Categories
College Hockey Recruiting Women's College Hockey Women's Hockey

The Importance of Player Experience on Team Success in DI Women’s Hockey

Over the past couple of years of tracking women’s DI hockey, I had a hypothesis that team success was highly correlated with the total experience (i.e. the numbers of years playing college hockey) of the players.  I thought of it like an equation:

Team Skills x Team Experience x Coaching = Team Success

Note:  This definition of Coaching includes all the resources and coaches (like strength & conditioning or video) associated with a program, not just the 3 or 4 primary team coaches. 

While Team Skills seemed intuitively the most important attribute, I hypothesized that Team Experience would be close behind.  However, the analysis I conducted shows that Team Experience is a necessary but not sufficient requirement for being a ranked team.  So, scoring high in all 3 attributes creates a powerhouse team. But, having a huge amount of Skills could still make up for a lack of Team Experience.

First let’s look at the data.  To normalize for the different roster sizes (since there is a range of 20 to 33 players across all 44 DI teams), only the oldest 21 players were included in the Team Experience calculation. This number was based on how many players typically dress for any single game.  And then assumes if any first-year players are on a large roster team, they must be playing like they have at least 1 year of experience. Since it is too time consuming to calculate the actual team experience by game, this seemed like a reasonable proxy.

Team Experience Rank

USCHO Top 15 Poll Rankings with Team Experience Data

on January 15, 2023

From the analysis, the teams seem to be segmented into 5 categories:

1. Doing well as expected

Clearly Ohio State has all the key ingredients needed for success.  The #2 most experienced team, lots of skill and one of the best coaching staffs in the country.

2. Doing well with an experienced roster

There are a few teams that appear to be peaking with experienced rosters. They also have some highly skilled players, but not as deep as the powerhouse teams. These include St Cloud State, Quinnipiac and Clarkson.

3. Doing well with an inexperienced roster

The most skilled teams tend to do well year-after-year.  These include Wisconsin, UMD and Minnesota.

4. Not doing well with an inexperienced roster

Some teams that have done well in the past, are not doing as well this year – likely due to having such a young set of players.  These include: Harvard, Vermont and Bemidji State.

5. Not doing well with an experienced roster

Without a deeper dive into the individual skill-level for each player on these teams, it’s hard to know exactly why they aren’t higher in the rankings.  But the following teams have a ton of experience, but haven’t been able to translate them into a Top 15 ranking: RPI, Syracuse and Merrimack

Estimating the Team Success Equation

The original hypothesis that Team Experience would contribute more than 1/3rd of the weighting to team success now seems too generous. Without doing a more rigorous statistical correlation (r-squared) analysis , it seems be more in the 1/5th range (plus or minus). This in turn implies the disproportionate importance of Team Skills regardless of experience.

Implications for Recruiting

If you are not going to a perennial powerhouse team (e.g. the top WCHA teams), incoming recruits should be aware of where the program they are joining. Which years are the current most-skilled players on the roster? If those top players will be graduating as you will be an incoming recruit joining the program, you should expect that it may take some time to rebuild the team.  At the same time, if the highly skilled players are in their first or second year, then a recruit could be part of the immediate success of the team.  Recruits should be aware of the risk that a team could peak then regress as they join the program.

Categories
2023 2024 College Hockey Recruiting Women's College Hockey Women's Hockey

Insights and Implications on Recruiting from a Deep Dive of DI Women’s Hockey Rosters

During November and December, I spent a lot of time reviewing the current rosters of all the NCAA DI women’s hockey teams for goalies, forwards and defense. In addition, I re-booted the Champs App process for tracking commits to those schools.  While analyzing all of this data, I had several different observations about the recruiting process that I thought were worth sharing.

1. What are the Pros and Cons to Large Roster Sizes?

One of the key insights was the big standard deviation in roster sizes. There are 9 teams with 28 or more players listed. Based on my conversations with multiple coaches, this likely is due to the 5th year Covid  eligibility for many players.  And there are 6 teams with 23 or less players on their roster. Keep in mind that teams can only dress 20 or 21 (incl. 3 goalies) players for a game. This raises certain points…

  • From a coach’s perspective this gives them more players to choose from and thus the ability to field the best team available for any given game
  • My hypothesis, for which an analysis is coming soon, is that age & experience is highly correlated to success (in addition to talent, of course).  By being able to play the most experienced and talented players from a large roster likely shows up in the standings.
  • This also means coaches having to conduct multiple tough conversations each week to explain why a player will be healthy scratched
  • With only a maximum of 16 scholarships available to schools, many student-athletes are paying their own way to be on the team (and probably not getting much ice time, since schools tend to give the biggest scholarships to the best players). This is where the academics of a school become more important than your place on the roster. 
  • Given the above, I wasn’t too surprised to see several highly-touted first-year recruits at top programs that have been scratched for multiple games so far this season

2. Several 2022-23 Top 15 Teams are no Longer Top 15 Teams

  • Northeastern had been in the Top 15 since 2015, but did not break into the Top 15 ranking until this week. This is almost entirely due to them having lost their top players who contributed over 50% of their goal production from last season. Note: Northeastern still has 29 players on their roster
  • There are a couple of other schools who also have dropped out of the rankings this season. As an incoming recruit, you might need to adjust your expectations if you committed to a team that you expect to be competing for the Frozen Four every year, but now that school may not even make the NCAA playoffs.

