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03-03-2014, 08:30 AM
  #1
Randomtask68
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Junior Hockey Lifestyle

Could someone please explain to me the day to day lifestyle of a player in a Junior hockey league? From what I can gather players get drafted by teams in their designated geographic location (Western Canada =WHL, Ontario =OHL and Quebec and the smaller eastern provinces = QMJHL) and usually stay with a billet family. But in terms of school, practice and travel, how is that all managed? Do they go to school at a local high school where they're staying, practice in the afternoon/night and solely play on the weekends? And if you are still in Juniors when you are 19 or 20 do you still have schooling to do or are you just focused on hockey? Thanks in advance

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03-03-2014, 08:56 AM
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Jesse Joensuu
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At least with the Oil Kings many players are enrolled in a certain school but simply do their work by modules due to the amount of travel, practice, and such. If it's a light week they may attend school maybe once or twice.. Practice really depends on when the next game is, but most practices are usually before 2pm. Games are played during the week like any other league. Teams travel by bus. I've heard of many 19 and 20 year olds taking online college courses.

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03-03-2014, 09:16 AM
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Well I can tell you a bit about the QMJHL.

School is very important, basically if you're playing in the Q you're going to school at the same time. Teams will have counsellors on the bus during long travel so kids can do their homeworks. 16 years old typically are finishing high school whereas kids 17 and 18 are going to Cegep.

For the older guys (19 and 20), many will be enrolled in University or taking online courses. It depends in what area you are playing in (some areas the closest U is too far). Most players from one team will all go to the same school, usually that school has a deal in place with the team to let the players miss exams if they are travelling, etc.

As for the overall lifestyle, you are right, they are living with a billet family. That family receives money from the team, but not a lot. The players are also getting paid, depending on their age. The younger guys will receive about 50$ per week, whereas the overragers can receive up to 500$, maybe more, depending. Of course this doesn't include ''under the table'' deals for guys like Coyle or Grigorenko if you know what I mean...

A junior hockey player will not have a regular job, not even in the summer unless he really wants to. They will train a lot in the gym, even during the season. They also go to classes during the week if they're not travelling, they practice a lot, and play games on the weekend. I would guess they usually hang out with their teammates, but they have a curfew, and can get suspended if they miss it, even scratched for games.

For exemple the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, most players will live within the area (Blainville, Ste-Therese, Boisbriand) although I know Xavier Ouellet lived with his parents in Terrebonne when he was here. As I said the billet family received money and are responsible for the kid. They take him to the arena for practice, to school, etc. Most players will go to Lionel-Groulx Cegep. For an older guy, like Samuel Carrier, I think he was enrolled at McGill U but I'm not 100% on that one.

Being on a junior team is very serious business, you need to act as a professional. It's interesting sometimes to see the 17 yrs old grinder who will likely get a construction job 3 years from now playing on the same team as a major prospect like Drouin or Erne for exemple. Sometimes those guys will already have NHL contracts (signing bonuses $$$$$) whereas his teammate and friend will be a nobody. It's an interesting concept when you think about it, it can make some people jealous.


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03-03-2014, 09:23 AM
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Well I can tell you a bit about the QMJHL.

School is very important, basically if you're playing in the Q you're going to school at the same time. Teams will have counsellors on the bus during long travel so kids can do their homeworks. 16 years old typically are finishing high school whereas kids 17 and 18 are going to Cegep.

For the older guys (19 and 20), many will be enrolled in University or taking online courses. It depends in what area you are playing in (some areas the closest U is too far). Most players from one team will all go to the same school, usually that school has a deal in place with the team to let the players miss exams if they are travelling, etc.

As for the overall lifestyle, you are right, they are living with a billet family. That family receives money from the team, but not a lot. The players are also getting paid, depending on their age. The younger guys will receive about 50$ per week, whereas the overragers can receive up to 500$, maybe more, depending. Of course this doesn't include ''under the table'' deals for guys like Coyle or Grigorenko if you know what I mean...

A junior hockey player will not have a regular job, not even in the summer unless he really wants to. They will train a lot in the gym. They go to classes during the week if they're not travelling, they practice a lot, and play games on the weekend.
I know for the Q at least they had maybe they still do a program where they pay for a year of school for every year you play in the league, for guys in high school still most of them only do half days and leave at lunch for practice.

