Junior loves practising with his new team. I asked him if he likes his new coach. Answer: "yeah, he's strict, that's great!" Me: huh?
He was invited to play at an international tournament with kids born in 98/99 (he's 99). Because the 96/97 team lacked players, he played for both teams (7 games in two days (2x15min with98/99 , 2x20min with 96/97).
You can see his last game with the big boys here (orange opponents), a goal he scores in his league (green opponents) and a deke against orange team 98/99.
your boy looks like a great little player. your in a tuff spot. challenging his abilities(by playing up) and being a kid(preventing burnout) as good as your son appears, I would think you hold the upper hand with the coach. let him know he WILL miss some to do other things. not too many 10y/o can skate and handle the puck like that. kids got talent. now you just have to keep him interested and not overwelmed with one sport. playing other sports is just going to make a better athlete.
Hi, thanks for the input. Great advice...it's basically what we did. We handed out a plan to the coaching staff: this is when he'll be with you, this is when he won't. Seems to be no problem for the moment.
ice season has started, after 5 preparation games here's an update.
Junior's doing great. He loves the practices, the game, the surrounding, everything.
First game he had, his usual coach had to coach another team. The replacement coach didn't know my boy and based his lines on age. My boy started as 16th or 17th player. In the second period he got regular shifts on the second line as a winger. After two goals and one assist he ended up playing on powerplay and was killing penalties.
In his 3rd game he was put on the first line as a winger. 4th and 5th game he played as the 1st line center.
So things are going well for him.
But: the whole thing is really based on competition. The third line probably doesn't get half of the first two line's ice time. A lot of kids do not play a lot. Most of them are improving their skills, thanks to good and numerous practices, but you can feel there frustration growing. I feel bad for them, as I favor equal ice-time for everybody at this age.
To conclude: if his coaches know junior's ready and if HE wants to play up, try it. But make sure he's among the best skaters and stickhandlers on the team, because his opponents will try to compensate with bigger size. If he cannot play in the first or second line, I'd try to find an arrangement to practice with the top team and get some additional games at a lower level.