3. Small Roster Analysis

  • It seemed odd that Penn State only has 21 players on their roster this season. So I took a deeper look.  Last year they had 23 student-athletes.  5 seniors graduated and 2 highly-talented juniors transferred (one to Ohio State and the other to Minnesota Duluth).  There are 2 first-year players and 3 seniors/grad students who transferred into PSU (from Colgate, New Hampshire and Long Island).  I can’t confirm, but I also think one player deferred to start in 2024 vs 2023.  I suspect the Penn State coaching staff didn’t expect two of their top players to transfer out of the school and that is why the roster is so small. This example shows the fluidity of which coaching staffs must manage their rosters going into the last year of 5th year Covid players and the transfer portal. It also shows that there could be late openings at the odd school come springtime.
  • Ohio State only has 6 D (but 24 rostered players).  Similar to Penn State, I took a deeper look into the OSU roster when I saw only 6 defenders listed. If there is an injury or two to Ohio State blue line this season they will be in trouble. They would likely have to move someone back from forward to play defense.   Last season there were 9 blueliners. 3 players graduated (including Patty Kazmaier winner Sophie Jacques), and 2 underclass players transferred to other schools (Colgate and Maine).  Coming in, two grad students transferred to the Buckeyes – Olympian Cayla Barnes (Boston College) and Stephanie Markowski (Clarkson) , both grad students. There are no freshman defenders in the 2023-24 class.  Once again I suspect the OSU coaching staff did not expect to lose 2 players to the transfer portal. What is interesting is that Sydney Morrow who did not get much ice time in the Frozen Four for the Buckeyes last season, is well over a point-per-game player at Colgate this season.  Based on our commit analysis, OSU is back to being focused on recruiting the top incoming players, with 13 commits in total for 2024 and 2025.

4. NEWHA Schools are the Last to Fill up Rosters

The New England Women’s Hockey Association (NEWHA) conference includes St Anselm, Long Island, Assumption, Stonehill, Post, Sacred Heart and St Michaels. It is pretty clear that the timeline for most of these schools to complete their rosters is later than most other conferences.  I know of at least two schools that were still trying to fill their 2024 rosters before the end of December 2023.  Only a few spots from NEWHA schools have been announced for 2025, while most of the top schools from other conferences are already filled.

5. Only U18 Players Need Apply

It was interesting to discover, but not a complete surprise, that multiple ranked schools only have commits that were U18 Girls National Camp players (Canada, USA or international) or better. I will go into more detail on the data and the implications on recruiting in an upcoming post.

Categories
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.

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

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

Updated Dec. 21, 2023

This is the third of 3 posts about where things stand for each position – Goalies, Forwards and Defense – for the incoming classes of 2024 and 2025.

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

Read Part II of this series here: Forward Recruits: The Current State of Division I Women’s College Hockey Recruiting for the Class of 2024 & 2025

Women’s DI College Hockey Total Defensive Players & Commits by Year

as of December, 2023

With 44 DI women’s ice hockey teams now in the NCAA, having 88 first-year D is pretty much exactly what you would expect if each team carries an average of 8 defenders on their roster. While there are some puts and takes (e.g. Assumption adding 7 freshmen D and 35 5th year/grad students) the 2023-24 season seemed to be an above-average recruiting class on defense. With the large number of current players with a 5th year of eligibility still available to them, it is likely that the incoming 2024 class will be small than this year’s group of D recruits.

Our current analysis shows that the Class of 2024 already has at least 74 commits – and we are likely missing a few European players from our list. Therefore, there are likely a small handful of spots still open or become available because of the transfer portal, but pretty much it seems the recruiting door for 2024 defenders has pretty much closed.

For the Class of 2025, only ~50 spots have been filled. With Delaware announcing their new DI team starting in the 2025-26 season there should be several spots available for that team. In addition, there are certainly some openings on several other teams and certainly most of the NEWHA schools – with only 4 roster spots publicly announced across those 8 teams.

Women’s DI College Hockey Defense and Commits by School & Year

as of December, 2023

A few quick thoughts:

  • Ohio State and Bemidji State only have 6 defenders listed on their roster. Would be interesting to see how they would handle not having 1 or 2 of them for a period of time (injury, playing on national teams). Clearly a F would need to move back to help out, but that would still likely have the team at a disadvantage.
  • 11 teams have 9 or more D on their rosters. For players being recruited to schools with such large rosters, they need to seriously consider the implications of being healthy scratched if they aren’t clearly in the top 6.
  • The next post will analyze the overall rosters of DI teams – including showing how many players each school has. There is a pretty big range in roster sizes (from 20 – 33 players).
Categories
2024 College Hockey Recruiting Development Camp Girl's Showcase Girls Hockey

2024 Girls Hockey Event Calendar

2024 Girls Hockey Event Calendar

Here is a list of 2024 Girls Hockey Tournaments, Showcases, Development Camps and Summer Camps.

