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Hockey indicators-the "level" it starts getting serious

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Old
10-30-2010, 02:21 PM
  #1
Tinalera
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Hockey indicators-the "level" it starts getting serious

Didn't know which forum to put this in, but I'll throw this here.

A parent enrolls their little boy in hockey a 5-6 years of age. We've all heard the idea of every parent thinking is the next big pro. At what age or "level" of hockey do the first indicators start as to whether the kid has what it takes to take it "seriously"(and therefore the parent investing more time/money) towards pro, or whether they are told "enjoy playing the game, but he doesn't have what it takes to move onward"? (And in turn the parent can turn off ideas of the next Crosby sitting his living room?)

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10-30-2010, 02:30 PM
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blueberrydanish
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Originally Posted by Tinalera View Post
(And in turn the parent can turn off ideas of the next Crosby sitting his living room?)
First off, I dont think a parent should never really think this to begin with realistically. Id say within the first year or two a parent should be able to tell how serious their kid is about the sport just by their attitude and worth ethic towards it, but it can change.

Obviously kids can develop this kind of commitment to the sport at different ages though so even if your kid isn't taking it too serious but still enjoys playing, give them all the opportunities they want to do so. Kids are still able to get "serious" and try to shoot for a high level of play even in their early teens if they want, I believe Mike Green started hockey at 13 or 14.

edit - take that back he started at 9 and joined some type of training camp thing around 13/14~

In my opinion don't put any pressure on the kid to take things serious if they aren't really willing...let them learn to enjoy themselves first. Ya, as a parent Im sure everyone believes their kid has all the potential in the world, and its good to reinforce this verbally to them, but dont force anything on them.


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10-30-2010, 02:50 PM
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dannythekid
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Once a kid gets to Pee-Wee if he started as a mite I think you can really tell if they are going to stick with it or not. Mites you can't always tell and squirt is a good transition period because the playing level steps up a good bit from Mite.

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10-30-2010, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by blueberrydanish View Post
First off, I dont think a parent should never really think this to begin with realistically. Id say within the first year or two a parent should be able to tell how serious their kid is about the sport just by their attitude and worth ethic towards it, but it can change.

Obviously kids can develop this kind of commitment to the sport at different ages though so even if your kid isn't taking it too serious but still enjoys playing, give them all the opportunities they want to do so. Kids are still able to get "serious" and try to shoot for a high level of play even in their early teens if they want, I believe Mike Green started hockey at 13 or 14.

In my opinion don't put any pressure on the kid to take things serious if they aren't really willing...let them learn to enjoy themselves first. Ya, as a parent Im sure everyone believes their kid has all the potential in the world, and its good to reinforce this verbally to them, but dont force anything on them.
this...i think that the question is kind of a parenting question more than anything but i can now see both sides...as a kid i played sports and my parents forced me into them and i felt pretty much that i HAD to play, it resulted in me quiting senior year even though i was very good and played at a high level i was just burnt out and couldnt stand to play anymore because it wasnt fun. I was never able to have fun/love the game and if that was why i was playing i think i could have played longer and gotten better due to it being fun and me wanting to play more (practice). but as a parent i know that you see your kids as the best and you want them to know that they can do ANYTHING as long as they work at it...its a fine line between YOUR dream for you kids and THERE dreams, this is a good question though and one that as a parent i think you have to answer on your own....all i can say is for me personally (as a kid) if i would have been taught how to have fun and love the game it would have been most beneficial for me.

also, i heard a quote the other day (dont know who said it) about how scouts look at kids who are going to be good or okay and kids that are going to be super stars and it was:"when you look at these kids, the ones you know are going to be super stars are the one's who LOVE the game" look at the superstars of the NHL and i think that holds VERY ture....hope this helps but again it all depends on the child, some just need to be pushed more

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10-30-2010, 04:17 PM
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I think that as a parent, all you can do is follow your child's lead and support what they want to do. They're either going to love the game or they're not, and you can't make them love it, but it's really easy to make them hate it!

I don't think parents should be pushing anything. If a child has that natural drive/desire to play hockey, they won't need any pushing anyway. On my son's team, I see a whole range of parenting, and the kids that have the most fun and show the most improvement are the kids whose parents don't put any pressure on them at all and keep everything positive. The kids that are nagged and nitpicked seem to just be going through the motions.

A week or so ago, my son's mite team was getting off the ice and the kids from the next level up were at the benches waiting their turn, with their sticks over the boards, banging them on the ice, shouting "Give us a puck!! Give us a puck!!" So I passed one over there and immediately they started battling for it like a bunch of crazed pirahnas. I remember thinking, "now those kids love hockey!"

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10-30-2010, 04:56 PM
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I agree with what you all say about parents letting the kids play. You certainly don't want to rush the kids-once it stops being "fun" for them, or the love goes there really isn't a point.

