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Where to play for a 23 year old

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Old
05-21-2013, 11:00 AM
  #1
Thesensation19*
 
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Where to play for a 23 year old

Besides adult hockey leagues,

what truly competitive leagues can a 22yr old going on 23 try out for or play in.
Specifically around New York City/Long Island area.

Any competition possible for tryouts within 12 months.

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05-21-2013, 11:07 AM
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The FHL? But that's semi pro. I'm starting to see some senior leagues (high level rec with body checking) starting to pop up out west.

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05-21-2013, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by PinkEye View Post
The FHL? But that's semi pro. I'm starting to see some senior leagues (high level rec with body checking) starting to pop up out west.
Any league. Semi pro, pro, a league that Semi pro teams scout.

I have looked slightly into the ECHL, AHL, FHL even European but besides that unaware of any other options.


I want to see how far I can take my hockey career. Whether how crazy or not that sounds, I really do and want to see all options.

I understand how difficult the ECHL and even the AHL leagues. Actually all of them are challenging. Yet I just want to see all my options.

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05-21-2013, 11:24 AM
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The only New York area hockey team in the FHL has fell apart I believe.

ECHL, the closest team is 2.5 hours (Trenton, NJ). And yes, obviously serious semi pro and a new route to the NHL only makes it tougher.

AHL. Obviously the farm leagues and even that much tougher. It is one of the closest I can think of (Bridgeport or Hartford).

I even thought of finding a way into the Medvescak Hockey Club in Croatia (Europe). I have some connections that could take me somewhere. I have family there but it is in Europe. Now they were accepted into the KHL, it just became that much tougher. Though their B team would be a nice spot to try to get onto, I know a few kids on there and its not that strong from what I hear but growing.

For years I have been training in all assets of athletics and hockey and would like to see how far I can go. Where ever that may be. Its the competitor inside of me. Yet I also have a full time job as an engineer, a career I have just started and do have to consider that and my family in all of my decisions. Thats why location is an issue for me.

****Listen though, I guess I am sounding a bit to leisurely on this topic. I understand the difficult and challenges of making it to even the levels before this. So dont take it as im some cocky kid who is picking and choosing whatever he wants out of a hat. I know even more training and sacrifice would be needed.

I just wnt to have more knowledge of hockey leagues in my area. No matter what the competition is.

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05-21-2013, 01:05 PM
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What is the highest level you have played up to this point?

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05-21-2013, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by clevelandcrusaders82 View Post
What is the highest level you have played up to this point?
It should not matter for my question... yet I have no issue answering.

I have quite a bit of nontraditional history. I started skating young but was a late bloomer. The highest level of competition I have played in was High School Varsity Hockey which I played for four years. I immediately can expect many of you to laugh at me when I consider a higher form of competition.

On Long Island, Varsity Hockey is a pretty solid form of competition but obviously no junior or travel leagues. I mean a few kids during my years had scholarships for various division 1 schools. My goalie in fact played Division 1 for West Virginia and later had calls to play minor league hockey. Senior year I was top 10 in goals and points, just a bit of a backstory lol.

The tricky part is that its never fair to judge someone by their highest level of competition. I made a handful of travel and junior teams from junior to senior year of high school but never actually join them due to money. Quite expensive as you know.

At my college, I made the division 3 club team. Quite surprised too. I was a year out of hockey, they were extremely good players. National D3 Club Champions. A lot of the players could have easily went to play at various NCAA D1 and D3 schools but did not have the grades, the money or the will to do so. Yet once again my own money issues had me not joining the team. When I thought I could do so again the following year, I transferred to focus on my engineering degree where they had no hockey.

From my senior year of high school to now (about 5 years), I trained and worked hard at my game. I played 3x the amount I ever played. I went to as many open hockey games I could go to and played with any adult teams I could find. I worked out more efficiently and studied the game more frequently.

Through natural growth as an athlete and a man, through hard work and passion of hockey I am now a far better player than I ever was when making Junior C/B teams and playing competitive hockey 2-3x a week.