This is a partial list. Feel free to submit a new event using our Feedback Form

OrganizationEventDatesLocationCityAges
College Hockey ShowcasesSpring Break ShowcaseApril 13-15, 2024Fort Meyers, FL2004-2010 Birth Years
College Hockey ShowcasesSweden Girls High Performance CampJuly 15-26, 2024Nyköpings Arenor RosvallaNyköping, Sweden2004-2011 Birth Years
College Hockey ShowcasesBoise Breakaway ShowcaseDec 13th-15th, 2024Boise, Idaho2007-2011 Birth Years
Premier Ice ProspectsHockey Hall of Fame Future LegendsApril 25-28, 2024Toronto, ON2012 Birth Years
Premier Ice ProspectsPIPs American DreamMay 3-5, 2024American DreamEast Rutherford, NJ2010- 2013 Birth Years
Premier Ice ProspectsPremier Prep ProspectsMay 9-12, 2024The Edge Sports CenterBoston, MA2009-2012 Birth Years
Premier Ice ProspectsPremier Prospects BostonMay 8-10, 2024The Edge Sports CenterBoston, MA2009-2010 Birth Years
Premier Ice ProspectsTop ProspectsMay 17-19, 2024Jacksonville, FL2010 - 2013 Birth Year
Premier Ice ProspectsWestern Prospects CampJune 1-3, 2024Kraken Community IceplexSeattle, WA2007-2013 Birth Years
Premier Ice Prospects585 PIP ShowcaseJune 7-10, 2024Tim Horton's IceplexRochester, NY2007-2009 Birth Years
Premier Ice ProspectsGIRLS ELITE PROSPECTS CAMPJune 23-27, 2024Tim Horton's IceplexRochester, NY2011-2013 Birth Years
Premier Ice Prospects14U PROSPECTS CAMPJune 23-27, 2024Tim Horton's IceplexRochester, NY2010 Birth Years
Premier Ice ProspectsPROSPECTS GOALIE CAMPJune 23-27, 2024Tim Horton's IceplexRochester, NY2008-2013 Birth Years
Premier Ice ProspectsPREMIER PROSPECTS COMBINEJuly 11-14, 2024UPMC Sports ComplexCranberry, PA2010 - 2013 Birth Years
Premier Ice ProspectsSOUTHERN PROSPECTS CAMPJuly 18-21, 2024Community First IglooJacksonville, FL2012 - 2015 Birth Years
Premier Ice Prospects617 PIP SHOWCASE - BOSTON HARBOR STYLEJuly 1-2, 2024The Edge Sports CenterBedford, MA2025, '26. '27 Grad Years
Premier Ice ProspectsNORTHEAST PROSPECTS CAMPJuly 1-2, 2024The Edge Sports CenterBedford, MA2012 - 2015 Birth Years
Premier Ice Prospects480 SHOWCASE - DESERT STYLESummer 2024Mullett ArenaTempe, AZ2007 - 2009 Birth Years
Premier Ice ProspectsSOUTHWEST PROSPECTSSummer 2024Mullett ArenaTempe, AZ2010- 2013 Birth Year
Premier Ice Prospects615 PIP SHOWCASE - MUSIC CITY STYLEAugust 8-11, 2024Predators' Ford Ice CenterBellevue, TN2010 - 2011 Birth Years
Premier Ice ProspectsNIAGARA FALLS PROPSPECTS CAMPAugust 16-18, 2024Gale Centre ArenaNiagara Falls, ON2007 - 2011 Birth Years
Premier Ice ProspectsMrs. Hockey® InviteJanuary 12 - 15, 2024Ft Lauderdale, FL12U Girls - Tier 1 & Tier 2
Premier Ice ProspectsFort Laudy Daudy ShowcaseJanuary 12 - 14, 2024Ft Lauderdale, FL19U through 14U Tier 1
Premier Ice ProspectsGreat Lakes Girls FestFebruary 2-4, 2024Detroit, MI19U through 10U Tier II
Premier Ice ProspectsMotor City Girls FestFebruary 2-4, 2024Detroit, MI19U through 10U Tier I
Premier Ice ProspectsPIPs Rochester TournamentJune 21-23, 2024Tim Horton's IceplexRochester, NY2010 - 2013 Birth Years Tier I (AAA)
Premier Ice ProspectsLabor Day Girls FestAug 30 - Sept 1, 2024Pittsburgh, PA14U, 16U/17U and 19U Tier I (AAA)/Canadian AA
Premier Ice ProspectsFrieda Falcon Girls FestSeptember 6-8, 2024Slater Family Ice ArenaBowling Green, OH12U USA Tier I / CAN A
Premier Ice ProspectsCapital Cup Girls FestOctober 12-14, 2024Northern VA19U through 10U Tier II
Premier Ice ProspectsRoc City Girls FestOctober 25-27, 2024Rochester, NY19U through 10U
Premier Ice ProspectsRoc City Girls FestNovember 1-3, 2024Rochester, NY19U through 10U Tier I (AAA), Tier II (AA), Tier III (A)
Premier Ice ProspectsBurgh Thanksgiving Girls FestNovember 22-24, 2024Pittsburgh, PA19U through 10U Tier I (AAA), Tier II (AA), Tier III (A)
Premier Ice ProspectsSmashville Girls FestNovember 22-24, 2024Nashville, TN19U through 10U Tier I (AAA), Tier II (AA), Tier III (A)
Premier Ice ProspectsErie White Out WeekendDecember 6-8, 2024Erie, PA12U and 10U Tier I (AAA), Tier II (AA)
RUSH HockeyFlorida RUSHJanuary 12-15, 2024Palm Beach Skate ZoneWest Palm Beach, FLGirls Tier 1/Tier 2/ Tier 3 (12U, 14U, 16U, 19U)
RUSH HockeyRush Spring Showcase (Florida)April 25-28, 2024Palm Beach Skate ZoneWest Palm Beach, FL2004-2012 Birth Years
RUSH HockeyFLORIDA BEACHSIDE SPRING CLASSICTBD April, 2024Palm Beach Skate ZoneWest Palm Beach, FL19U through 12 U Tier2 and Tier 3
RUSH HockeyConnecticut RushTBD June, 2024Northford Ice PavilionNorthford, CT2009 - 2011 Birth Years
RUSH HockeyRush College ShowcaseJune 7-10, 2024CAA Centre BramptonBrampton, ON2006 - 2009 Birth Years
RUSH HockeyRUSH RISING STARS PRE-COLLEGE SHOWCASEMay 30 – June 2, 2024CAA Centre BramptonBrampton, ON2010 and 2011 Birth Years
RUSH HockeyRUSH ATOMIC CHALLENGEMay 30 – June 2, 2024CAA Centre BramptonBrampton, ON2012 and 2013 Birth Years
RUSH HockeyRUSH Hockey High PerformanceAugust 4-6, 2024CAA Centre BramptonBrampton, ONU11 - U22 AA
RUSH HockeyBEANTOWN CLASSICJuly 19-21, 2024New England Sports CenterMarlborough, MA2009 (08) - 2014 Birth Years,
RUSH HockeyBEANTOWN CLASSICJuly 26-28, 2024New England Sports CenterMarlborough, MAU19, College / Super Series
RUSH HockeyBUFFALO RUSH HOCKEY INFERNOTBD, Nov 2024Buffalo, NYGirls Tier 1/Tier 2 (10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, 19U)
RUSH HockeyTEXAS RUSHTBD, Nov 2024Dallas, TXGirls Tier 1/Tier 2 (12U, 14U, 16U, 19U)
RUSH HockeyNEW ENGLAND RUSHTBDBoston, NAGirls Tier 1/Tier 2 (12U, 14U, 16U, 19U)
RUSH HockeyNORTH HALTON RUSHSeptember 6-8, 2024CAA Centre BramptonNorth Halton, ONU11-U18 AA/A/BB/B
