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2024 2025 College Hockey Recruiting NCAA DI Commits Women's College Hockey

What Percent of D1 Women’s College Hockey Commits Come from Canada vs. the U.S.?

An analysis breaking down commits from the U.S., Canada and Europe. It also provides insight into relatively how good a player needs to be within their country at their position.

What percent of players of DI women’s college commits come from Canada vs. the U.S. and why does it matter? Well, if you are a female player who aspires to play at the highest level of college hockey, it is important to recognize that you aren’t only competing with the top players who play for a USA Hockey National Championship. You are also being compared to the top Canadian and European players.

In analyzing our new and improved database of women’s college hockey commits, we have been tracking where every publicly announced commit is from and where they play. As you can see below, almost 40% of all Division I players are from Canada.

Source: Elite Prospects, College Commits, Champs App analysis (as of May 21, 2024)

So, how good do you need to be to play Division I women’s college hockey?

There are 45 Division I college women’s hockey teams. Assuming 25 players on each team, with 25% graduating every year (once the Covid extra year expires after this year), then there should be about 280 openings each year (assuming no DIII transfers to DI).

USA

With 54% of players coming from the U.S., that means an American player needs to be one of the best 150 players in the U.S. for their graduation year. And if your goal is to play for a Top 25 team it means you basically need to be one of the best 80 players in the U.S.


Thus to be a DI player, you would need to be one of the:
• Top 18 goalies in the US.
• Top 42 D in the U.S.
• Top 90 forwards in the U.S.

Canada

With ~40% percent of players coming from Canada, that means a Canadian player needs to be one of the best 112 players in the Canada for their graduation year.


Drilling down a little more, at the position level, it means:
• Top 14 goalies in the Canada
• Top 31 D in the Canada
• Top 67 forwards in the Canada

It is also important to note that a large majority of Canadian players primarily go to the top 25 DI U.S. schools, otherwise they could easily stay in Canada and be closer to home. For example they could play for Julie Chu or Caroline Ouellette at Concordia University. So the competition for these top schools is probably a little higher from Canadian players, thus lower the number spots for U.S. players at these high-ranking schools.

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2024 2025 College Hockey Recruiting Women's College Hockey

The Transfer Portal and Implications for Recruiting

Since the NCAA DI women’s hockey season ended for each team, individual players have been adding their name to the transfer portal seeking a new school to play for next season. 139 players entered the portal since it reopened last summer.  40 out 44 schools have at least one player in the portal.

Why Players Enter the Transfer Portal

There are many reasons a student-athlete would choose to go into the transfer portal.  Here are the most common:

  • They have a 5th year of eligibility due to Covid
  • Grad student (graduated) with remaining years of eligibility
  • Player wants more playing time (most common with goalies)
  • Player wants to play for a better team;  upgrade team ranking
  • Issue with the coach /coaching change – one or both sides feel that there is no longer a fit for team / player
  • Off-ice concerns – school (academic or culture) is not a fit for the student-athlete
  • Financial reasons / NIL (Name-Image-Likeness) opportunities

Transfer Portal Player by Years of Eligibility

Analyzing the actual the list of 139 players, here is how they breakout by remaining years of eligibility. It is no surprise that most only have one year left:

NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Transfer Portal

Impact on Prospective Recruits

Depending on how many years of eligibility a transfer player has, it will either impact the number of recruits for 2026 or it may impact the slot where incoming 2024/2025 recruits fit in the lineup.

For example over the last few days, Ohio State added a F from Clarkson, a D from Boston University and a G from Minnesota Duluth, all with two years of eligibility left.  Thus current and future OSU commits may be impacted by these signings for the 2024/25 and the 2025/26 seasons.

On the flip side, this creates an opening in 2024 or 2025 at Clarkson, BU and UMD, depending on how many existing recruits there are for these schools.

For 2026 recruits, if a player with 3 or 4 years of eligibility transfers to a school your were interested in and plays your position, there may be one less spot available on that team on June 15th.

While at USA Hockey Nationals last week, I spoke with a couple of coaches who mentioned they are hosting transfer portal students this month for visits. So I would suspect that we will see many more announcement of players changing schools over the coming weeks.


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2024 2025 College Hockey Recruiting Girls Hockey Women's College Hockey

Q4 2023 DI Women’s College Hockey Commitment Rate Update

This is an update to our quarterly posts which track the number of publicly announced commitments in DI women’s college hockey.

We’ve Changed our Commit Tracking Methodology

For this update, we have significantly changed our data collection methodology on tracking women’s college hockey commits.  In previous quarterly updates, we primarily relied on data from the Women’s College Commitments (WCC) tracking page. Using their data we were able to track announcements on a monthly bases and show trends month-over-month and year-over-year:

Q3 2023 DI Women’s College Hockey Commitment Rate Update

However, we always knew that their data only represented a percentage of all commits for a given year (and relied on the data to be “consistently incomplete” year over year).   For example, for the 2023-24 NCAA DI women’s college hockey season, there are 284 first-year players.  While WCC only recorded 185 of those commits – so, only about 65% of all commits.  While it is almost impossible to track every commit, since many players don’t make public announcements & it is much harder to track European commits, we have endeavored to be more holistic in data collection.

Our new method includes not just WCC, but also information from Elite Prospects, social media posts by players and teams, youth team website rosters and any other public information we can find.  As a result, we have redesigned how we present the data and will only present the data from a quarterly perspective going forward.

As a result, we believe we are closer to tracking ~90% of all commits which is much higher than our previous tracking of ~65%.

Q4 Commitment Details

We recently published the status of women’s college hockey DI commits by position and discussed our analysis on “where and why” about the numbers:

Forward Recruits: The Current State of Division I Women’s College Hockey Recruiting for the Class of 2024 & 2025

Analyzing the Defensive Lineups: The Current State of Division I Women’s College Hockey Recruiting for the Class of 2024 & 2025

Navigating the Tight Goalie Market: The Current State of Division I Women’s College Hockey Recruiting for the Class of 2024 & 2025

Below is how the overall data is trending for commits & by position. As discussed in the previous posts, the incoming class of 2024 is almost full, but there seems to be many spots still open (especially at NEWHA schools) for 2025.

However, it appears that the total size of the incoming 2024 class will be smaller than previous years – mostly due to 5th year Covid eligibility for many student-athletes reducing the number of available spots. For 2025, it is a little too early to tell, but it looks like it will be a regular sized class with over 280 commits – especially with the addition of new DI women’s hockey team, the Delware Blue Hens.

By-Position Year-Over-Year Commit Rate Comparison

Here is the same data as above, but broken out by position in comparison to previous years.

Comparing Q4 to Q3 2023 Total Commits for the Class of 2025

While not apples-to-apples, below is a table comparing the number of commits for the Class of 2025 from Q3 2023 to Q4 2023. As you can see about 125 commits have been announced during the last 3 months.