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05-21-2013, 02:14 PM
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Depends what the highest level you've played is before becasue at your age there isn't an abundence of competitive hockey. At your age if you haven't played Junior at all I would look into even going and playing for a University team, even if that means taking some classes. They generally have open tryouts at the start of the year and I've seen a few 22-23 year old rookies on the team. If you've played higher up then look into the ECHL as that would probably be your best bet locally that can have serious potential to earn a living off of. I did a bit of research on the FHL and it doesn't seem like a place you really want to end up in. Otherwise look at Europe if you are deadly serious about it. They have plenty of B leagues that filter into their top division and if you make it their you can make an awesome living while being in a place like Zurich for example.

EDIT: While I agree that the highest level doesn't neccessarily correlate to being the most skilled, it does open doors. It's like having a good resume when you apply for a job. Most places you will be looking at will ask what the highest level you've played is and saying "Junior A" or "Div. I University" is a lot better then explaining why you didn't.

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05-21-2013, 02:22 PM
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Over the last 4 years I have come across playing some talented and highly competitive players. Kids who go away to boarding schools to play or play junior hockey 3-5x a week on top of varsity hockey. Guys who play or played in division 1,3 NCAA and ACHA hockey. I even went up against a some AHL and ECHLers over the years.

All talented kids. Some have their issues on the ice or off but obviously all skilled one way or another. One thing I learned is that if I was not better than some of these guys I was able to compete with them. Skate with them, play physical with them, battle them.

Hell yes I lost the puck to the guy from the AHL. But I was surprised when I took it from him later that night. And its the same story every time. I can compete with them. My issue as of late is my devotion to it simply because I have put my time into other aspects of my life. I would have no issue putting more energy and time into hockey career of ANY KIND if there was something for me.

There is no way I can call up the closest ECHL team and say I want a try out especially with my background.

And I can forget anything after that.

I know those chances. So that is why I am wondering what there is around NY area that maybe I can start now that I graduated. Idk... I hate answering that question of where I use to play.

Kids are always shocked to hear me say I only played Varsity Hockey.

I believe I am better than what my resume can say simply because I am an overall player. Solid skater, big guy, hard working, passion to back check and play defense and block shots just as much as I love to set someone up. I am constantly getting better and smarter. I guess I am getting older... but I am also getting wiser. I am in one of my best conditions. I know how to better heal myself from soreness and injury. I study more mental aspects of the game and athletics. Balancing techniques. I have always been hard to knock off the puck.

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05-21-2013, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Patches View Post
Depends what the highest level you've played is before becasue at your age there isn't an abundence of competitive hockey. At your age if you haven't played Junior at all I would look into even going and playing for a University team, even if that means taking some classes. They generally have open tryouts at the start of the year and I've seen a few 22-23 year old rookies on the team. If you've played higher up then look into the ECHL as that would probably be your best bet locally that can have serious potential to earn a living off of. I did a bit of research on the FHL and it doesn't seem like a place you really want to end up in. Otherwise look at Europe if you are deadly serious about it. They have plenty of B leagues that filter into their top division and if you make it their you can make an awesome living while being in a place like Zurich for example.

EDIT: While I agree that the highest level doesn't neccessarily correlate to being the most skilled, it does open doors. It's like having a good resume when you apply for a job. Most places you will be looking at will ask what the highest level you've played is and saying "Junior A" or "Div. I University" is a lot better then explaining why you didn't.
Very well said. Yet I knew all of that, but I must thank you for your time and research.

I am starting to come to the liking of my new career in business and engineering and I do have a huge passion for training/athletics maybe even coaching. Figured I am still young enough to go for it, no matter what the chances are we should all go for our dreams.

But your right, not that im "old" but there are not a lot of options for me. Maybe soon ill beg for a tryout on a semi pro team. But I am not ready just yet. A guy like me with my resume better impress with conditioning and hard work and smart play because I am certainly not going to consistently impress someone with dangles and snipers lol. And its far easier to like a player when you see them do that over a guy who just hustles. So i better hustle more lol

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05-21-2013, 02:32 PM
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I always had a crazy dream.