RUSH HockeyTWO NATIONS COLLEGE PREP SERIESTBD, Oct 2024Brampton, ON19U through 12U Tier 1; U13-U21 AA
RUSH HockeyTWO NATIONS COLLEGE PREP SERIESTBD, Dec 2024Detroit, MI19U through 12U Tier 1; U13-U21 AA
RUSH HockeyNORTH HALTON CHRISTMAS RUSHTBD Dec, 2024CAA Centre BramptonGeorgetown, ONU11-U22 AA/A/BB/B
RUSH HockeyToronto Aeros Holiday ClassicJan 5-7, 2024Vaughn, ON
RUSH HockeyARIZONA RUSH MATT SHOTT MEMORIALTBD November, 2024Phoenix, AZ19U through 12U Tier 1 and Tier 2
Showcase Hockey2024 Minnesota Meltdown AAA TournamentApril 19-21, 2024MinnesotaGirls AAA (10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, 19U)
Showcase Hockey2024 Independent ClassicMay 17-19, 2024MinnesotaGirls AAA (8U, 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, 19U)
Showcase Hockey2024 AAA Summer ShowdownJune 7-9, 2024MinnesotaGirls AAA (10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, 19U)
Showcase Hockey2024 International CupAugust 2-4, 2024MinnesotaGirls AAA (10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, 19U)
Showcase Hockey2024 Easton AAA Cup TournamentAugust 16-18, 2024MinnesotaGirls AAA (10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, 19U)
Showcase Hockey2024 Summer FinaleAugust 23-25, 2024MinnesotaGirls AAA (8U, 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, 19U)
Showcase Hockey2024 Warrior Cup AAASeptember 6-8, 2024MinnesotaGirls AAA (10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, 19U)
200x85 TournamentsCCM MLK GirlsJan 14-16, 2024Massachusetts12U - 19U AAA/AA
200x85 TournamentsCCM CHI-TOWN SHUFFLEApril 19-21, 2024Chicago, ILGirls Tier 1/Tier 2 (12U, 14U, 16U, 19U)
200x85 TournamentsCCM Selects Beantown Women's ClassicJul 19-21, 2024Boston2008 - 2013
200x85 TournamentsCCM Selects Training Camp - Notre Dame (Girls)May 3-5, 2024South Bend, IN2010-2016
200x85 TournamentsCCM Girls 68 (14U)Aug 07-11, 2024Chicago, IL2010 Birth Year
The National Girls Hockey LeagueNGHL NCAA Exposure ClinicTBDNorthford, CT2005 - 2010 Birth Years
The National Girls Hockey LeagueNGHL NCAA Exposure Camp in Newington, CTTBDNewington, CT2004 - 2010 Birth Years
The National Girls Hockey LeagueDawg Days of Summer - RedTBDNorthford, CT12U-19U
The National Girls Hockey LeagueDawg Days of Summer - FuturesTBDNewington, CT12U
The National Girls Hockey LeagueLabor Day Challenge - BlueAugust 30 - September 1, 2024Cromwell, CT12U-19U
The National Girls Hockey LeagueLabor Day Challenge - FuturesAugust 30 - September 1, 2024Cromwell, CT12U
The National Girls Hockey LeagueFall Classic - RedTBDSyracuse, NY14U-19U
The National Girls Hockey LeagueFall Classic - FuturesTBDBuffalo, NY10U & 12U
The National Girls Hockey LeagueNGHL MichiganTBDAnn Arbor, MI14U - 19U Tier 1
The National Girls Hockey LeagueMile High Invitational - BlueTBDDenver, CO12U-19U
The National Girls Hockey LeagueMLK Winter Classic - BlueJanuary 13-15, 2024 Haverhill, MA12U, 14U, 16U, and 19U
The National Girls Hockey LeagueMLK Winter Classic - RedJanuary 13-15, 2024 Philadelphia, PA14-19U Tier 1
The National Girls Hockey LeagueRed Division ChampsionshipFebruary 2-4, 2024Rockland, MA14-19U Tier 1
North American Premier Women's ShowcaseNorth American Premier Women's Showcase College DivisionJUNE 21-23TH, 2024Merrimack College Athletics ComplexNorth Andover, MABirth Years 2007-2011 (PG's also Allowed)
JWHLChallenge Cup 2024February 17-20, 2024Rockville/Arlington, VA14U, 16U, 19U
North American Female Elite ShowcaseThe Orion Top ProspectsJune 13-16, 2024Blaine, MN2007 - 2012 Birth Years
Pony Tail Tournament Pony Tail Tournament March 15-17, 2024Baltimore, MDU10, U12A, U12B, U14A, U14B, U16A, U16B, U19
The Rose SeriesCowgirl ShootoutApril 18-21 2024Nashville, TN2012 Birth Years
The Rose SeriesLow Country ClassicMay 9-12, 2024Charleston, SC2011 Birth Year
The Rose SeriesThe Battle at the BeachMay 9-12, 2024Fort Meyers, FL2010 Birth Year
The Rose SeriesBIOSTEEL WORLD INVITEJune 24-30, 2024Toronto, ON2009 Birth Year
The Rose SeriesQueens of VegasJuly 9-12, 2024Las Vegas, NV2013 Birth Year
The Rose SeriesPARK CITY SHOWDOWNJuly 11-14, 2024Park City, Utah2014 Birth Year
The Rose SeriesWar for the RosesJuly 8-13, 2024Edmonton, Alberta2011 Birth Year
USA HockeyUSA Hockey Girls 15's Player Development CampJuly 25-30, 2024Miami University Oxford, Ohio2009 Birth Year
USA HockeyUSA Hockey Girls 16/17's Player Development CampJuly 19-24, 2024Miami University Oxford, Ohio2007 & 2008 Birth Year
USA HockeyGirls National 2006 Training Camp (2006)July 19-22, 2024Miami University Oxford, Ohio2006 Birth Year
USA HockeyUSA Hockey Girls Under 18 Player Development CampAugust 4-9, 2024Miami University Oxford, Ohio2007, 2008, 2009 Birth Year
USA Hockey2024 Women's National FestivalAugust 2024TBD
OS HockeyPROSPECTS/FUTURES WEEKEND 1 CampMay 31-June 3, 2024Bloomington Ice GardensMinneapolis, MN
OS HockeyPROSPECTS/FUTURES WEEKEND 2 CampJuly 28-30, 2024Braemar ArenaMInneapolis, MN
OS Hockey2024 OS SPRING FESTIVALMarch 16th-19th, 2024Braemar ArenaMInneapolis, MN
OS Hockey2024 WHITECAPS CUP (HS)May 3-5, 2024MInneapolis, MNHigh School
OS Hockey2024 TRADITION CUPAugust 2-4, 2024Braemar ArenaMInneapolis, MNCollege Level
OS Hockey2024 OS SHOOTOUTAugust 10th-13th, 2024Bloomington Ice Garden and Braemar Ice ArenaMInneapolis, MNU8-U19
Girls Elite Hockey2024 TRADITION NITOctober 18-20, 2024Blaine, MNU16 and U19
NCD CampsGIRLS NCDC COLLEGE DEVELOPMENT CAMPAugust 5-7, 2024New England Sports CenterMarlborough, MA2025, '26, '27, '28 Grad Years
