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

Q1 2022 DI Women’s College Hockey Commitment Rate Update

This is an update to a previous post from December, 2021 on “Q4 2021 Women’s College Hockey Commitment Rate Update”.

2022 Commits

For 2022 commits, they have now surpassed the equivalent rate as 2021 commits.  There are now 206 2022 commits as of March 31, 2002 compared to 202 commits the same period last year. Based on previous years, there will probably only be 10-15 more commits for 2022.

2023 Commits

As of March 31st, 2022, only 97 commits have been made for DI programs compared to 163 (2021) and 139 (2022) at the equivalent time before starting for those grade years. With USA Nationals now complete, I would expect the commitment rate to increase in April and May. However, given the absolute numbers it seems that there will also surely be less 2023 commits than previous years (typically about 214 commits). My back-of-the-envelope math says that overall there will likely be between 30 and 40 less 2023 commits compared to 2021 and 2022. From talking to DI coaches, it seems the reasons extra year of eligibility and the transfer students from DI, DIII and Canadian universities.  On the positive side, Stonehill College starting in 2002 and Robert Morris University beginning their recruiting for 2023, I would suspect the gap closes slowly over the next 9 months with an additional 10-20 spots being available for those schools (otherwise my estimates would look even worse).

Goalies

Four goalies committed between January and March, 2022; one for 2022, one for 2023 and one for 2024.  This is consistent with what DI coaches have been saying on the Champs App Podcast, that the goalie process is later than for skaters. There are still only six 2023 goalie commits with an overall target of about 20 goalies per year.

Top 10 Schools

There were only four Top 10 commits in Q1 2022 and three of them were for Minnesota.

Data assumptions:

  1. Data commitment dates – source: collegecommitments.com
  2. Transfers between DI programs are not included in the number of commits
  3. Total number of commits for 2021 was 215
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College Hockey Recruiting Women's College Hockey Women's Hockey

Q4 2021 Women’s College Hockey Commitment Rate Update

This is an update to a previous post from October, 2021 on “How Does the Number of 2023 Women’s College Hockey Commits Compare to Previous Years?”.

2022 Commits

For 2022 commits, they are all caught up to the same rate as 2021 commits. There are 193 2022 commits as of Dec 31 for compared to 191 commits the same period last year. Based on previous years, there will probably be on ~20 more commits for 2022.

2023 Commits

As of December 31st, 2021, only 83 commits have been made for DI programs compared to 152 (2021) and 134 (2022) at the equivalent time before starting for those grade years. So the big questions that remains is: Will there be less 2023 commits than previous years (typically about 214 commits) or is the recruiting process just slower this year given everything that is going on with Covid and the extra year of eligibility?

Goalies

Three goalies committed between Oct and Dec, 2021, but what is interesting is that they were all for 2022. This is consistent with what DI coaches have been saying on the Champs App Podcast, that the goalie process is later than for skaters. There continues to only be four 2023 goalie commits with an overall target of about 20 goalies per year.

Top 10 Schools

There were quite a few commits (and transfers) from the Top 10 Schools in Q3 2021.

Data assumptions:

  1. Data commitment dates – source: collegecommitments.com
  2. Transfers between DI programs are not included in the number of commits
  3. Total number of commits for 2021 was 215
  4. Please keep in mind there were no adjustments in the number of schools each year (e.g. RMU, St Michaels, Stonehill)
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College Hockey Recruiting Development Camp Girls Hockey Women's College Hockey Women's Hockey

What I learned attending the USA Hockey 15s Girls Development Camp

Part III – College Recruiting

This is the third and final post focusing on the college recruiting process based my experience as a parent at the USA Hockey Girls Camp that took place in St Cloud Minnesota from July 10-15, 2021.

You can read the previous posts about the Schedule & Operational Details and USA Hockey Player Development

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what to write for this post.  I wanted to specifically discuss what happened at the USA Hockey 15’s camp in St. Cloud.  However, I have come to realize that it would be incomplete without providing additional context about the entire women’s college recruiting process.  As a result, for this post I am mostly just going to stick to the facts and data I collected.  Separately, I will soon publish a detailed post about what I have figured out so far about the end-to-end recruiting process to give the perspective needed for any individual event.

What became obvious quite quickly, is that coaches from all over the country were flocking to St Cloud to see the top 216 15-year old female players.  Kristin Wright stated at the opening parents meeting that 90% of schools would be at the Development Camp at some point during the week.  Based on all the logos I saw that number must have been pretty close.