Go to Croatia (where I am from) and use some connections (that I might have) to land a position in one of their teams, preferably Medvescak. They have a 2nd team which also competes in the Croatian league and anyway... work my ass off and work my way up to play for them in their A team which plays in the Austrian League.

Become a fan favorite through hard nose style lol. Score a big goal to win the Austrian Championship (dont we all wish). Get a spot on the national team. Help them move to Division 1. Which they just did i believe.

And then maybe I will be there for when they move to the KHL. Which they just did lol. No longer a powerhouse club... we fight in the middle of the table. A few years now down the road and an NHL team looking for a different route starts looking for some over seas players. Get signed by the Colorado Avalanche or maybe the Penguins (no cap room, want to add depth but have no money lol) You never KNOW!!! lol

Stay with them for as long as possible. Win a cup of course.

Get a new contract to go play for my childhood heroes... the NY RANGERS lol

hahaha. I love it. Crazy. Def Crazy. But why not possible.

"were all a little crazy in our own way..." Sidney Crosby

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05-21-2013, 02:35 PM
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Yet for some reason I felt it was right to just stay in school. I guess I felt comfortable at my school and almost done with my degree. Then I took on internships and now have a full time job.

I have a girlfriend who I will seek to marry in only a few years. I have to be cautious of my decisions wit her even though she is with me all the way. But she has a full time job here...

So its all very complicated and very challenging but if you want something, you got to at least try and work hard for it. So maybe my dreams never come to be... but at least I tried.

Ill tell you this. I def am happy but i dont want to hold too many regrets when I am older. Better to do it now than later

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05-21-2013, 02:57 PM
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anddd to continue on with my rant... ( i find talking about it to others about ideas, diminished loop holes and bring back more passion of mine)

I always had a thing for coaching at a high level. I love working with kids and I would love to work with high school or junior teams as a coach. But obviously would love to get into the NHL one day.

I know I need a licence. But what are some crazy NHL routes you guys have heard about. I heard this new coach in the NHL, Blue Jackets? Is from Europe...

What is a proper way to get into the Junior leagues or NCAA teams? if you have any knowledge on this. I would love to know

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05-21-2013, 04:22 PM
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Playing against pros and semi pros in open hockey isn't the same.

You can definitely try to latch on to a FHL or ECHL team through open try outs. They all have them at the beginning of the year and will take a good look at you if you show potential. It doesn't hurt them because you're going to be paying to try out. That is the easiest way to know if you're good enough or not right off the bat.

Having a good "resume" like Patches said is important because coaches will take you more seriously.

As far as what level of competition to expect, I played college club D2 and didn't even make it out of open try outs for the Ontario Reign. My buddy played BCHL and later NCAA D3 and made it to the preseason roster but was cut soon after. A lot of the guys who already had a spot on the team pretty much all played D1 and up or Major Junior.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thesensation19 View Post
anddd to continue on with my rant... ( i find talking about it to others about ideas, diminished loop holes and bring back more passion of mine)

I always had a thing for coaching at a high level. I love working with kids and I would love to work with high school or junior teams as a coach. But obviously would love to get into the NHL one day.

I know I need a licence. But what are some crazy NHL routes you guys have heard about. I heard this new coach in the NHL, Blue Jackets? Is from Europe...

What is a proper way to get into the Junior leagues or NCAA teams? if you have any knowledge on this. I would love to know
Coaching is different. You'll usually start off in low minor or junior leagues and work your way up.

And Todd Richards has extensive pro playing experience. He was drafted in the 2nd round and bounced from league to league and yes he ended up playing in Europe but in Switzerland's highest league.

He started coaching in the AHL and then became the Wild's head coach after 4 or 5 years and now he's with Columbus. So pretty traditional route. You may be thinking of their GM who came from a European team.

I don't think you get how competitive and cut throat getting playing/coaching jobs in pro hockey is. There is simply too many good people and few spots. The stars have to align the right way for you or you have to know someone who is willing to put their name out and vouch for you.

Good luck.


