Champs App lets players create beautiful, free hockey resume that facilitate the college and prep hockey recruiting process.
“How do I know coaches will remember me after the NGHL NCAA Camp?”
By connecting directly with coaches, players can know that coaches will continue to follow them after the NGHL event during the regular season (see their schedule, video & profile updates). Coaches can not only get more details about each player, but also see their upcoming schedule, regular teams and coaches.
Ohio State women’s ice hockey head coach Nadine Muzerall is a winner. Muzerall, who won two national championships as a player and four as a coach with the University of Minnesota, has instilled a winning culture at Ohio State. She has a proven track record of success in her seven years at OSU. With Muzerall at the helm, Ohio State women’s hockey team has made the Frozen Four the last three years, won the National Championship in 2021-22 and appeared in the finals again this past March.
Coach Muzerall Wants to Win Every Year
A key ingredient in OSU’s ability to compete these last few years for a National Championship has been to add high-end, experienced talent from other schools via the transfer portal. In 2021-22, OSU had 8 upperclass players transfer from other schools n their roster (including 3 from Robert Morris University which had just folded). In 2022-23 there were 5 players who came to OSU via the transfer portal including Makenna Webster (from Wisconsin who finished 4th in scoring on the team), Lauren Bernard (D from Clarkson who played in all 41 games) and Kenzie Hauswirth (from Quinnipiac who finished 8th in team scoring). So these players were significant contributors to the team’s success this past season.
Want to Win Before Your Career Ends? Transfer to OSU
With as many as 8-10 players leaving the program this spring, Coach Muzerall’s strategy is not to rebuild, but to reload. Over the past few weeks, Coach Muzerall has reloaded with more experienced high-end talent via the transfer portal by adding Olympian defender Cayla Barnes from BC , Patty Kaz Top-10 Finalist Kiara Zanon from Penn State, BC’s leading scorer Hannah Bilka, Kelsey King from Minnesota State and D Stephanie Markowski from Clarkson. Needless to say, a very talented group of transfers.
While there may be multiple reasons for these transfers to move on from their previous schools (e.g. graduated, no longer a fit etc.), the appeal of winning a national championship is pretty clear. For these new players, they know there is a very high probability they will be competing at the Frozen Four next March – while they may not have had the same opportunity if they stayed with their previous program. Why not go for it?
The Impact on Underclass Players
At the same time, there were at least 5 OSU players who entered the transfer portal this spring, all with multiple years of eligibility left. Most notably, Sydney Morrow, a first-year D who tied for team scoring with USA Hockey at the U18 Women’s IIHF tournament in scoring last summer, transferred to Colgate. From what I could tell watching the Frozen Four, while dressed for the last two games, Morrow saw little-to-no ice time as the 7th D.
Implications for Incoming Recruiting Classes
With the increased number of transfers, potential recruits must recognize that freshmen may find themselves in a more competitive environment at schools like OSU and may struggle to find playing time early on. Furthermore, coaching staff may give priority to more experienced players over freshmen, and this may impact player development. As a result, incoming freshmen may have to consider the challenge in earning their spot on the team and how hard it would be to make a meaningful contribution to the program in all four years of eligibility. While the transfer portal provides more opportunities for players to explore their options and find the best fit for their needs, it also creates a more challenging environment for incoming freshmen to establish themselves in the team.
Creates an Environment Between the “Have” and the “Have-Nots” Hockey Programs
The women’s hockey transfer portal has essentially created a two-tier system between the top talented schools and everyone else. The portal has provided top-tier programs with the ability to attract and acquire the best players in the country, leaving other schools having to figure out to replace the top talent they lose to these programs. The top schools have the resources and coaching staff to offer a highly competitive environment and the opportunity to compete for national championships, which makes them attractive destinations for talented transfers. On the other hand, smaller or less successful programs may struggle to keep up, which creates a divide in the quality of play between the top programs and everyone else. While the transfer portal has created new opportunities for high-end players to explore and find the best fit for their needs, it is creating an uneven playing field in women’s college hockey.
