Categories
2024 Girls Hockey Player Development

A Quick Post about the Selections for the USA U18 Girls Player Development Camp

Each year, USA Hockey hosts a development camp in early August for the top 76 female U18 players – this year for the 2007, 2008, and 2009 birth years (40 Forwards, 28 Defense, and 8 Goalies).

Last month, the initial 63 players were named to the camp.  With the final 13 players added at the end of the 16/17s girls camp which takes place a couple of weeks earlier in mid-July.  It is my understanding that players from the late-July 15’s girls camp are still not eligible for the U18 camp, regardless of how they performed at the 15’s camp (much to the chagrin of many players and parents). This year, 9 15’s (2009 birth year) players were invited directly to the U18 camp (there were 5 15’s in 2023 and 6 in 2022). So, players not invited as part of the initial U18 list do not have the opportunity to prove themselves worthy at the 15’s camp.

The one key insight from the players invited to the U18 Girls Camp for 2024 is that there were a total of  6 2007 & 2008 birth year players (out of 29 total players from those age groups) who attended the U18 Camp last year, but were not part of the 54 players (from 2007 and 2008) invited directly this year.  Instead, those 6 players will need to prove themselves at the 16/17s Camp and earn their invite to the U18s Camp.  One way to look at it is, (according to USA Hockey evaluators) there were at least 48 other players from their birth year who showed they were better this year than the 6 players from last year. Another way to look at it is that players should understand that they cannot take anything for granted. No spot is guaranteed.

Note: This is not the first time players have had to start at the 16/17s Camp after participating in the U18 Camp the year before.  Last year, at least 2 “downgraded” players did indeed get selected to move on from 16/17s to attend the U18s camp.

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

Part II – USA Hockey Nationals Team Selection & Seedings – Girls U16 Tier I

This is Part II about the analysis of USA Hockey 2024 Nationals Girls Tier I Hockey playoffs taking place in Wesley Chapel, Florida. Here is Part I – Girls Tier I 14U

This analysis look at the teams selected for the Girls Tier I U16 playoffs. Given the importance of being seen at Nationals from recruiting perspective, I examined the at-large team selections and the seedings.

As a reminder: If you are heading to the Tier 2 girls playoffs, you can still be scouted by DI coaches. This week I spoke with a DI coach who will be in East Lansing and will be looking for the top players from smaller regions that can’t easily play for a Tier I team.

Girls 16U Selections

Below you can see the ranking of the 16 teams who will be playing at the 16U Tier I Nationals. The 3 highlighted teams (Minnesota Magazine, Massachusetts Spitfires and Minnesota Hardware) are the at-large invitations, then there is the host team (Florida Alliance) and the other 12 are the district champions.

The USA Hockey 2024 National Guidebook provides the following description for how they decide on the at-large teams and seedings:

Unlike the U14 Tier 1 Selections, all of the at-large teams made sense since they were the 3 highest ranked teams on My Hockey Rankings that didn’t win their district. The only thing which is confusing to me is that lack of consistency of Minnesota Elite League teams accepting at-large invitations. It seems that some highly ranked teams do and some don’t attend nationals. I will need to research this further.

As far as the last team to miss the playoffs, the Mid Fairfield CT Stars had a 95.57 which was 0.93 below the last at-large team, Minnesota Hardware. Similar to the U14s, that is a pretty large difference in ratings (in other age groups I’ve seen a rating difference of only 0.01 or 0.02 between bubble teams) and thus there shouldn’t be much concern about the Stars not being selected based on their rating.

Girls 16U Seedings

For the U16 age groups, the seedings are non-controversial. They match identically to the MyHockeyRankings sorting of the 16 qualified teams.

However, if the selection committee looked at the last 10 games for each of the top 10 teams (as they appear to do in other age groups), there is a reasonable argument to be made for a re-arranging of the Top 8 teams. Specifically, two of the at-large teams could have been seeded higher. The same for Belle Tire. Especially since those teams’ full-year ratings were so close to the teams above them in the rankings.

The next posts will discuss the USA Hockey Nationals Girls U19 selections and seedings.


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You can easily select a coach & email template and the message automatically populates the coach’s info, school and your personal information from your Champs App profile.  Pick the Upcoming Events template and the Messaging tool with magically insert your upcoming games at Nationals into the message.

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

Part III – USA Hockey Nationals Team Selection & Seedings – Girls U19 Tier I

This is Part III about the analysis of USA Hockey 2024 Nationals Girls Tier I Hockey playoffs taking place in Wesley Chapel, Florida. Here is Part I for U14 and Part II for U16

This analysis look at the teams selected for the Girls Tier I U19 playoffs. Given the importance of being seen at Nationals from recruiting perspective, I examined the at-large team selections and the seedings.

As a reminder: If you are heading to the Tier 2 girls playoffs, you can still be scouted by DI coaches. This week I spoke with a DI coach who will be in East Lansing and will be looking for the top players from smaller regions that can’t easily play for a Tier I team.

Girls 19U Selections

Below you can see the ranking of the 16 teams who will be playing at the 19U Tier I Nationals. The 4 highlighted teams (East Coast Wizards, NAHA, Team Wisconsin and the Connecticut Polar Bears) are the at-large invitations. Unlike other age groups, there is no U19 team from the Northern Plains district – thus the 4th at-large team. Then there is the host team (Florida Alliance) and the other 11 are the district champions.