Last edited by Chau Vo: 05-21-2013 at 04:29 PM.
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05-21-2013, 04:39 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkEye View Post
Playing against pros and semi pros in open hockey isn't the same.

You can definitely try to latch on to a FHL or ECHL team through open try outs. They all have them at the beginning of the year and will take a good look at you if you show potential. It doesn't hurt them because you're going to be paying to try out. That is the easiest way to know if you're good enough or not right off the bat.

Having a good "resume" like Patches said is important because coaches will take you more seriously.

As far as what level of competition to expect, I played college club D2 and didn't even make it out of open try outs for the Ontario Reign. My buddy played BCHL and later NCAA D3 and made it to the preseason roster but was cut soon after. A lot of the guys who already had a spot on the team pretty much all played D1 and up or Major Junior.
This is dead on point.

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05-21-2013, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkEye View Post
Playing against pros and semi pros in open hockey isn't the same.

You can definitely try to latch on to a FHL or ECHL team through open try outs. They all have them at the beginning of the year and will take a good look at you if you show potential. It doesn't hurt them because you're going to be paying to try out. That is the easiest way to know if you're good enough or not right off the bat.

Having a good "resume" like Patches said is important because coaches will take you more seriously.

As far as what level of competition to expect, I played college club D2 and didn't even make it out of open try outs for the Ontario Reign. My buddy played BCHL and later NCAA D3 and made it to the preseason roster but was cut soon after. A lot of the guys who already had a spot on the team pretty much all played D1 and up or Major Junior.



Coaching is different. You'll usually start off in low minor or junior leagues and work your way up.

And Todd Richards has extensive pro playing experience. He was drafted in the 2nd round and bounced from league to league and yes he ended up playing in Europe but in Switzerland's highest league.

He started coaching in the AHL and then became the Wild's head coach after 4 or 5 years and now he's with Columbus. So pretty traditional route. You may be thinking of their GM who came from a European team.

I don't think you get how competitive and cut throat getting playing/coaching jobs in pro hockey is. There is simply too many good people and few spots. The stars have to align the right way for you or you have to know someone who is willing to put their name out and vouch for you.

Good luck.
Probably the best way for you to go. Although I find that is something that comes with having a good resume. When I was 14 I got one prospective try-out offer from a Junior A team in the BCHL, once that happened doors just seemed to open for every Junior league in BC. I recommend you go to an open try-out for the highest level you can around you because the odds are good that even if you don't make the team, there will be plenty of scouts watching from other lower level leagues that would be willing to offer you at least a try-out and give you a good look if you have a good camp.

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05-21-2013, 08:20 PM
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Could be a decent plan B.

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05-22-2013, 01:11 AM
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Love all the realists in this thread. What does he have to lose? Bracken Kearns waited till he was 31 before he got into an NHL game.

Someone mentioned trying to find a senior league which would not be a bad idea. A buddy played in one in Wisconsin. Its essentially adult league thats obviously faster, has hitting, and draws a decent crowd. The key is that youd be able to practice regularly. If you did decently enough there you could try and squeeze your way onto an up and coming semi pro league, im not sure if the aahl is still around? There are other semi pro leagues like th CHL, SPHL, etc. All below the ECHL but even to get a few games in any one of those leagues would be a great accomplishment and who knows where it can lead?

Best of luck

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05-22-2013, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by ean View Post
Love all the realists in this thread. What does he have to lose? Bracken Kearns waited till he was 31 before he got into an NHL game.

Someone mentioned trying to find a senior league which would not be a bad idea. A buddy played in one in Wisconsin. Its essentially adult league thats obviously faster, has hitting, and draws a decent crowd. The key is that youd be able to practice regularly. If you did decently enough there you could try and squeeze your way onto an up and coming semi pro league, im not sure if the aahl is still around? There are other semi pro leagues like th CHL, SPHL, etc. All below the ECHL but even to get a few games in any one of those leagues would be a great accomplishment and who knows where it can lead?

Best of luck
There's a difference between Bracken Kearns spending 10 years in the AHL then getting called up to the NHL for a playoff run versus someone with no high level junior or college experience wanting to make it pro. I don't think you realize the level of competition out there even in the SPHL and CHL.