Here are the schools I saw first-hand, but I am sure this is not a complete list:

• Bemidji State
Boston College
• Boston University
• Brown
• Clarkson
• Cornell
• Franklin Pierce
• Harvard
Holy Cross
Lindenwood
• Mercyhurst
• Minnesota
• Minnesota State
Northeastern
• Ohio State
Princeton
• Providence
Quinnipiac
• Rice
RPI
• Sacred heart
St Cloud
St Lawrence
• St Thomas
• Vermont
• Union
Wisconsin

At a basic level coaches had two objectives for attending the event:

  • Watching players already on their list and track their performance/development
  • Identify new players to add to their follow list

Since I was sitting in the stands with most of the coaches I had a few observations. Some coaches were very social and others kept to themselves.  Some showed up just the first couple of days, others just for the last 2 or 3 days. Unlike 16/17s camp which took place a couple of weeks earlier, coaches can’t talk to the 15’s parents – so there was almost engagement between coaches and parents. Schools that I did not see their logos seemed to have on-ice coaches represented at either the 16/17s camp or the U18 camp. Many coaches had printed rosters or iPads to identify players and take notes. But quite a few did not appear to have a method to take notes or remember players.  Each school seem to have a different scouting strategy/plan. Some schools had multiple coaches, while other only had one representative. As well, some scouts only watched games, while other watched all the public practices and scrimmages.

A couple of schools really stood out to me during the week

Brian Durocher Boston University

The first was Boston University head coach Brian Durocher who spent the first three days watching almost every practice and game. He would just stand on his own down along the glass quietly taking notes on a little piece of paper. And when there was a break on one rink he go watch players on the other rink.  He was very unassuming, but clearly using his many years of experience to evaluate players and take copious notes.

The other school that impressed, was the team of Ohio State coaches (at least four in total both on-ice and off-ice) who were making sure they watched all the girls on both rinks throughout the week. They typically sat in a group around head coach Nadine Muzerall and watched a lot of hockey together. As a Michigan grad it isn’t easy for me to say nice things about OSU, but clearly they have prioritized scouting and their recruiting process as a key to their success.

In my next post I will discuss what I have learned about different stages of the women’s college recruiting process. This will help answer many of the questions I have received about how much should a player be seen in the spring and summer at showcases and events compared to their regular season team.

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College Hockey Recruiting Development Camp Girl's Showcase Parents Women's College Hockey Women's Hockey

What I learned attending my first DI Girls College Hockey Showcase

This past weekend my 2006 daughter and I attended our first showcase with Division I coaches participating and scouting at the event.  The 585 PIP Showcase – Roc City Style took place in Rochester, New York at the Bill Gray Iceplex from June 18-20, 2021. Here is what I learned…

Who participated in the 585 PIP College Hockey Showcase?

In attendance were 180 players with birth years 2004, 2005 and 2006. Their break down by birth year and high school graduation year were as follows:

Included in these players, were many girls invited to the different 2021 USA Hockey Camps next month in Minnesota. Of particular interest to us, were the three players at the 585 Showcase who were the only 2006’s invited directly to the U18 Camp – thus, at least by USA Hockey’s assessment, considered the top three 15’s in the country.

From the recruiting side, there were 28 DI and 6 DIII schools represented (note: 13 schools were previous guests on the Champs App Podcast):

Boston CollegeMercyhurstQuinnipiacYale
BrownMerrimackRITConnecticut College
Boston UniversityMinnesotaRPIElmira College
ClarksonMinnesota DuluthSt. LawrenceNazareth
ColgateNortheasternSyracusePlattsburgh
CornellOhio StateUConnSUNY Oswego
HarvardPenn StateUnionUniversity of Buffalo
Holy CrossPrincetonVermont 
LindenwoodProvidenceWisconsin 

20 of the DI coaches participated in on-ice events which for each player included a skills sessions, a practice and 4 games.

Starting the women’s college hockey recruiting process

Unlike the first showcase in Rochester that we attended last October, 2020 during Covid, our goals for this past weekend were very different. Back then, since my daughter hadn’t played with girls before, we were just trying to calibrate how good a hockey player she was compared to other female players.

This 585 event was the first step in the long journey of my daughter’s recruiting process with the intent of being seen by some of the schools she currently has an interest in. Something which makes her situation unique, is that she has only played on boys tier hockey teams and will once again play boys tier 1 hockey next season. While this is great from a hockey development perspective, this puts her at a disadvantage because she does not get seen at in-season girls tournaments or the USA Hockey Girls National playoffs. This is why spring/summer girls showcases are so important for her specific college recruiting journey.

What were our goals for attending a girls college hockey showcase?