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03-03-2014, 09:24 AM
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i know alot of the WHL 18-20 year olds that have finished high school will hold up on college until they are done playing junior. 1 because then they can party and not have to worry about school and 2 because the league offers scholarships and players also have the opportunity to play CIS hockey for 4 years.

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03-03-2014, 10:01 AM
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For the most part they go to school, but are given extra time to complete assignments and tests, and have a teacher volunteer to help them manage school.
A lot of the time, there are one or two long road trips a season (2-4 weeks), and than shorter ones which usually last a weekend with the occasional four or five day road trip.

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03-03-2014, 10:08 AM
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For every year you play in the Dub, you get a year of Canadian University paid for. So what happens often is that guys will play 3-4 years of junior, finish up then head to UBC, U of A, U of C, etc. get school paid for and play for their respective CIS teams while in school. I had a bunch of friends do that.

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03-03-2014, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randomtask68 View Post
Could someone please explain to me the day to day lifestyle of a player in a Junior hockey league? From what I can gather players get drafted by teams in their designated geographic location (Western Canada =WHL, Ontario =OHL and Quebec and the smaller eastern provinces = QMJHL) and usually stay with a billet family. But in terms of school, practice and travel, how is that all managed? Do they go to school at a local high school where they're staying, practice in the afternoon/night and solely play on the weekends? And if you are still in Juniors when you are 19 or 20 do you still have schooling to do or are you just focused on hockey? Thanks in advance
From what i remember about the few CHL players that went to my high school, they would go to high school in what every team's city but the school would be like special education schools in which attendance wasn't mandatory. At the end of the season they would show up back at my high school, presumably by choice, and finish off the school year there. Don't know what happens in between or anything just a little tidbit.

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03-03-2014, 02:48 PM
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From my experience.. the kids are almost never at school.
The lifestyle seems crazy to me.

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03-03-2014, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by #57 View Post
Well I can tell you a bit about the QMJHL.

School is very important, basically if you're playing in the Q you're going to school at the same time. Teams will have counsellors on the bus during long travel so kids can do their homeworks. 16 years old typically are finishing high school whereas kids 17 and 18 are going to Cegep.

For the older guys (19 and 20), many will be enrolled in University or taking online courses. It depends in what area you are playing in (some areas the closest U is too far). Most players from one team will all go to the same school, usually that school has a deal in place with the team to let the players miss exams if they are travelling, etc.

As for the overall lifestyle, you are right, they are living with a billet family. That family receives money from the team, but not a lot. The players are also getting paid, depending on their age. The younger guys will receive about 50$ per week, whereas the overragers can receive up to 500$, maybe more, depending. Of course this doesn't include ''under the table'' deals for guys like Coyle or Grigorenko if you know what I mean...

A junior hockey player will not have a regular job, not even in the summer unless he really wants to. They will train a lot in the gym, even during the season. They also go to classes during the week if they're not travelling, they practice a lot, and play games on the weekend. I would guess they usually hang out with their teammates, but they have a curfew, and can get suspended if they miss it, even scratched for games.

For exemple the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, most players will live within the area (Blainville, Ste-Therese, Boisbriand) although I know Xavier Ouellet lived with his parents in Terrebonne when he was here. As I said the billet family received money and are responsible for the kid. They take him to the arena for practice, to school, etc. Most players will go to Lionel-Groulx Cegep. For an older guy, like Samuel Carrier, I think he was enrolled at McGill U but I'm not 100% on that one.

Being on a junior team is very serious business, you need to act as a professional. It's interesting sometimes to see the 17 yrs old grinder who will likely get a construction job 3 years from now playing on the same team as a major prospect like Drouin or Erne for exemple. Sometimes those guys will already have NHL contracts (signing bonuses $$$$$) whereas his teammate and friend will be a nobody. It's an interesting concept when you think about it, it can make some people jealous.

I've always thought about that, the dynamic between the future NHL'r and future pen salesman. Even for a player like Drouin he must trash talk other teams all the time knowing full well he's a future multi-millionaire.

