Prep Hockey - How does it work?

burstnbloom

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Jul 12, 2005
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My nephew is about to turn 13 and is heading into 8th grade. He plays AAA hockey for a team in Western MA as a big RHD D and was an all star in his travel league last season. He's been playing with the U15 and U14 teams in tournaments all summer and just did the prep showcase at NESC last weekend. I don't know if he's good enough for prep hockey and neither does my brother and sister in law but we think he is and he aspires to play on a prep team for high school since our town doesn't have high school hockey. The question for the group is - how does all of that work? How do you choose which teams are right for your player? Do you approach coaches or wait for people to reach out? Any advice would be much appreciated. The schools he likes most are St. Marks in Southborough and Cushing.
 

RedOctober3829

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Jul 19, 2005
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deep inside Guido territory
My nephew is about to turn 13 and is heading into 8th grade. He plays AAA hockey for a team in Western MA as a big RHD D and was an all star in his travel league last season. He's been playing with the U15 and U14 teams in tournaments all summer and just did the prep showcase at NESC last weekend. I don't know if he's good enough for prep hockey and neither does my brother and sister in law but we think he is and he aspires to play on a prep team for high school since our town doesn't have high school hockey. The question for the group is - how does all of that work? How do you choose which teams are right for your player? Do you approach coaches or wait for people to reach out? Any advice would be much appreciated. The schools he likes most are St. Marks in Southborough and Cushing.
Be proactive and send emails to schools he's interested and even not interested in. Include all pertinent information and any highlight film. In terms of schools, you won't really know if they're a fit athletically and academically until you visit and see the schools/meet the coaching staffs.

Speak to parents that have come through your ravel league and are in prep school now to see what the process was for them and how they came about choosing the school(or if the school chose them). It may help narrow your focus in terms of schools to look at or cross off your list.

As far as high school hockey goes, are there opportunities to use school choice to play at a school close to your town that does have HS hockey? I'm from Vermont and this exists up there. Prep schools are super expensive too so there's that factor as well.

A number of my friends growing up in Vermont went the prep school route because they thought they'd get better evaluations for college hockey. Some worked out(a couple did play D-1) and some should have just stayed at our school and played(ended up spending all that money for prep school plus going the Canadian juniors route for a couple years to just go to D3) and gotten the same college result.

One of my family friends' son went to Proctor Academy for hockey and had a very positive experience.
 

twibnotes

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Jul 16, 2005
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I played at Roxbury Latin many moons ago and am in touch with fellow alums whose kids play on the team. What I've learned is that all of it has gotten much more specialized and competitive. I saw RL's team play last year, and they would have been solid in my day but struggled to win a small number of games (they were young but still). We used to be competitive with St. Marks, for instance...not so much anymore.

Another thing that blew me away is the increased role of juniors if you want to play college. I met an RL alum in an alumni game who was a very skilled player. He currently plays at a D3 program and had to do two years of juniors between high school and college. There was also a kid a few years ago, Mike Callahan (now on the Providence Bruins), who left RL to play juniors. The college coaches REALLY seem to be pushing juniors unless you're coming out of the US National Team program in Ann Arbor or something.
 

Lupe Whalewatch

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Aug 1, 2006
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The question for the group is - how does all of that work? How do you choose which teams are right for your player? Do you approach coaches or wait for people to reach out? Any advice would be much appreciated. The schools he likes most are St. Marks in Southborough and Cushing.
100% reach out to the coaches. A lot of them run winter break and summer "invite" camps, and that would be a great way to get on their radar screen. My son is a 2012 and last winter did a camp at Milton where there were 8-10 prep coaches on the ice with them, and another over this summer with the Milton coach and the coach for Babson College. Its obviously a great way for these coaches to supplement their income, I'm not naive to that, but I also walked out of there knowing 3-4 coaches on a first name basis and having emails for all the others. Most/all of these coaches are pretty tight with each other, so if they see talent in your nephew and he's a good kid, they will do what they can to help.
 

burstnbloom

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Jul 12, 2005
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Thanks to everyone who replied. He wants to play college hockey but he’s realistic about how unlikely that is for any player. He is just enamored with the prep hockey experience and wants to do it so his family is trying to learn how to find out if there is a spot for him there. I appreciate all of the insight, we will start reaching out to coaches.