That's a good quote from the hockey scout. Some kids just get out there to chase a puck around and have some fun-the ones who LOVE the sport are the ones who will dedicate themselves.

Guess I've just seen too many parents at games acting like their kid is NHL material, and getting on them for mistakes-it's a game let them have fun, I agree whole heartedly(some of said parents have been at 7-8 year old level or younger).

I guess i was meaning more the hockey level (Pee-Wee was mentioned), but even then, let them have fun.

but I appreciate the feedback, thanks!

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10-30-2010, 11:10 PM
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My boy's a toddler, but if he wants to play (and I was excited today when he was walking down the aisle at Target and pointed to the hockey equipment excitedly!), I would enroll him in one of the newer laid back programs. A couple skill development practices and a game each week, but focused on having fun.

It seems to me that the best players have this burning desire to play constantly and have natural ability. Very few NHL'ers come out and say that their parents pushed them really hard and signed them up for year-round clinics. Hell, Crosby used to play a ton of baseball during the summer, not hockey.

If your kid is awesome, scouts will find him. He'll rise to the top of his program, word will spread, he'll get scholarship offers, etc. Every kid deserves parents and coaches who just plain want him to have fun and become a better person, not necessarily a better player.

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10-31-2010, 01:51 AM
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I would say within 3-4 years is when you should be able to tell if he has a serious shot. I remember playing against Umberger when I was 7, and he was absolutely dominant back then. I would guess that the majority of NHL'ers were in fact dominant at an early age. Obviously that's not true for all cases, as some kids may be late bloomers, but more often than not, if child has "it", it should be noticeable sooner than later.

Obviously, it's not good to ever push a child who doesn't seem to enjoy the sport, but if there's interest, enroll him in some offseason hockey camps. They'll do wonders at an early age.

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10-31-2010, 03:57 AM
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Honestly, it's a pretty strange situation.


You see a ridiculous number of kids who stand out in very low levels, 'Brick Tournmament' etc. go on to be very solid pros. But at the same time, you also see some kids who just wade through those lower levels and then suddnely come on strong much much later in midget/junior/etc. and become highly sought after players. in fact, you even see some 'late bloomers' who play a number of years and the suddenly 'get it' late in their college career or similar.

but honestly, to me, it seems like a very disproportionate number of 'successful' young players who make it to the NHL have VERY rich parents who afford them every opportunity to have the best coaches and be in the 'spotlight' with every opportunity. it's really sad, but true for the most part.

but again, it really depends on the region as well...as the 'rich kids' of some regions just end up wasting their parents money because a good number of hockey systems have been horribly corrupted by greed and the preference for players with money.

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10-31-2010, 08:44 AM
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Nbr-17
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biturbo19 is right unfortunately.
Yes, the kid has to have talent & drive, but at a young age (up to Pewee) it depends on how much money the parents 'invest' in their kids hockey though extra skill & skating development.
The draft year for major Jr is the minor midget year (15 year olds). The scouts start looking at the kids in Major Bantam. That's when it starts to become serious.
Be aware of a lot of cash grabbing going on in hockey at the younger ages, especially during the summer months when it's all a free for all.
My advice is, let your kid play as long as he wants, suggest skating & skills development and see what he says. It can get to a point where it becomes too much and he'll just say 'I'm doing enough'. Also try to have him play at the right level. If the only AAA team that is interested in him is the worst team in the league, maybe take him to AA where he'll get ice time, has fun and develop.
The way I see it, if he makes pro it'll have to come from him when he's @ 14 or so.
Which is why that is when the scouting starts.

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10-31-2010, 06:28 PM
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Gino 14
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The game starts getting serious right at mites. I remember the first game I did for a mite major game and couldn't believe the level those kids played at. Any time kids are involved in competition and parents are around, it's serious, for the parents.

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11-01-2010, 12:58 PM
  #12
RandV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biturbo19 View Post
Honestly, it's a pretty strange situation.


You see a ridiculous number of kids who stand out in very low levels, 'Brick Tournmament' etc. go on to be very solid pros. But at the same time, you also see some kids who just wade through those lower levels and then suddnely come on strong much much later in midget/junior/etc. and become highly sought after players. in fact, you even see some 'late bloomers' who play a number of years and the suddenly 'get it' late in their college career or similar.

but honestly, to me, it seems like a very disproportionate number of 'successful' young players who make it to the NHL have VERY rich parents who afford them every opportunity to have the best coaches and be in the 'spotlight' with every opportunity. it's really sad, but true for the most part.

but again, it really depends on the region as well...as the 'rich kids' of some regions just end up wasting their parents money because a good number of hockey systems have been horribly corrupted by greed and the preference for players with money.
I think a distinction should be made here that this is probably the effect of the city & denser populated areas. All this expensive training and coaching very likely isn't going to help a pre-teen kid become a better pro, those skills won't start developing till their mid-late teens. But rather it only helps them improve at their current level, giving them an edge on the more naturally talented but poorer kid who can't afford to go those extra sessions, and earning a position on those coveted AAA teams where you need to be playing to get scouted.