It will be interesting to see if other Top 10 schools begin to copy the Ohio State strategy of picking off several top players via the transfer portal in order to better compete with the top recruiting schools like Wisconsin, Minnesota, Northeastern and Minnesota-Duluth who have not yet adopted this strategy (even though all schools have the occasional top talent transfer).
What Happens When No More 5th Year (Covid) Eligibility?
It will be interesting to see how things go with the 2025 recruiting class for Ohio State. The last class of Covid year grad students is 2024, so the pool of 5th year transfers will be much smaller and potential players would likely need to be move prior to graduating from their current schools. Will the top players from the incoming class of 2025 be concerned about transfer portal players at OSU and thus look elsewhere? We will find out this fall.
Implications For Potential Recruits and Which Schools to Consider
As a high school player trying to figure out which program is right for you, it would be important to be realistic about your own talents and where you might fit in the line-up over all four of your years. Even if you are a national U-18 team member, you might still struggle to get ice time at a top tier program that brings in experienced top talent with 1 or 2 years of eligibility left.
During the recruiting process, understanding the coaching staff’s player development process over 4 years and ice time philosophy is an important conversation to have before a decision is made.
DI Women’s Hockey Commitment Rate by Months Prior to College
2023 commits are tracking at about 20-25 less announcements than the last two years (~12% less commitments). Between the transfer portal, 5th year eligible players this is consistent with our recent analysis on forwards and goalies. There are probably only a handful of spots remaining at the DI level, mostly related to unexpected roster changes from players leaving their current schools.
The 2024 commits continue to be even further behind the 2023 commitment rate as of mid-April, 2023 by about 15% (85 2024’s vs 102 2023’s at this time last year). While there should be at least another 70 spots that haven’t been announced, many schools have been telling players they are full at the moment.
The first few commits for 2025 have been announced. With June 15, 2023 quickly approaching, by the end of the summer, this number will grow dramatically.
There are only 16 2023 commits and 10 2024 commits that have been publicly announced. In a “normal” year there should be about 33 freshman goalies per year (44 teams x 3 goalies per team / 4 years). As mentioned above, the extra year of eligibility or red-shirting has provided a glut of goalies already at the NCAA level who are filling spots that would normally be filled by the incoming classes. Very tough for all goalies these last two years. And even if they get an offer, there is no guarantee of playing time. Note: No goalies from (re-)starting programs RMU and Assumption, which should have 3 incoming goalies each this fall, have been publicly announced, but surely have commits.
Creating your Champs App athletic profile typically takes about 20 – 40 minutes depending on how much content you want to include in your profile. You can always come back to add more details, especially when you have new games scheduled or videos you want to add.
STEP 1 MAKE SURE YOU ADD 3 IMAGES
1) Profile image – a good headshot which shows your full face (no helmet!) 2) Hero image – a traditional hockey pose like a 3-point stance or taking a shot 3) Cover photo – pick a cool photo like an action shot, something which shows your personality or a great team picture.
STEP 2 COMPLETE YOUR PERSONAL PROFILE SECTIONS
1) Personal – Basic personal information 2) Student – Your school level, grades and expected graduation 3) Athletic – Auto-populates based on your Team details below 4) Additional Information – Interesting info about yourself
STEP 3 ADD YOUR TEAMS
1) List of all the teams and coaches you have played for
2) Include your level, jersey number and additional information
STEP 4 ADD YOUR INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
Put in your player or goalies stats for each season
STEP 5 VIDEO GALLERY. COACHES LOVE TO SEE YOU PLAY!
Add links to YouTube videos of your games, highlights and other helpful footage of you demonstrating your skills
STEP 6 SCHEDULE
Put in past and future games so coaches know who, where and when you are playing. Coaches will be notified of upcoming games each week, so it is important that you keep you schedule up-to-date if you want them to know that you are playing this weekend.
STEP 7 ADD SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
At the top of your profile you can add links to your Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snap and Facebook accounts.
Most users tell us it takes between 15 and 30 minutes to complete the basics of their profile. You can then come back and add more video and details whenever you like.