NAHANAHA COLLEGE SHOWCASEJuly 12-14 2024Boston Sports InstituteWellesley, MA2025, '26, '27, '28 Grad Years
University of Wisconsin13 and Under CampJune 24-28, 2024LaBahn ArenaMadison, WI13 and under
University of WisconsinHigh School Elite CampAugust 4-8, 2024LaBahn ArenaMadison, WIHigh School
Princeton UniversityGIRLS ICE HOCKEY ELITE CAMPTBDBaker RinkPrinceton, NJEntering grades 10-12
Princeton UniversityGIRLS ICE HOCKEY EXPOSURE ID CAMPTBDBaker RinkPrinceton, NJEntering grades 7-9
Merrimack CollegeMerrimack Womens Ice Hockey ClinicsTBDLawler ArenaNorth Andover, MAEntering grades 9-12
RinkSportRinkSport College Development Camp JUNE 15-20, 2024Babson CollegeBoston, MA2029 High School graduates or earlier
RinkSportSCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA Development CampJune 4-7, 2024
RinkSportBOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS Development CampJune 20-22, 2024
RinkSportWASHINGTON , D. C. Development CampJune 24-27, 2024
RinkSportANCHORAGE, ALASKA Development CampJune 21-24, 2024
RinkSportLOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA Development CampTBD
RinkSportGRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN Development CampTBD
Pre-Prep ShowcasePre-Prep ShowcaseAUGUST 1st-4th, 2024New England Sports CenterMarlborough, MABirth Years: 2009, 2010 & 2011
Ohio State UniversityYOUTH CAMPTBDOSU Ice RinkColumbus, OHU8/U10 and U12 age level
Ohio State UniversityELITE DAY CAMPTBDOSU Ice RinkColumbus, OHGrad Years: 2026-2028
Ohio State UniversityHIGH SCHOOL ELITE CAMPSTBDOSU Ice RinkColumbus, OHGrad Years: 2026-2028
University of Maine U16/19 High School Girls' Hockey CampTBDUniversity of MaineOrono, MEGrades 8-12
University of Maine U8/U10/U12 Girls' Hockey Day CampTBDUniversity of MaineOrono, MEU8/U10/U12 Skaters
University of Maine Women's Prospect ClinicTBDUniversity of MaineOrono, MEGrades 8-12
Brown UniversityBROWN WOMEN’S HOCKEY ELITE SUMMER CAMPAugust 5-7, 2024Brown UniversityProvidence, RIHigh school students entering grades 9-12. Therefore, 2025, 2026, 2027 and 2028 high school graduates.
Mercyhurst UniversityDIVISION I WOMEN'S HOCKEY ELITE CAMPTBDMercyhurst UniversityErie, PA2006 to 2009 birth year
Colgate University2024 COLGATE EXPOSURE CAMP | PRE-CAMP GOALIE'S ONLYJuly 7-9, 2024Colgate UniversityHamilton, NYGoalies Only. All Female players born between 2005-2009
Colgate University2024 COLGATE EXPOSURE CAMP | SESSION 1July 9-11, 2024Colgate UniversityHamilton, NYAll Female players born between 2005-2009
Colgate University2024 COLGATE EXPOSURE CAMP | SESSION 2July 12-14, 2024Colgate UniversityHamilton, NYAll Female players born between 2005-2009
College of the Holy CrossHoly Cross Women's Ice Hockey ClinicsTBDHart CenterWorcester, MA14-19 Years Old
St Anselm CollegeTBDSullivan ArenaBedford, NH
Clarkson UniversityClarkson Golden Knight Women's Hockey Prospect Camp 2024TBDCheel Campus Center and ArenaPotsdam, NY2007-2010 Birth Years
St Cloud State UniversitySt. Cloud State Women's Hockey Camps03/29/2024 - 03/30/2024Herb Brooks National Hockey CenterSt. Cloud, MinnesotaAges 6-16
Quinnipiac UniversityQuinnipiac Women's Ice Hockey Girls Camp July 8 - 12, 2024M&T Bank ArenaHamden, ConnAges: 6-13
Quinnipiac UniversityQuinnipiac Women's Ice Hockey Girls Elite ClinicJuly 8 - 12, 2024M&T Bank ArenaHamden, ConnAges: rising 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th grade
University of MinnesotaMINNESOTA GIRLS HOCKEY CAMPSJune 24-26, 2024Mariucci ArenaMinneapolis, MN10U &12U Camp
University of MinnesotaMINNESOTA GIRLS HOCKEY CAMPSJune 27-28, 2024Mariucci ArenaMinneapolis, MNExposure Camp (ages 13,14)
University of MinnesotaMINNESOTA GIRLS HOCKEY CAMPS​June 17-19, 2024 + ​June 19-21, 2024Mariucci ArenaMinneapolis, MN​​High School/ Varsity Camp #1 & #2
University of Minnesota DuluthMinnesota Duluth High School Elite CampAugust 1-4, 2024Amsoil ArenaDuluth, MNAny and all high school girls (grad years 2025-2028) are invited
College Development ShowcaseGirls CampJune 23-25, 2024Ice DenHooksett, NHPlayers with birth years 2005-2010
Boston CollegeMaroon and Gold Women’s CombineTBDConte ForumChestnut Hill, MA2010-2011-2012 players
National Sports CenterAll American Girls Hockey TournamentNovember 8-10, 2024NSC-Super Rink (Blaine)Blaine, MNGirls U10A,B U12A,B U15A
Youth Hockey Hub2024 DANGLEFESTTBDNSC-Super Rink (Blaine)Blaine, MNGirls U10A, U10B, U12A, U12B, U15A, & U15B
Fierce Edge AthleticsFIERCE FEMALE HOCKEY TOURNAMENT 2024June 14-16, 2024Canlan OshawaOshawa, ONU9/ U11 (Tier 1 & Tier 2)/ U13 (Tier 1,Tier 2)
Fierce Edge AthleticsFierce ID Series - SHOWCASE EVENTJune, 2024Canlan OshawaOshawa, ON2010-2011 ; 2009-2007 + 06* (GRADUATION YEAR 2025) DIVISION
RINK Hockey Academy KelownaFemale University Showcase 2024April 4-7, 2024Winfield Arena & RINK Kelowna Training Centre Kelowna, BC2005-2009 YOB
Delta Hockey AcademyDHA Female University ShowcaseApril 9-10, 2024Planet IceDelta, B.C2006-2011 YOB
RINK Hockey Academy WinnipegFemale University Showcase 2024April 19-21, 2024Rink Training CenterWinnipeg, MB2005-2009 (2010) YOB
OneHockeyOneHockey Connecticut GIRLSMarch 8-10, 2024DANBURY ICEDanbury, CTGirls Tier II (AA) 19U, 16U, 14U, 12U, 10U Girls Tier III (A) 19U, 16U, 14U, 12U, 10U
OneHockeyOneHockey Sacred Heart UniversityAugust 30 - September 2, 2024Sacred Heart University Martire Family ArenaFairfield, CT Girls 12U Tier I & II
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College Hockey Recruiting Girls Hockey Women's College Hockey Women's Hockey

