed on the protected list of a WHL Member Club. Top level players develop in the system through the various leagues and in the year of their 16th birthday, become eligible to play in the WHL on a full time basis. Players can continue to play in the WHL until the year of their 20th birthday, after which their junior eligibility expires and they graduate from the Major Junior ranks.
The WHL Bantam Draft is held annually by the WHL to provide an orderly transfer of players to WHL Club Protected Player Lists (PPL). Once a player is selected by a WHL Club, he can only participate in tryout camps and other team activities for that Club. To attend the camp of another Club, the player must be dropped from his current Club’s PPL.
The WHL Bantam Draft is typically held on the first Thursday in May, at which time WHL Clubs select players who have graduated from the Bantam age category.. All players in the proper age group and WHL territory are automatically eligible for the Draft, and do not need to file any sort of paperwork with the WHL Office.
Each WHL Club is allowed to place 50 players on its Protected Player List (PPL).
The 50 Player Protected List is used by the WHL to ensure there is an orderly method for WHL Clubs to access the playing rights to players. This equal access to the talent pool allows the WHL to promote competitive balance and order in the system.
A player may not be added to a WHL Club PPL until he is eligible for the WHL Bantam Draft, which occurs following the completion of his final season in the Bantam age category.
All players on a WHL Club’s roster are required to be on the 50 Player Protected List. If a WHL Club active roster consists of 23 players, this leaves 27 spots available for future prospects. If a player on a WHL Club PPL no longer meets the expectations of the team, he may be replaced by another prospect. As a result, a List is constantly changing as teams evaluate their players and make adjustments to their PPL.
A player who is on a WHL Club’s List may not play for another WHL team, or attend another WHL Club tryout camp. However, being a member of a WHL Club 50 Player Protected List does not restrict a player from playing for, or attending a camp of a non-WHL Club. The 50 Player Protected List is used strictly to determine which WHL Club holds the player’s rights.
The Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) 20 member clubs are located throughout Ontario and the states of Michigan and Pennsylvania. Players who reside in Ontario, as well as from the U.S. states Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York, and a few other designated U.S. states east of the Mississippi River are within the protected territory designated by the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) to the OHL. Players can continue to play in the OHL until the year of their 20th birthday, after which their junior eligibility expires and they graduate from the Major Junior ranks.
The OHL Minor Midget Draft is held annually by the OHL to provide an orderly transfer of players to OHL Clubs. Once a player is selected by an OHL Club, he can only participate in tryout camps and other team activities for that Club.
The OHL Minor Midget Draft is typically held on the second Saturday in April, at which time OHL Clubs select players who have graduated from the Minor Midget age category. All players in the proper age group and OHL territory are automatically eligible for the Draft, and do not need to file any sort of paperwork with the OHL Office.
The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s (QMJHL) 20 member clubs are located throughout Quebec and the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Players who reside in Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, as well as the U.S. region of New England, which includes Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Rhode Island are within the protected territory designated by the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) to the QMJHL. Players can continue to play in the QMJHL until the year of their 20th birthday, after which their junior eligibility expires and they graduate from the Major Junior ranks.
The QMJHL Minor Midget Draft is held annually by the QMJHL to provide an orderly transfer of players to QMJHL Clubs. Once a player is selected by a QMJHL Club, he can only participate in tryout camps and other team activities for that Club.
The QMJHL Minor Midget Draft is typically held on the first Saturday in June, at which time QMJHL Clubs select players who have graduated from the Minor Midget age category. All players in the proper age group and QMJHL territory are automatically eligible for the Draft, and do not need to file any sort of paperwork with the QMJHL Office.
The United States Hockey League consists of 17 teams. States represented include Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Ohio.
The USHL Draft takes place during the first week of May each year and is completed in two “Phases”.
Phase I of the Draft is ten rounds of “Futures” age players only, which are U-17 players for next year’s season. (2001 birth year players only for the 2017 Draft).