3. WHAT DO I NEED TO CREATE A PLAYER PROFILE?
Three images (profile picture, action shot and a cover photo)
Personal profile information (personal, academic and academic information
Add your team information (current and past)
Videos with highlights and games showing off your talents
Schedule – add recent and future games and events to let coaches know where to find you play
4. WHAT DO I DO NEXT
You can connect with players and coaches by sending them a link to your profile by email. Or you can also invite other coaches and players to connect by visiting their Champs App profile and tapping the “Connect” button. Here is the current list of NCAA Coaches with Champs App profiles.
In past posts, I have discussed what it takes to become a great hockey player. To keep it simple, I would say that those posts describe the path to becoming a true AAA-level player. At every age group, there are roughly 150-200 AAA level teams for boys and 75-100 AAA teams for girls across the US and Canada. That means that means there are over 1000 great hockey players at every age level.
So what does a player who is the best-of-the-best look like?
Over the past couple of years I have watched many of the top teams and players on both sides of the border and have come up with a simple framework on the hierarchy of attributes that these top players possess.
The following diagram shows how these attributes build on each other and, when done in combination, display a top-level of excellence in hockey players.
Level 1: Fundamental Skills
Hockey requires a range of fundamental skills, including skating (e.g. speed and agility), stickhandling, shooting and passing. These are the essential capabilities a player must have in order to get to the elite level. Clearly, becoming elite at one of the skills helps get you closer to becoming an overall top-level player, but it isn’t sufficient.
Level 2: Good Habits
There are several on-ice habits that hockey players need to develop and demonstrate on every shift. These include technical behaviors like shoulder-checking and staying between the dots if you are a D. Or sticking with your man or going hard to the net and stopping at the goalie if you are a forward. Quite frankly, for every position there is a long list of good habits a player needs to learn and continually maintain. More broadly, here are some of the other good habits that separate the elite from the rest.
Hustle: Hockey is a fast-paced game that requires players to move quickly and efficiently. Players who hustle and work hard on the ice are more likely to make plays and create scoring opportunities for their team. Scouts notice which players hustle every shift versus those that take some shifts off during a game.
Communication: In a game, players need to communicate with their teammates on the ice, using clear and concise language to call for passes, provide direction, and coordinate defensive strategies.
Positioning: Being in the right place at the right time is critical to elite players. Knowing where and when to move to the right areas of the ice separates top players from the rest of their peers.
Anticipation: Anticipation is the ability to read the game and predict what will happen next. Players who are able to anticipate their opponents’ movements and read the play effectively are more likely to make plays and create scoring opportunities for their team.
Discipline: Discipline is important in hockey, both in terms of staying out of the penalty box and maintaining good habits on the ice.
By developing these good on-ice habits, hockey players can have a strong foundation to play at the elite level.
Level 3: Decision Making
To become an elite player, decision making is a critical skill that must be constantly developed and honed. Specifically, decision making spans multiple dimensions and situation for players:
Reading the Play: Hockey players must be able to read the play and make decisions based on what they see on the ice. This involves being aware of the positions of teammates and opponents, predicting where the puck will go, and anticipating the movements of other players.
Puck Management: Puck management is an essential aspect of decision making in hockey. Players must decide when to shoot, pass, or carry the puck, and must be able to make those decisions quickly and confidently.
Positioning: Good positioning is key to making effective decisions in hockey. Players must be able to position themselves in a way that maximizes their effectiveness and allows them to make quick decisions based on the flow of the game.
Communication: Effective communication is essential for good decision making in hockey. Players must be able to communicate quickly and clearly with their teammates, both on and off the ice, to ensure that everyone is on the same page and can make decisions based on a shared understanding of the game.
Adaptability: Finally, hockey players must be adaptable and able to make decisions in a fast-paced, dynamic environment. They must be able to react quickly to changes in the game and adjust their decisions accordingly, often on the fly.
Level 4: Deception and Protection
Deception and puck protection are important skills for ice hockey players to develop in order to create scoring opportunities and maintain possession of the puck. In my experience, it is the highest order of development to display, because it relies on all the other attributes for players to be able to successfully perform them during games.