One of the challenges I struggled with leading up to the weekend, was defining the objectives for the showcase and how would we measure success?  Unlike the USA Hockey district camp we attended last month, where it was clear that the goal for my daughter was to be invited to the 15’s national camp and thus easily measurable (even though it took almost a month to learn the results). For Rochester, this is what we came up with:

  • Initiate scouting coverage by a handful of schools that my daughter has an interest in
  • Ideally, create the beginnings of a relationship with those schools via the on-ice coaching opportunities
  • Get on the radar of other schools. This is a long process and who knows where the best fit(s) may be for my daughter when she gets closer to being able to talk directly with colleges.
  • See what makes the Top 3 2006’s special

Being Proactive – Planning for a Girls College Showcase Weekend

To help with the first goal for the showcase, during the week prior to the event, my daughter sent a handful of emails to coaches who would be in attendance. She let them know why she was interested in their school and invited them to watch her during the weekend. Per NCAA recruiting rules, since my daughter cannot be contacted prior to June 15th, 2022 (at the end of her sophomore year), coaches could not email her back.

As a parent, it is unclear to me how college coaches scout at these events

My first takeaway from the showcase is that I really don’t understand how coaches scout at large showcases and tournaments – from my uninitiated perspective, there are just too many players and games to watch. During my podcast interviews, coaches have told me that while showcases are good to get to know players, they really prefer watching them play real games with their regular season teams. I did see most coaches carrying around the color-coded player lists for each team, many taking notes while coaching from behind the bench and when scouting games.  However, given there were 180 players, I have many questions on how they decide which games to watch, which players to focus on and what they are evaluating. In my upcoming podcasts, I will be sure to dive deep on how coaches collect their information at these types of events with so much going on.

Showcase teams with more “top-program” players had more coaches watching them

Another takeaway from the weekend, is that luck played a role in which team you were on – which then translated into how likely you were to be seen by as many coaches as possible. It is unclear how teams were formed for the event, but it was obvious that some teams had many more players from well-known teams (e.g. Shattuck-St Mary’s, Little Caesars, BK Selects, East Coast Wizards, Chicago Mission) than others. The more “brand-name-team” players on a team’s roster, the more coaches were likely to watch that team play and how often. Some games had what appeared to be a couple of dozen coaches watching from above or along the glass, while for other games I could count the number of non-bench coaches scouting the action on one hand.

For example, there was a game with 20+ players on the ice from those “top programs” playing each other with a full-house of DI coaches, while simultaneously, on a separate rink, there weren’t many coaches watching a game with only 3 “top-program” players.

It’s hard to immediately measure the success for a summer showcase weekend

One of the challenges of the weekend was quantifying some key metrics. Based on discussions with my daughter and from what I was able to observe from the stands, at least half of the six coaches she emailed had watched her play in a game – plus she was able to talk with another targeted coach during one of the skills sessions. In addition, she had direct interactions/conversations with about 8 additional DI coaches during the on-ice practices and games. Of course, it is impossible to know which coaches and how many actually scouted her from off-ice positions, this is something we may only discover sometime in the future. So in the end, measuring success of the weekend is a little opaque and one can only hope that sometime after June 15, 2022 we can see the benefits.

USA Hockey’s Top 2006 Players for 2021

It was great to watch the three 2006’s who were invited directly to the USA Hockey U18 Girls Camp play.  All three were big, strong players and very noticeable when they were on the ice. One of them scored a wonderful goal by powering their way to the net and popping the puck top-shelf over the goalie’s shoulder. It was the prettiest play I saw all weekend.

First Steps in a Long Journey

Overall, for a first DI showcase event, it seemed to be a pretty good start. Clearly, several schools now know who my daughter is and the process has begun. We have three more opportunities for her to be scouted this summer (2021 USA National Development Camp, 2021 NAHA College Showcase and the PIP 702 Vegas) before she returns to her boys team in the fall.

Categories
College Hockey Recruiting Girls Hockey Women's College Hockey

College Commits Infographic

Women’s College Hockey Recruiting Insights

So, how good do you need to be to play Division I women’s college hockey? Which clubs/prep schools have the most commits? When do players commit to women’s college hockey teams?

You can download our infographic about Women’s College Hockey Commits Insights here:

This post is part of series on 5 Insights about Women’s College Hockey Commits:

  1. What percent of D1 women’s hockey commits come from Canada vs. the U.S.?
  2. Which U.S. clubs/schools are the biggest D1 college hockey factories?
  3. Which D1 colleges have the most commits?
  4. Which colleges have the earliest player commitments?
  1. Nearly all of the data provided is from College Hockey Inc’s published page on Women’s College Commits.
  2. Secondary information is from Elite Prospects which was used to supplement missing club/school information for some players.
  3. The period covers 8/20/16 until 11/24/20 for players who are committed for the 2020 season and later.