That's the real problem in my opinion, with so many playing it becomes a meat grinder in the city for kids to be the best possible 13 year old hockey players they can be, just so they can get on the triple A team and get the opportunity to be scouted over the next few years for juniors.

Coincidentally, in small towns & regions across Canada where kids are able to 'just play' without the intense competition & investments to make the better team, you get a disproportional amount of professional hockey players. Practically every small town across Canada has an NHLer or two they can claim as their own, which shouldn't be the case going by pure population and statistics.

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11-01-2010, 01:39 PM
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I think the level depends on the mental development of the kid more than the physical development. If/when they decide that they want to get serious with it, then that's when it gets serious IMO. That could be 5 or 15 or 25. We've seen examples of each. For parents, I wouldn't recommend mortgaging your future until the kid is 11 or 12 and showing the drive and skill to atleast play at some level beyond high school.

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11-01-2010, 02:24 PM
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You want to avoid getting serious to early. I think the time to take it seriously is around mid to late April. Anything before that is a little risky. After say, early June, you might want to wait 'til next year, as a first quarter birth is less likely. Assuming things have gone well, a puck works well for teething, remember he has to learn to crawl before he can skate, and make sure he only receives discipline when he retaliates, never when he instigates.


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11-01-2010, 03:01 PM
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all I can say is don't take it seriously at all. My son is a rep goalie and the politics are sickening. It looks like he is going to be APed up a level so a whole new set of parents to take abuse from or listen to whine about the coaching. when your kid comes to you and says "I want to try out for select" or some rep hockey That is when you start thinking about lessons, power skating coaches, etc, etc.

at 4, 5 or even 9, 10 just have fun watching them make mistakes fall, and score.
I see to many parents that are forcing hockey on there kids and the kids want to play but the parents want them to WIN!

Relax there is time.

As a mater of fact there are AAA kids that start playing hockey at age 9 or 10 who catch up the the kids who started playing at age 4, or 5 by the time they are 13 or 14. real development doesn't starts taking off after age 10 from what I have seen in the last 3 years I have been involved with minor hockey.

Make it fun, make the kid a winner even when they louse a game. Take home nothing but positive and learn from mistakes.

As for what age do they start showing real talent for hockey. All ages.

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11-02-2010, 05:08 PM
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Tinalera
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Thanks for all the feedback!

I agree generally is them having fun, and not pushing-they'll say in their own way.

I do agree the cost can have an effect, all the equipment and gets to tournaments or whatever. But I do believe the moment it stops being enjoyable for them, or "they stop having fun" because too much pressure or whatever-that's the time to cut back-having great memories of winning(or even losing) in fun games really is more important than pushing them to be an NHL player they just may not be

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11-03-2010, 08:04 AM
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Nbr-17
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A little reality check.
In the 1991 and 1992 OHL Drafts, there were 232 Ontario developed players selected by the 16 junior teams.
The following breakdown shows how those 30,000 players active that year "progressed".
  • Out of those 232 players drafted to the OHL, only 105 ever played one game in the OHL.
  • Out of those 105 players, only 90 finished their full 3 or 4 years of eligibility in the OHL.
  • Of those 30,000 players, only 42 played NCAA Division I hockey! Remember too that U.S. scholarships are not the large educational packages that have been offered by NCAA schools in the past (see more information below). The following "1975" players had either full or partial NCAA scholarships.
  • There were 56 players from the "1975" age group that were either drafted or signed by a National Hockey League team (by far the most of any birth year Ontario has experienced!). Fourty-eight (48) of those 56 players were drafted by NHL teams!
  • Of the 48 drafted players only 39 signed contracts with NHL teams. Eight players signed as free agents after going un-drafted as NCAA or major junior players.
  • Of the 48 signed players, only 32 have seen action to date in an NHL game.
  • Of the 32 players with NHL experience, only 15 have played more than one (1) full NHL season!
  • Of these 32 players, only 21 were active in the NHL as of April 1, 2002 .
  • Of those 32 who have played an NHL game to date, only 18-20 will earn a second contract with an NHL team. About half of those players earning second contracts will see them finish that second contract with an NHL team. The remainder of the 56 players will toil in the minor pros in the IHL, AHL, ECHL or Europe .
  • Of the 32 players who have seen action in an NHL game, only six (6) have qualified for the NHL's Player Pension (minimum 400 games in the NHL!).

Have your kid play hockey for the right reasons, not your dreams and hope he develops a lifelong passion for the game.
Everything else is just gravy on top.