Deception: Deception is the act of misleading or confusing an opponent in order to gain an advantage. Players can use deception in a variety of ways, such as faking a shot, passing in the opposite direction, or changing direction suddenly. To develop deception skills, players should focus on maintaining good body posture and making quick, decisive movements to keep opponents guessing. There is a long list of fakes, but knowing which one to pick at the right moment is a skill in itself.
Puck Protection: Puck protection is the ability to maintain possession of the puck while being checked by an opponent. To protect the puck effectively, players should keep their body between the puck and the opponent, use their body to shield the puck (e.g. mohawks or pivot turns), and maintain good balance and body position. They can also use quick fakes and sudden changes of direction to throw off the opponent’s timing.
Reading the Defense: To be effective at deception and puck protection, players should be able to read the defense and anticipate their opponent’s movements. They should look for gaps in the defense, predict where the opponent is likely to go, and adjust their movements accordingly.
Deception and protection can be high risk, especially if they aren’t executed properly. If players attempt a fake or fancy puck protection move and fail, it can easily end up in the back of your net and you can be stapled to the bench by your coach. This is why players who can successfully perform these moves are considered elite.
It is certainly possible to demonstrate parts of these four attributes independently of the other, but to be a high end AAA player, these capabilities create synergies with each other when performed consistently together.
As a reminder, the research compiled all the roster information for players from current DI women’s hockey team websites and combined them with the latest public women’s college hockey commitment data to help determine where spots have been filled and which schools may still be looking for players to start in the 2023 and 2024 school years.
Keep in mind, due to Covid, players who started playing in 2018 or 2019 were given an extra year of eligibility. In addition, 12 schools (all the Ivys, most of NEWHA plus Union and RPI) did not play in 2020-21 – so their 2018 or 2019 players can still be on their rosters for another season or two.
Finally, many of these extra-year players have the option to either stop playing after their 4th year of playing, transfer & play one more year elsewhere or stay-and-play for a 5th year at their current school. This makes predicting which teams would be looking for freshmen goalies in 2023 and 2024 tough, since many schools might prefer an experienced transfer student. It is very possible that even the coaching staffs for these schools may not know for sure what their student-athletes will do.
Here is the analysis which tries to shed light on where defenders are committed and current players are getting to the end of their college careers (by year).
DI Womens Hockey DEfense By Grad Year & Class
The following (ugly looking) table shows the number of D by class year on their current roster and their anticipated graduation year. Then the currently publicly known number of D commits by start year is also provided.
Note: Gray teams did not play in 2020-21 and thus have players with an extra year of eligibility even though they are currently listed as a Jr or Sr.
Players that are designated as 0.5 F and 0.5D if they are listed as both positions on their team’s website.
If you are a 2023 or 2024 D, the above table may help guide you to certain teams that may still be looking for defenders.
A few observations and notes:
If there are ~340 D positions, then usually ~85 D should be recruited every year.
It looks like ~15 D spots have shifted from 2023/24 to 2025. So ~15 less spots will be available for 2023/24 grads combined (~155 spots)
Average D players on a team is ~8, but there are 4 teams with 10 or more D that will likely not replace 1 or 2 of those slots
It appears as though many of the 2023 Defense spots are already taken but there is likely still another ~15 spots available across a handful of schools.
If you are a 2024 grad, many spots still appear to be open. However, 2025 looks like it will have more openings than usual, so you could also consider taking a Post Grad year (~100 for 2025 vs ~70 for 2024).
This is the last post on creating recruiting videos and it focuses on where to upload your video to share with coaches.
There are two types of situations to share videos with coaches. The first, is directly one-to-one with a specific coach and the second is one-to-many.
Ideally, in both situations your want to post the video in a manner where you can track some metrics about your video. This could include various attributes like who has watched you video, how many times the video has been watched. In addition, you might also be able to track location, how long users watched the video and where the user came from prior to watching your video (e.g. search, email, social media etc.)