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

Updated Dec. 19, 2023

This is the second of 3 posts about where things stand for each position – Goalies, Forwards and Defense – for the incoming classes of 2024 and 2025.

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

Read Part III of this series here: Analyzing the Defensive Lineups: The Current State of Division I Women’s College Hockey Recruiting for the Class of 2024 & 2025

Women’s DI College Hockey Total Forward Players & Commits by Year

as of December, 2023

At first glance things seemed to have returned to normal for forwards with respect to the DI women’s college hockey recruiting class of 2023. There are 157 first-year players across all the Division I rosters this season. However, 18 of those spots are freshmen players at either Assumption or Robert Morris (“new” programs for both these schools), so the number is a little inflated compared to the 152 sophomore players playing DI hockey.

For the incoming Class of 2024, it seems almost all schools have finalized their rosters by now. Most schools have been announcing on social media their inbound players after the signing day earlier this month. Other than a few spots at NEWHA schools and maybe the odd player at other schools filling in a final roster spot, there are likely only a handful of opportunities remaining for forwards. Our 2024 F analysis now has 166 players, but there are likely some European and other commits who haven’t been publicly announced.

In addition, without knowing the plans for individual players, it is unclear how many of the 105 Seniors (granted an extra year of eligibility due to Covid) will decide to return for a 5th year either at their current school or find another school for their grad year. If all of them continue to play for the 2024-25 season then there may not be any spots open to 2024 high school graduates.

As for the incoming Class of 2025, there are certainly many spots still open. While most of the Top 10 schools have snagged the best players in the country, there are openings at many other programs. Until recently, many of the NEWHA schools have been focused on filling their 2024 rosters, so they will likely only shift their attention over the next month or two for their 2025 forwards.

Women’s DI College Hockey Forwards and Commits by School & Year

as of December, 2023

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College Hockey Recruiting Girls Hockey Women's College Hockey Women's Hockey

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

Updated Dec. 14, 2023

This is the first of 3 posts about where things stand for each position – Goalies, Forwards and Defense – for the incoming classes of 2024 and 2025.

Read Part II of this series here: Forward Recruits: The Current State of Division I Women’s College Hockey Recruiting for the Class of 2024 & 2025

Read Part III of this series here: Analyzing the Defensive Lineups: The Current State of Division I Women’s College Hockey Recruiting for the Class of 2024 & 2025

The last couple of years have been tough for high level goalies looking for a spot to play Division I women’s college hockey.  With the NCAA granting an extra year of eligibility for current seniors and grad students, it was anticipated that there were less openings available for the upcoming classes. In a typical year there should be 33 freshman goalies (3 goalies per team x 44 teams  ÷ 4 years of eligibility).   However, with the two new teams that started in 2023 (Assumptions and Robert Morris) and 10 teams carrying 4 goalies, it was surprising to see that there were 39 first-year goalies on DI teams this year – significantly more than in previous years.