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03-03-2014, 03:05 PM
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I've always thought about that, the dynamic between the future NHL'r and future pen salesman. Even for a player like Drouin he must trash talk other teams all the time knowing full well he's a future multi-millionaire.
A friend got asked if the team he was playing for found him in a ditch during their warm-up skate

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03-03-2014, 07:01 PM
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I've always thought about that, the dynamic between the future NHL'r and future pen salesman. Even for a player like Drouin he must trash talk other teams all the time knowing full well he's a future multi-millionaire.
Didn't Chris Phillips have a famous incident about this? Something along the lines of "Hey (bleep), I could buy you!"

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03-04-2014, 02:15 AM
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Of course this doesn't include ''under the table'' deals for guys like Coyle or Grigorenko if you know what I mean...
Im not familiar with this. Can you tell us more?

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03-04-2014, 07:58 PM
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I've always wondered what happens after a trade. I know the guys obviously find a new billet family and school, but just wondering if there is anything to expand on that. Seems crazy to me to cope with that.

As far as the dynamic, I do find it strange when high draft picks go back to junior. Those guys are pretty much certain they are going to play in the NHL and back playing next to 16 year olds and kids with no future in the sport. One reason why I wish there were more options to send players to the AHL, I'm not sure it is a good situation for these high profile kids to go back where they came from.

Also, do some of them even really graduate? Especially the guaranteed NHLers? I've seen enough jokes and such to make me believe that a fair number of them don't actually graduate.


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03-04-2014, 10:45 PM
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I highly recommend watching the documentary Junior which follows the Baie-Comeau Drakkar during the 2005-06 season. It gives insights into a lot of the aspects of junior hockey in Canada, including how GMs make trades, how coaches work, the travel, the draft, players interactions with agents and the impact trades have on them.

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03-05-2014, 07:55 AM
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Im not familiar with this. Can you tell us more?
There's a lot of speculation, although the details are never formally released to the public, that CHL teams offer significant bonuses which are off-the-record and completely illegal in order to sign players from other leagues who may not have come over otherwise. Portland and Windsor both received major penalties from the CHL recently, and in Windsor's case it was suspected that them signing players like Cam Fowler was a major aspect of that penalty. Any team which signs a lot of American players who play for top colleges/ junior programs fall under a lot of scrutiny because of this.

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03-05-2014, 07:59 AM
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There's a lot of speculation, although the details are never formally released to the public, that CHL teams offer significant bonuses which are off-the-record and completely illegal in order to sign players from other leagues who may not have come over otherwise. Portland and Windsor both received major penalties from the CHL recently, and in Windsor's case it was suspected that them signing players like Cam Fowler was a major aspect of that penalty. Any team which signs a lot of American players who play for top colleges/ junior programs fall under a lot of scrutiny because of this.

For example Quebec Ramparts and Angelo Espisito,

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03-05-2014, 09:24 AM
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03-05-2014, 10:52 AM
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I know a couple of guys in the OHL and a bunch who will be playing next year. Techically, the stuff is supposed to be standard across the board with billets, teams, etc. But the reality is the experience differs depending on what team you're on. Some teams are A LOT better run than other ones. One guy I know who plays on a team I won't say (but will mention that people seem to like to get traded away from it) says it's pretty crappy, that the people who own/run the team are a bunch of cheap *****, a lot of the guys don't bother with school so much, and basically they do whatever they want. Also there have been some problems with billets. I think other teams are professionally managed, though. Apparently the good ones to be on are Guelph, London, Kitchener, and Ottawa.

Practice is usually in the afternoon and your school schedule is usually set up so you have last period off and can leave. Most of hte games are Thursday-Sunday but sometimes earlier in the week. Travel is by bus. Whether you stay at hotels or not depends on what team you're playing against, but for some of the teams in Southern Ontario they just go back home (to their billets) after the games and get in late.

If there's antyhing else you want to know i can ask.

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03-05-2014, 07:24 PM
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For every year you play in the Dub, you get a year of Canadian University paid for. So what happens often is that guys will play 3-4 years of junior, finish up then head to UBC, U of A, U of C, etc. get school paid for and play for their respective CIS teams while in school. I had a bunch of friends do that.
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I know for the Q at least they had maybe they still do a program where they pay for a year of school for every year you play in the league, for guys in high school still most of them only do half days and leave at lunch for practice.
This is a CHL program (so WHL/OHL/QMJHL).
For every year that a junior player plays in the league, he gets a year of college or university tuition (plus books) covered.