Phase II of the Draft will take place the following day beginning with round one. This draft is open to players of all ages eligible to play junior hockey and are not currently protected by another USHL team. Teams will fill their roster to a total of 45 players on this date; this includes players that were previously on a team’s Affiliate List. The total number of players that a team will draft will vary depending on the number of Affiliate players a team may have. All veteran roster players are automatically protected by their current team until July 10.
Teams will have their training camps/tryouts in June and July. Teams will typically have 60-80 players at their training camps. By July 10th, teams must be down to a 30-man protected and 18-man affiliate list. Undrafted players have the opportunity to go to any team’s camp and make the team as a tryout player.
Before the season starts, teams will be required to have their team rosters cut down to 23 players and teams are allowed to carry an 18-man affiliate list of players.
The North American Hockey League consists of 23 teams. States represented include Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Alaska, Texas, Louisiana and Kansas.
Do players have to pay-to-play in the NAHL?
No. As the only USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier II Junior league, players do not pay to play in the NAHL.
What is a tender?
A tender is a contract, of sorts, a player signs announcing his intentions to play for that particular NAHL team and that NAHL team only. Once a player signs a tender with an NAHL team, his playing rights belong to that team within the NAHL and he may not be recruited by any other NAHL team. Each team is granted ten (10) tenders – plus or minus any trades – which become active on Nov. 1. Tendered players are not eligible for the NAHL draft.
How many players can a team select?
The number of selections each Club is allowed to make is based on the number of players on that Club’s pre-draft Protected List minus 30. (Example: If Club’s veteran’s + tenders = 22, 30-22 = 8, then Club has 8 picks to get its roster up to 30).
When is the NAHL draft?
The NAHL Entry Draft is scheduled for early June each year.
Do I have to register for the NAHL draft?
No, there is no registration process to be eligible for the draft.
Are tendered or drafted players eligible to try out for other NAHL teams?
Unless agreed upon in writing by the two NAHL teams, tendered or drafted players are not eligible to try out for other NAHL teams.
Are tendered or drafted players eligible to try out for teams in other junior leagues?
Yes, all tendered and drafted players are eligible to try out for any team in any league other than the NAHL in the U.S. and Canada.
What if I am not drafted or tendered, but still want to play in the NAHL?
Players that go undrafted must contact the individual NAHL teams regarding tryout procedures. Un-drafted and non-tendered players are eligible to try out for any NAHL team. Many free-agent players earn roster spots in tryout camps, and therefore are a very important part of an NAHL’s recruiting process.
How do I learn about individual teams’ tryout dates, costs and procedures?
Tryout dates and contact information will posted on nahl.com, as well as the teams’ individual Web sites, which can be accessed through nahl.com.
How do I let teams know I am interested in playing in the NAHL?
Prospective players must contact the individual NAHL teams coaching and scouting staffs regarding their interest. Contact information can be found on the teams’ individual Web sites, which can be accessed through nahl.com.
Are non-U.S.-born citizens allowed to play in the NAHL?
Yes, each NAHL team is allowed by USA Hockey to list up to four (4) imports (non-U.S. citizens) on its protected list (roster) at one time.
Can high school student-athletes leave home to play in the NAHL?
Yes, many players still in high school leave home to play in the NAHL. Those players enroll in a high school in their NAHL town and are under the strict supervision of an academic advisor at the high school as well as the NAHL team’s staff.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a non-profit association which regulates athletes of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations, and individuals. It also organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and helps more than 450,000 college student-athletes who compete annually in college sports. The organization is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.
NCAA Men’s Hockey consists of three divisions, Division 1 (DI), Division 2 (DII) and Division 3 (DIII). Under NCAA rules, Division I and Division II schools can offer scholarships to athletes for playing a sport. Division III schools may not offer any athletic scholarships. Generally, larger schools compete in Division I and smaller schools in II and III.
Many factors are taken into consideration when a student athlete chooses which route to go. The main factors are their athletic abilities, academic requirements and financial need.
Division I is considered the top division for Men’s Hockey. There are 6 conferences in Division I Men’s Hockey; Atlantic Hockey, Big 10, ECAC, Hockey East, NCHC and the WCHA.
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