And I am not discouraging him I am just trying to let him know the facts because I was in his shoes 2 years ago (I'm 25 now).

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05-22-2013, 10:16 AM
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So you'd abandon your career and earnings as an engineer, uproot your family, and move to Croatia to try and get into either playing or coaching?

My question is, where do your 10-year-old shin pads fit into all this? Do they have facilities to make wood sticks?


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05-22-2013, 04:36 PM
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I'm still trying to figure out if he is being serious or if we are all seriously be trolled hard.

Played some D3 CLUB team years ago and now thinks he can jump onto a pro team like the ECHL or even AHL?

Im going to say we are being trolled.

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05-22-2013, 04:44 PM
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I'm still trying to figure out if he is being serious or if we are all seriously be trolled hard.

Played some D3 CLUB team years ago and now thinks he can jump onto a pro team like the ECHL or even AHL?

Im going to say we are being trolled.
Hah yeah even D1 club is far far far far away from even CIS which I would compare to NCAA D3. As for his goalie buddy who played for West Virginia and got the pro offer I'm curious as to who that is because WV is club as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
So you'd abandon your career and earnings as an engineer, uproot your family, and move to Croatia to try and get into either playing or coaching?

My question is, where do your 10-year-old shin pads fit into all this? Do they have facilities to make wood sticks?
If I ever got the chance to play pro it would only be a one or two year thing to say I got paid to play hockey. I would consider it a vacation of sorts. Other than that, I would take a real job over ECHL/FHL/CHL/SPHL pay any day.

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05-22-2013, 04:57 PM
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It should not matter for my question... yet I have no issue answering.

I have quite a bit of nontraditional history. I started skating young but was a late bloomer. The highest level of competition I have played in was High School Varsity Hockey which I played for four years. I immediately can expect many of you to laugh at me when I consider a higher form of competition.

On Long Island, Varsity Hockey is a pretty solid form of competition but obviously no junior or travel leagues. I mean a few kids during my years had scholarships for various division 1 schools. My goalie in fact played Division 1 for West Virginia and later had calls to play minor league hockey. Senior year I was top 10 in goals and points, just a bit of a backstory lol.

The tricky part is that its never fair to judge someone by their highest level of competition. I made a handful of travel and junior teams from junior to senior year of high school but never actually join them due to money. Quite expensive as you know.

At my college, I made the division 3 club team. Quite surprised too. I was a year out of hockey, they were extremely good players. National D3 Club Champions. A lot of the players could have easily went to play at various NCAA D1 and D3 schools but did not have the grades, the money or the will to do so. Yet once again my own money issues had me not joining the team. When I thought I could do so again the following year, I transferred to focus on my engineering degree where they had no hockey.

From my senior year of high school to now (about 5 years), I trained and worked hard at my game. I played 3x the amount I ever played. I went to as many open hockey games I could go to and played with any adult teams I could find. I worked out more efficiently and studied the game more frequently.

Through natural growth as an athlete and a man, through hard work and passion of hockey I am now a far better player than I ever was when making Junior C/B teams and playing competitive hockey 2-3x a week.
I'm curious:
What high school did you play for?
Which AHL players have you played with?

And pretty much if you have to ask, you're not good enough. Usually these programs and people find you or you're at least close enough to the skill level that you know people in them.

Playing in high school or club teams in college isn't even close to the skill level required to make one of the more serious teams. If you started playing late, you're at a real disadvantage right off the bat. Most of these guys come out of the womb with sticks and skates already on.

I'd also say that your age is probably a problem.

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05-23-2013, 12:05 PM
  #23
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I'm curious:
What high school did you play for?
Which AHL players have you played with?

And pretty much if you have to ask, you're not good enough. Usually these programs and people find you or you're at least close enough to the skill level that you know people in them.

Playing in high school or club teams in college isn't even close to the skill level required to make one of the more serious teams. If you started playing late, you're at a real disadvantage right off the bat. Most of these guys come out of the womb with sticks and skates already on.

