Ok, parents.. we love junior hockey, but we really do need to talk about the possibilities in the NCAA. The NCAA has recently seen an upswing in popularity, and for good reason. The league limits the number of games compared to junior hockey, and the kids in the program get a legitimate education. Something to fall back on, and an experience that ensures balance in a developing woman’s or man’s life. So what is the deal with the NCAA?
NCAA hockey can be seen as two leagues that offer a bit of a different experience. For those who are the elite level, NCAA Division I programs offer you a full ride scholarship and academic help during your tenure. Typically, student-athletes will complete their degrees in five years, but if you are great with time management, you can complete your courses in four. At the end of your career, you get bachelors degree and get to be seen by some of the top scouts in Europe, NWHL, National programs and the NHL. We have seen a number of elite prospects graduate college and step into the NHL game including Brock Boesser and lately, Adam Gaudette. On the women’s side, many women in the NWHL and the national teams come from NCAA programs before they start pro hockey, and their experiences in the NCAA allowing them to have something to fall back on once they finish with the national team or their NWHL team.
NCAA division two and three offer a competitive arena for those who are great at hockey to continue their athletic careers while giving them access to some great academic options. Generally, these schools offer partial scholarships and qualify the student for in-state tuition to keep other costs low. This is a great option for those who are looking to keep competitive and keep their hockey and academic options open. Upstart hockey programs typically start in this division and will move up to D1 when they are ready such as Penn State which moved to D1 two years ago.
Here at Rosterpoint, we are your pipeline to the NCAA from Canada, and as a fully accredited recruiting site, we can help you get noticed. For the next two months, we will be posting a number of articles and how to guides that will get into the weeds about the NCAA, and how being Canadian affects your experience. Our final article will be an insight into how the NCAA is for players, with a piece written by an ex NCAA student-athlete about her experience down south.