There's some more information on the CHL's website under Education: http://www.chl.ca/page/chl-champions-program

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03-05-2014, 07:47 PM
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I'd be curious to see a statistic which shows just how many junior players actually take advantage of the scholarship opportunity they have after their CHL careers are over. I honestly can't see many nineteen year olds who have just spent the past 3-4 years playing junior chomping at the bit to get a post secondary education. The grade requirement for a lot of the programs are quite high, and even the easier ones have a lot of pre reqs.

Maybe I'm not giving these guys enough credit. I know three guys that played/are playing in the Dub. One is a legit NHL prospect, one was in the Dub (two seasons) but is now playing in the AJHL, the last guy is top-4 guy on his team, but will almost certainly never play in the NHL and probably not even professionally. I can maybe see only one these guys actually going to school once he's done hockey.

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03-05-2014, 07:59 PM
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I'd be curious to see a statistic which shows just how many junior players actually take advantage of the scholarship opportunity they have after their CHL careers are over. I honestly can't see many nineteen year olds who have just spent the past 3-4 years playing junior chomping at the bit to get a post secondary education. The grade requirement for a lot of the programs are quite high, and even the easier ones have a lot of pre reqs.

Maybe I'm not giving these guys enough credit. I know three guys that played/are playing in the Dub. One is a legit NHL prospect, one was in the Dub (two seasons) but is now playing in the AJHL, the last guy is top-4 guy on his team, but will almost certainly never play in the NHL and probably not even professionally. I can maybe see only one these guys actually going to school once he's done hockey.
you would be surprised how many go to university to play for another 4 years then take "open-studies". Just prolongs the inevitable in my opinion.

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03-06-2014, 11:05 AM
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I'd be curious to see a statistic which shows just how many junior players actually take advantage of the scholarship opportunity they have after their CHL careers are over. I honestly can't see many nineteen year olds who have just spent the past 3-4 years playing junior chomping at the bit to get a post secondary education. The grade requirement for a lot of the programs are quite high, and even the easier ones have a lot of pre reqs.

Maybe I'm not giving these guys enough credit. I know three guys that played/are playing in the Dub. One is a legit NHL prospect, one was in the Dub (two seasons) but is now playing in the AJHL, the last guy is top-4 guy on his team, but will almost certainly never play in the NHL and probably not even professionally. I can maybe see only one these guys actually going to school once he's done hockey.
Well I can only speak for the Quebec league, but most of the CIS teams around here are made up from former QMJHL players. So yes they do go on to post-secondary education. Here is the link to this year's UQTR Patriotes, plus you have what they're studying in listed (in french though). I would say there is at least 15 guys who used to play in the Q on that list;

https://oraprdnt.uqtr.uquebec.ca/pls...wa_cd_sport=HM

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03-06-2014, 11:16 AM
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I'd be curious to see a statistic which shows just how many junior players actually take advantage of the scholarship opportunity they have after their CHL careers are over. I honestly can't see many nineteen year olds who have just spent the past 3-4 years playing junior chomping at the bit to get a post secondary education. The grade requirement for a lot of the programs are quite high, and even the easier ones have a lot of pre reqs.

Maybe I'm not giving these guys enough credit. I know three guys that played/are playing in the Dub. One is a legit NHL prospect, one was in the Dub (two seasons) but is now playing in the AJHL, the last guy is top-4 guy on his team, but will almost certainly never play in the NHL and probably not even professionally. I can maybe see only one these guys actually going to school once he's done hockey.
a lot of them actually do, the CIS scoring leaders is usually littered with them. as for grades alot of them get in through the hockey team so like other sports their grades are less of an issue than the regular joe trying to get in.

example

leading scorer in all of the CIS is 22 year old Daniel Erlich who played for London, Guelph and barrie in the ohl, next leading scorer is Derek Hulak player in Regina and saskatoon in the WHL, next is Jamie Wise played for mississauga and peterbourough

etc etc

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03-06-2014, 03:43 PM
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