Your Commitment to
Play College Hockey and
the National Letter of Intent

As a young hockey player aspiring to play hockey in the NCAA the desire to 'commit' to a college hockey program can be overwhelming. They will think about it before every game, wondering, 'who is going to be watching me play tonight?'

In many sports, signing the National Letter of Intent is the key moment all athletes are waiting for. However, the National Letter of Intent is not the only way to declare your decision to attend a particular school in hockey.

Recruiting in hockey takes place 12 months of the year and will often involve athletes who are younger than the 9th grade all the way to players who have already graduated high school. As such, the intent of a player to play for a school and the reciprocal agreement of the school can take place at any time, not just as a grade 12 senior in high school.

There is incredible pressure for Division I Men's teams to start recruiting and offering Verbal Commitments to younger players. This is directly tied to the Canadian Hockey League draft.

Major Junior hockey in Canada holds an entry draft every spring. Teams will draft players at 16 years old from midget programs across North America. Once a player plays for a Major Junior team they are considered a professional by the NCAA and is therefore ineligible to play in the NCAA.

For Division I men's teams to compete for elite level players they need to identify and commit players before they are drafted to one of the 3 leagues in the CHL: Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

There is also pressure on the players to make critical decisions regarding their future. For high-level players there will be agents, coaches, parents, friends, and others who will be offering advice. Some will have the player’s best interest in mind and some will not. It is important that each family weighs the pro’s and con’s and finds the right fit for their child.

There are some essential steps you must take to prepare your child to pursue hockey in the NCAA.

A great way to get information is to pay attention to the players who are committing to NCAA hockey teams. To hear first hand from players who have committed to play NCAA hockey check out our one on one interviews.

Maybe you have a commitment story you can share with the rest of us? Please be sure to let us know if you have recently committed to play hockey in the NCAA. We are always happy to add you to our list of recent commitments to celebrate your accomplishment! Congrats!


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