Women’s DI College Hockey Total Goalie Player & Commits by Year

as of December, 2023

This is in addition to the transfer portal, which was very active for goaltenders this past off-season with 22 goalies looking for new teams.  Of note, only 7 of them found new DI teams, made up mostly of experienced goaltenders with only 1 or 2 years of eligibility left.

(December Update) From my analysis it looks like there probably are no more spots left for the class of 2024.  Any schools which appear to still have openings are likely intentionally waiting to see who becomes available via the transfer portal – there are already Covid 5th year players in the portal for next season.

As for the incoming class of 2025, it appears as there still me be many spots open – possibly as many as 10-15 slots still available. However, there may be schools that have already filled spots with commits that haven’t been publicly announced or tracked.  In addition, with 2023 having an above average number of first year goalies (8 teams having 2 freshmen) and 10 teams carrying 4 goalies, the outgoing college class of 2024 goalies may not all be replaced.  But on the positive side, there has only been one 2025 goalie publicly announced commit amongst all 8 of the NEWHA teams – so there are likely still some openings on several of those teams.

Women’s DI College Hockey Goalies and Commits by School & Year

as of December, 2023

One last thought to keep in mind.  Some schools might be happy to carry 4 goalies – this helps with practices and in case of injury to a goalie or two. I have had several coaches tell me that recently they have had serious injuries to at least one goalie, so having depth can be very helpful. Therefore, if you want agree to be a 4th goalie you may be able to be rostered and practice on a team but you probably won’t be guaranteed playing time – almost surely will not see any scholarship money unless you move up in the depth chart.  If the school is more important to you than playing time, this could be an option.

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College Hockey Recruiting Girl's Showcase Girls Hockey hockey USA Hockey Nationals Women's College Hockey

Recruiting Insights from the 2023 Tradition NIT Girls Hockey Tournament: Coaches, Coaches, Coaches!

This past weekend I was in Minnesota for the fabulous 2023 Tradition NIT Girls Hockey Tournament organized by Winny Brodt Brown. In total, there were 93 teams participating for the 16U and 19U age groups.  Almost every top US club team was in attendance plus many of the top western Canadian girl’s teams.

Over the course of the 3-day event, I had multiple conversations with several DI & DIII coaches and I thought I would share my observations as they relate to the recruiting process:

1. Competition Matters for Getting Seen

As heard many times on the Champs App podcast, coaches want to see players playing at the highest level, against top players to properly evaluate them.  With as many as 8 games going on simultaneously across the two rink locations, coaches can’t watch every game. Many times I would see a coach watch 2 overlapping games by switching back and forth during ice cuts.  Thus coaches need to be selective in which games they scout. Coaches were mostly watching games with the largest number of  talented players.  Thus, it appeared as though games with the highest ranking teams got the highest DI coach attendance.  However, it did seem that DIII and ACHA coaches were more flexible in watching lower ranked teams. But if you want to play DI hockey, my sense is that you want to put yourself in the best position to be seen. This would imply playing on a team that plays against the other top teams in the country. The reality is that if your team is ranked in 30’s and below on MyHockeyRankings, then you probably won’t get noticed as much, even if you are a DI caliber player.

2. Connections Help

I saw this firsthand this weekend.  If you can get a positive reference to a college coach through an advisor, current or former coach, friend or some other trusted hockey-related relationship, it can make a difference in getting scouted.  It won’t get you an offer, but it can certainly get a coach from a specific school to come watch you play and start the process.

3. Lines Not Dots

I had a great conversation with a coach from a Top 5 DI school and asked why they scouted at so many events. In reality, given their school’s reputation, they could just focus on the handful of top players at the US or Canadian national camps and simply cherry pick those players.  But the coach revealed to me that they watch the elite-of-the-elite players over the course of several years and track their development and progression over an extended period of time. This way they can see what the player’s trajectory looks like and if it continues to trend in a positive direction. The coach and I discussed a specific player and how the coaches have been monitoring how the hockey IQ of that player has been improving over the previous 2 years. Thus coaches at high-end teams look for the trendlines of players – not just the individual play at a single event.

4. Experience Matters in Evaluating Players

It was fun talking to several coaches and hearing their “off-the-record” thoughts about certain players. The folks I talked to ranged from longtime head coaches to junior assistant coaches to a former DI coach.  What I gleaned across all the convos was the more experience you had coaching,  the less amount of time it took to get a pretty accurate assessment of a player.  I was surprised how accurately the seasoned coaches figured out a player’s strengths and weaknesses. While for some of the junior coaches it sounded like they needed to watch more games to get a good sense for a player.

5. Lots of Coaches

For this year, the NCAA approved DI teams to have three assistant coaches (instead of just two).  As a result, almost every (non-NEWHA) DI team had a least one coach present for the entire weekend while their school played regular season conference games “back home” on Friday and Saturday.  Several coaches clearly also got on planes or in a car right after their games were done on Saturday and headed to Blaine, MN.  On Sunday morning, 7 of the 8 head coaches from the WCHA teams were in attendance, with all eight schools having multiple assistant coaches there as well.

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College Hockey Recruiting Women's College Hockey Women's Hockey

Q3 2023 DI Women’s College Hockey Commitment Rate Update

This is an update in our series tracking the number of publicly announced commitments in women’s college hockey. For 2024, the commitment rate continues to lag all previous recruiting years. On a more positive note, the Class of 2025 has had several more August commitment announcements than the 2024 class.

DI Women’s Hockey Commitment Rate by Months Prior to College

2023 Commits

With the start of the 2023 women’s college hockey season, we are closing the books on this recruiting class with only 185 commits. This is about 30 less players than in previous years, mostly due to the extra year of eligibility for many players due to Covid. This number is even lower than expected given that there are two new teams (Robert Morris and Assumption) beginning play this fall – compared to just one new team (Stonehill) last year.