The easiest method to upload a video to share is using YouTube. A public YouTube video lets your video be found via search engines and within YouTube and you can easily track views and additional measurements about your video. You can also upload the same or personalized videos for specific coaches or schools separately to track viewership by team. In most situations, YouTube offers all of these hosting services for free.
Another similar service is Vimeo which offers both free and paid options depending on which capabilities you might want for hosting , tracking and possibly editing capabilities.
Social Media Platforms
Many student-athletes also use social media platforms, such as, Twitter, TikTok and Instagram, to share their recruiting videos. This allows coaches to view the videos at their convenience and share them with other members of their coaching staff.
You can also store video files in a private folder in the cloud using Google Drive, Dropbox or Box and share links to those files with specific teams or individuals. Once again, using trackable links and privacy controls, you can control and specify who has access to you files and check if coaches have watched the videos.
It’s important to note that college coaches and recruiters may also use other resources to evaluate prospective student-athletes, such as game film, scouting services, and in-person evaluations. Therefore, it’s important for student-athletes to showcase their skills and abilities through multiple channels to increase their visibility to college coaches.
One last category is the host the video on the same site where you publish you online hockey resume. It can be on your team site, using a recruiting service or on your Champs App profile page. Currently Champs App only allows YouTube video links, but in the future you will be able to store your videos directly on your profile page then share and track who has watched you videos.
This post is not about creating professional hockey videos for teams or coaches. Nor is it intended to help with analytics or stat tracking like Hudl or Instat. Instead it is simply just to help players and parents make simple highlight videos college coaches want to see from potential recruits. As a result, we will only cover basic tools to help edit and produce these types of videos to the exclusion of fancy stat software packages used for more sophisticated needs.
There are dozens of premium hockey-specific video editing tools out there. This post does not cover in any of them. Feel free to do an online search if you want to find some of the top names in this category. Instead, we will only discuss the common general purpose video editing tools that are most popular and relatively simple to use.
There are also many, many service providers who will be happy to make professional looking videos for you for a fee. Nothing wrong with hiring someone to make your video, but with a little effort, you can save yourself a lot of money.
Candidly, I have used very basic tools to help edit video and create graphics. I’ve never paid for any additional software beyond what I already use either at home or at work. There are many parents (and definitely most players) who have better media-making skills than I do. But what matters is delivering presentable videos that meet the needs of coaches.
As for editing tools, there are many free programs and several movie editing tools which are relatively low cost. All of them are pretty easy to use once you’ve gone up the learning curve on your first couple of videos. . These software packages include iMovie, Final Cut, Adobe, Windows Movie Maker and Microsoft Video Editor. And these days there are many browser-based video editing tools as well.
You can make your own graphics using common graphical editing and presentation tools like Keynote, Adobe, Powerpoint and Google Slides. There are also good, either free or very inexpensive graphical design offerings like Canva and stock image sites.
What to include in all your videos
An intro graphic which provides the basic information about the player. Ideally it includes most of the following:
Contact Info (optional)
During each clip/scene use some type of graphic (e.g. circle, arrow etc.) to identify the player
Another common element I’ve seen in highlight video (not full games) is some type of on-screen graphic which communicates to the viewer what type of highlight they are about to see. It could be anything from a goal or assist, to a good defensive play or fancy pass. If there are specific critical attributes of a player’s game that you want to emphasize, explicitly calling them out on-screen beforehand can be helpful.
Should you include music?
That is a personal choice. Many coaches have told me they’d prefer not to listen to a soundtrack with the video, but they can always mute the sound of any video if they don’t want to hear it.
I am sure I am missing some additional editing tools and other methods of cutting video, so please feel free to send us your methods and we can add them to this post.
DI Women’s Hockey Commitment Rate by Months Prior to College
2023 commits are tracking at about 18% less than the last two years (34 less commitments). Due to 5th year eligibility, red-shirting and grad transfers this is consistent with our recent analysis on forwards and goalies. It appears as though many of the 2023 Forward spots are already taken but there is likely still another 20-30 spots available across a handful of schools.
The 2024 commits are slightly behind the 2023 commitment rate as of December, 2022 by about 12% (64 2024’s vs 73 2023’s).