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11-03-2010, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nbr-17 View Post
A little reality check.
In the 1991 and 1992 OHL Drafts, there were 232 Ontario developed players selected by the 16 junior teams.
The following breakdown shows how those 30,000 players active that year "progressed".
  • Out of those 232 players drafted to the OHL, only 105 ever played one game in the OHL.
  • Out of those 105 players, only 90 finished their full 3 or 4 years of eligibility in the OHL.
  • Of those 30,000 players, only 42 played NCAA Division I hockey! Remember too that U.S. scholarships are not the large educational packages that have been offered by NCAA schools in the past (see more information below). The following "1975" players had either full or partial NCAA scholarships.
  • There were 56 players from the "1975" age group that were either drafted or signed by a National Hockey League team (by far the most of any birth year Ontario has experienced!). Fourty-eight (48) of those 56 players were drafted by NHL teams!
  • Of the 48 drafted players only 39 signed contracts with NHL teams. Eight players signed as free agents after going un-drafted as NCAA or major junior players.
  • Of the 48 signed players, only 32 have seen action to date in an NHL game.
  • Of the 32 players with NHL experience, only 15 have played more than one (1) full NHL season!
  • Of these 32 players, only 21 were active in the NHL as of April 1, 2002 .
  • Of those 32 who have played an NHL game to date, only 18-20 will earn a second contract with an NHL team. About half of those players earning second contracts will see them finish that second contract with an NHL team. The remainder of the 56 players will toil in the minor pros in the IHL, AHL, ECHL or Europe .
  • Of the 32 players who have seen action in an NHL game, only six (6) have qualified for the NHL's Player Pension (minimum 400 games in the NHL!).

Have your kid play hockey for the right reasons, not your dreams and hope he develops a lifelong passion for the game.
Everything else is just gravy on top.
Hi NBR

Great info. The one that I thought was odd (bolded): To play 3-4 years, 90 seems high out of 105 that played even one game. Could the 105 be for one season?

Just wondering. The result is the same for any dream of the NHL.

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11-03-2010, 11:15 AM
  #19
Gino 14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nbr-17 View Post
A little reality check.
In the 1991 and 1992 OHL Drafts, there were 232 Ontario developed players selected by the 16 junior teams.
The following breakdown shows how those 30,000 players active that year "progressed".
  • Out of those 232 players drafted to the OHL, only 105 ever played one game in the OHL.
  • Out of those 105 players, only 90 finished their full 3 or 4 years of eligibility in the OHL.
  • Of those 30,000 players, only 42 played NCAA Division I hockey! Remember too that U.S. scholarships are not the large educational packages that have been offered by NCAA schools in the past (see more information below). The following "1975" players had either full or partial NCAA scholarships.
  • There were 56 players from the "1975" age group that were either drafted or signed by a National Hockey League team (by far the most of any birth year Ontario has experienced!). Fourty-eight (48) of those 56 players were drafted by NHL teams!
  • Of the 48 drafted players only 39 signed contracts with NHL teams. Eight players signed as free agents after going un-drafted as NCAA or major junior players.
  • Of the 48 signed players, only 32 have seen action to date in an NHL game.
  • Of the 32 players with NHL experience, only 15 have played more than one (1) full NHL season!
  • Of these 32 players, only 21 were active in the NHL as of April 1, 2002 .
  • Of those 32 who have played an NHL game to date, only 18-20 will earn a second contract with an NHL team. About half of those players earning second contracts will see them finish that second contract with an NHL team. The remainder of the 56 players will toil in the minor pros in the IHL, AHL, ECHL or Europe .
  • Of the 32 players who have seen action in an NHL game, only six (6) have qualified for the NHL's Player Pension (minimum 400 games in the NHL!).

Have your kid play hockey for the right reasons, not your dreams and hope he develops a lifelong passion for the game.
Everything else is just gravy on top.
But, those numbers also say that 6% of those that actually make it in a game in the OHL do well in the NHL. Pretty impressive.

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11-04-2010, 01:57 AM
  #20
Coach Parker
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As a head coach of a AAA team at the Peewee level I can tell you the best thing you can do is find a good coaching staff and Hockey Canada framework at the Peewee level to prepare them for the reality of the Bantam years.

Keep it about skill development and having fun, but learn from the aspects of the game such as politics, ice time, expectations and individual development. Use all that while having fun and preparing your family for the tough reality of the Bantam years. Until then, it is all about your child having fun and developing as a young person.

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11-04-2010, 09:56 AM
  #21
Crosbyfan
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Originally Posted by Gino 14 View Post
But, those numbers also say that 6% of those that actually make it in a game in the OHL do well in the NHL. Pretty impressive.
That's why I'm thinking the 105 might be a season, not just a game.

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