I'd also say that your age is probably a problem.
I understand these types of leagues have scouts and programs. Does not mean they dont have some sort of open try outs or ways to contact the coaches.

My issue is that I have no path. I have trained extremely well in the last few years but in the last year due to graduation I have definitely been side tracked. I understand I am 23... Yet I am 3x a better athlete and hockey player than I was at 22 let alone at 18. Age is but a number, I know it makes it easier for me but im not looking to turn back the clock. I am looking for a route. I am looking for different options for a guy in my situation. Idc how impossible it is. I would be at the first open NHL try out if there was one.

Now that I have a full time job. I want to once again get back into competitive athletics and training. Go 10x harder than I ever did in college. Yet I dont want to be so specific and focus on only improving my hockey skills and fitness if it seems like there is no destination for me.

I am limited, and all your suggestions were great. I was jw if there was something I am missing. An Adult league with hitting in my area that often gets scouted for FHL teams. And maybe in the FHL I get scouted for the ECHL and so on... Its possible. Never said it wasnt difficult.

I wont reveal to much info. But i played in Long Island Varsity hockey. A few NHL players I believe have played in this league at one time or another. A few current D1 NCAA programs have our players too. My school had 2 guys who were NHL scouted. A few others who went or were scouted for D1 NCAA or ACHA schools. We were regularly in the State Tournaments and for decades have been a top 5 team in the league.

My experience is not very exciting. My play is not flashy. Yet I know my overall balance of the game, my dedication could make me a 10x better hockey player and hopeful for a better hockey career.

Maybe the best I ever do is some small semi pro league that establishes itself in a few years. Maybe I become a no body in that no body league. But as a competitor, that is exactly what I would want to do if possible. I want to compete again.

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05-23-2013, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by PinkEye View Post
Hah yeah even D1 club is far far far far away from even CIS which I would compare to NCAA D3. As for his goalie buddy who played for West Virginia and got the pro offer I'm curious as to who that is because WV is club as well.



If I ever got the chance to play pro it would only be a one or two year thing to say I got paid to play hockey. I would consider it a vacation of sorts. Other than that, I would take a real job over ECHL/FHL/CHL/SPHL pay any day.

To do it just so you can say you got paid doesnt appeal me to much. Of course because I have other aspirations and people to worry about in my life, I have to be concerned about the pay and time I have to put into it but if i chose to play, it simply be because I wanted to.

WV is a Division 1 ACHA team I believe. It may be considered club due to funds provided by the school but its in ACHA D1

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05-23-2013, 12:55 PM
  #25
Thesensation19*
 
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All I wanted from you guys is options.

You guys act like salesman trying to convince me that one thing is better than the other or trying to convince me that its impossible. No, its challenging but its not impossible and I am not undervaluing the word challenging.

I always wanted to see how far I can take my game. Not see how much I can get paid. I may not be ready to just dump what I have for any hockey pro option or chance but I will give it serious thought and try to see if it can work with my schedule.

I dc if I my resume is not good enough to make a team... I could not disagree more. Every where I played, people said your not good enough or your experience wont make that team. With nothing but rec league hockey experience I made travel and junior C teams. With only limited HS experience I made Junior B teams and was the last one cut on a Junior A team. Money and I guess I could even blame my devotion (if i really wanted to I would have found a way) stopped me from gaining those things. After 4 Varsity years I made a D3 Club team that beat up on some D3 teams and won the National Championships 3 out of 5 years.

Now I wont let age, time and a job stop me from at LEAST trying to see my options and see where I can go from here. I dc about saying " I was a paid player"... I care about saying to myself at least I tried again and this time failed or succeed.


And, yea I would move to Croatia. I always thought about living there. My family is there, my roots are there. My degree could probably find me a stable job. Try out for Medvescak would be sick but now more difficult with their growth and KHL acceptance. Maybe one day and I dont even play or coach. Maybe I just move there.

I would never call it abandoning my career. I have a degree and certifications. I can always find a job and have a future in it. That is one reason why I chose Engineering.

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