Not for me. My son. 23 yrs old. Picture is my avatar.
No an EU citizen.
Played Junior A for two years after a Post Grad year (= to a year of Jr. A)
He's a goalie
Was recruited by Major Junior team but was advised to keep NCAA options open. So he declined. Maine, Bowling Green, Notre Dame, Union all expressed interest but academics kept him out of those programs.
Ran into weird NCAA rule about "Organized Competition" that cost him a year of eligibility and required him to sit out another year. Would have been the starter if eligible.
Wasn't a great student to begin with and left school.
Just trying to understand what the options are and how the process works. Email me here if you would like more specifics.
Last edited by Falconone: 09-08-2013 at 04:38 PM.
Have you considered getting in touch with a sports agent? If that's not a possibility, I'd recommend checking team websites in leagues at your son's expected level, and see if they offer tryouts. For instance, here is one from an ECHL team.
Every pro team will have a website contact option, even if they don't specifically talk about recruitment. You could try sending emails to all of them asking about tryouts, and see who responds. I think that the best option would be an agent though, someone who knows the process and has been through it before.
Just my two cents I got from a bit of online research, so you probably know all this already! Good luck to your son!
Can anyone provide insight as to how a player might secure a spot on a pro team in Western Europe, or Sweden, Finland etc?
What's the process for making that happen?
When do those leagues typically start their seasons?
Actually any info would be helpful.
Hi Falconone, Sorry to hear about your son. Best thing for him is play pro in NA for a season or two. All European leagues have already started and filled rosters. They sign guys typically between May-July with most teams having players report in August. They sign imports early to get work visa issues sorted out because that can be a long process (e.g. Italy is notorious for taking months to process pro guys visas).
Unless you want to pay his own way over there for tryouts, he won't get a contract without playing NCAA/CIS or minor pro. A couple years ago, some Jr.A guys from Canada have paid they're own way for tryouts in Belgium and France and have to get on with a club, but they left in July and bounced around in August. Also, it is easier for Canadians to play overseas at lower level pro teams because Canadians can get one year work visas with the Schengen program. Germany, Belgium, France, Netherlands, etc. all grant one year work visas for Canadians under the age of 30 if they apply in the spring.
For goalies, the process is ten times worst right now. Lots of guys looking for work.
Also, get an agent. But do research first when selecting an agent.
if college is no option I would definately recommend your son to play at least one year ECHL or Central Hockey League so that European clubs can see his strenghts without having to fly him in as they just can use their scouting system + it's better for comparison with other imports.
If he tried it now he would probably only find a spot in very low level leagues of Germany and Sweden (4th tier) or maybe an exotic club in Beligum or Turkey. A year of ECHL would even get him as close as DEL 2 (Germany) or Division 1 (Sweden).
In any case you can PM me and I can recommend you a good Canadian hockey agent who works with many North Americans who play in Europe, from former NHL level to ECHL/Central Hockey League.