2024 Commits

The 2024 commits continue to be even further behind the 2023 commitment rate as of the end of August by about 20% (99 2024’s vs 124 2023’s at this time last year). While there should be at least another 60 spots that haven’t been announced, many schools have been telling players they are full at the moment. However, I have heard of at least a couple of schools are still looking for 2024 players

2025 Commits

There have been almost daily announcements over the past couple of weeks for the Class of 2025. With the Labor Day tournaments now complete, players will be visiting campuses and making decisions between game weekends. There will likely be 50-60 announcements over the next couple of months.

Goalies

There are only 16 2023 commits and 10 2024 commits that have been publicly announced. Although I head of a 2023 goalie that only committed a few weeks ago in July to a top DI school (thanks to a transfer situation). Surprisingly there have already been 4 2025 goalie commits announced

Data assumptions:

  1. Data commitment dates – source: collegecommitments.com and Champs App analysis (including social media posts and private messages)
  2. Many players do not formally announce their commitments publicly (or are not tracked properly), so the premise of this analysis implies that the percent of publicly announced commitments that are tracked remains constant each year.
  3. Transfers between DI programs are not included in the number of commits
  4. Total number of publicly announced commitments for 2021 was 215 and for 2022 it was 214
Categories
College Hockey Recruiting Girl's Showcase Player Development Women's College Hockey Women's Hockey

How to Navigate a Path to Playing Women’s College Hockey

This summer, a podcast listener emailed me a simple question. If I was to do it all over again, what path would I recommend a young girl follow if she wanted to play college hockey?  Obviously, there is no simple answer or a single path for someone to follow to play high level female hockey.  But I thought I would articulate three simple principles I’d recommend and include references to more detailed topics I have covered in the past.

Note: This post focuses primarily on the DI college recruiting process. If a player’s goal is to play other levels of college / university hockey like DIII, CIS or ACHA (club) hockey, you can probably slightly dial down the timing and frequency of the some of the recommendations below.

1. Just Get Good

This is by far the most important principle in this list. At whatever age a player shows a passion for hockey, this is the area to focus on most.  I have written several posts on what it takes to become a really good hockey player and this should be the highest priority. In my opinion, this probably should not change until a player stops playing competitive hockey.  There are over 2000 girls in each birth year playing a high level of hockey in the U.S. and Canada, but only ~250 spots open on DI rosters every year, the math gets quite easy. A player needs to be in the top 10-15% in order to get an offer from one of those 44 teams.

2. Make Sure You Are Seen

Assuming you are a “good” hockey player.  I would recommend that starting at about 14 or 15 years old you play for a team that attends the major girls hockey events  that DI college coaches scout. By playing on such a team, there is the obvious benefit of playing with other good players, receiving good coaching and being pushed by your peers.  But more importantly, in my experience, knowing that college coaches will be watching you play against top teams and players will help them calibrate you to your peers.

Not everyone agrees with this. Many coaches will say, if you are good enough, schools will find you. This is great in theory, but it is not always true. I know of several really good female hockey players who either played boys hockey, lived in non-traditional markets or played on weak AAA teams who were not regularly seen. The reality is, if you don’t play at high profile tournaments (e.g. USA or Canadian national playoffs & other top in-season tournaments ) or are not selected to attend the U18 national camps you won’t get noticed as easily.  So if you aren’t one of the top 30 players in the country, put yourself in the best position to be seen as much as possible.

There is also definitely a bias to regional players for almost all schools. And it is self-reinforcing. This is why you see so many Minnesota players play for Minnesota colleges. And why so many prep players play on the east coast.  While there are exceptions, being able to watch local players, having existing relationships with their coaches, players wanting to stay close to home etc. are all factors in their recruiting process.  Each of these things make it “easier” for college coaches to find talent that is probably just as good as the harder to find alternatives – and why coaches tend to find fish where they’ve fished in the past. So if you aren’t on a team that is regularly seen by DI schools, the mountain is a little steeper to climb, but not impossible. 

Which is why I would recommend for players who aren’t slam-dunk going to play in a Top 10 school, make sure you get seen in the year or two prior to your junior year of high school.

3. Strategically Pick 3-5 Spring/Summer Hockey Events to Attend

Ideally, the older you get, the more you would know how good a player your are relative to your peers.  This should then factor into which events to pick after the winter season ends.  With a little research you can figure out which ones might fit you level of play. Almost all the showcase organizers are very responsive to answering questions and can give you a feel if your daughter would be a good fit for a specific event. 

I would recommend only attending a handful of off-season events (e.g. one per month from April-August).   Such as:

  • USA Hockey or Hockey Canada national camps  (if you are good/lucky enough to be selected)
  • Showcases (Premier Ice Prospects, RUSH, NGHL etc.)
  • College Camps ( Colgate,  and any other school-specific camp that you might be interested in)
  • Popular tournaments (e.g. Beantown Classic, Showcase Hockey, Rose Series etc.)

Check out our full year list of girls hockey events.

 I think it is hard to justify going to more than 5 events unless they are almost all local (e.g. in the Boston area).  The “spray and pray” strategy usually ends up wasting a lot of money.  We have talked ad nauseum on the podcast that you don’t need to go to every event. It is both expensive and unnecessary.  But having a plan based on a players interest and level of play can deliver a reasonable return on your time and financial investment.

If you are 12 and under, in my opinion, you should be picking events for fun (e.g. a hockey trip to Europe) and maybe a little development. But not for recruiting purposes. You will have plenty of time when you are older to attend events that really matter to college coaches.

Summary

I have intentionally tried to simplify my recommendations on how to navigate the world of girl’s hockey and women’s college recruiting.  Player development is most critical. After that, just make sure they are playing at a high level while getting enough visibility.  If you follow these principles, everything else should take care of itself.