The USA Hockey 2024 National Guidebook provides the following description for how they decide on the at-large teams and seedings:

Similar to the the U14 Tier 1 at-large Selections, it is unclear why the Minnesota Empowers and Tradition teams are not at-large teams. Maybe they opted out due to the higher priority of the Minnesota High School hockey playoffs. There is a lack of consistency of Minnesota Elite League teams accepting at-large invitations.

As far as the last team to miss the playoffs, the Pittsburgh Pens Elite has a 95.20 rating which is only 0.24 below the last at-large team, the Connecticut Polar Bears. But it seems this is large enough to make the Polar Bears the at-large selection.

Girls 19U Seedings

For the U19 age groups, the seedings do not match the rankings. Shattuck St Mary’s is ranked #1, but seeded #2 behind Bishop Kearney Selects. East Coast Wizards are ranked higher, but seeded lower than the Boston Jr Eagles. And NAHA is ranked higher than the Mid Fairfield Stars, but seeded lower. As described in the USA Hockey Guide above, it is likely a combination of head-to-head and Last 10 Games that were factors in these seedings.

Specifically, BK Selects beat Shattuck in their only game back in October, and but Shattuck still had a much higher rank in their last 10 games (see below). In addition, S-SM has a 0.65 higher rating than BK, which is quite large. So it seems the head-to-head was the primary factor in the flipping of positions. I suspect this will have impact the motivations of both teams should they meet in the playoff round.

The Boston Jr Eagles won the Massachusetts district, so it seems to make sense that they would be higher than the Boston Jr Eagles.

For NAHA and Mid Fairfield, being seeded #8 vs #9 doesn’t really make a material difference, since they will be in the same division. It just impacts the order of games and who is the home team when they play each other. The two teams never played each other during the season, but Mid Fairfield has the higher rating over the last 10 games.

Here are the links to Part I – Tier I Girls 14U and Part II – Tier I Girls 16U


Want to be scouted at Nationals? Use Champs App Messaging to quickly & easily let coaches know your game schedule

Let NCAA coaches know you’ll be at Nationals and your game schedule. The Champs App Messaging tool is the fast, easy way to send error-free messages to coaches before and during the event.

You can easily select a coach & email template and the message automatically populates the coach’s info, school and your personal information from your Champs App profile.  Pick the Upcoming Events template and the Messaging tool with magically insert your upcoming games at Nationals into the message.

Watch the demo (Desktop Version) (Mobile Version) and try it out today!

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

USA Hockey Nationals Team Selection & Seedings – U14 Tier I Girls

Being selected to go to Tier I Nationals is a big deal beyond just competing in the national playoffs to win a championship. Almost every NCAA DI women’s hockey program sends at least one coach to scout players and watch the best teams compete against each other. It gives U.S. players another great opportunity to be seen. While there are many elite players that play for teams that don’t end up qualifying for Nationals – it isn’t the end of the world for them, there are still many other opportunities to be seen (e.g. showcases, USA Hockey camps etc.).  However, playing at Nationals is an excellent opportunity and timing to get seen. While the process to make Nationals for District winners and the host team is clear, the at-large selection process is a little murkier. This analysis looks at the at-large selections and how the teams were seeded.

I recently wrote about the selections for the NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey playoffs and how the selections and seedings compared to their MyHockeyRankings ratings.  Unlike the NCAA, the USA Hockey National Playoffs actually uses MyHockeyRankings to help select the at-large teams for both youth and girls divisions. On the youth side, in addition to the 12 district winners, there are typically 4 at-large teams selected for Tier I (AAA). On the girl’s side, they also have 12 district winners. However, this is the final year where the girls host team gets an automatic spot in addition to that districts winner. So there are two teams from the Southeast district this year.  Next year there will also be 4 at-large teams for Tier I girls.

Candidly, I haven’t taken the time to learn how the Tier II selections are made for Nationals. And I certainly don’t understand how the High School Girls teams are selected – because the last couple of winners have not really played high school hockey teams for their regular schedule, but mostly against other Tier I (AAA) classified teams.  So this 3-part analysis will focus solely on the 14U, 16U and 19U Girls Tier I selection and seeds for next week’s USA Hockey 2024 Nationals taking place in Wesley Chapel, Florida.

Note: If you are heading to the Tier 2 girls playoffs, you can still be scouted by DI coaches. This week I spoke with a DI coach who will be in East Lansing and will be looking for the top players from smaller regions that can’t easily play for a Tier I team.

Girls 14U Selections

Below you can see the ranking of the 16 teams who will be playing at the 14U Tier I Nationals. The 3 highlighted teams (Minnestota Walleye, Assabet Valley and Chicago Mission) are the at-large invitations, then there is the host team (Florida Alliance) and the other 12 are the district champions.

The USA Hockey 2024 National Guidebook provides the following description for how they decide on the at-large teams and seedings:

From a selection standpoint, the only team which is not clear is the Minnesota Lakers not being selected for an at-large spot. The two reasons I can think of are a) the first at-large spot already went to a Minnesota district team (Walleye) so maybe the committee didn’t want to take two at-large teams from the same district. The other might be that I have heard Minnesota players care more about their High School playoffs than USA Nationals, therefore getting re-organized (after their High School season ends_ and the cost to play in Florida may not be appealing to some teams. If someone has more information on these decisions, please feel free to provide more information.

As far as the last team to miss the playoffs (excluding the Lakers), the Bay State Breakers were had a 95.48 which was 0.77 below the last at-large team, Chicago Mission. In my experience, that is a pretty large difference in ratings (in other age groups I’ve seen a rating difference of only 0.01 or 0.02 between bubble teams) and thus there shouldn’t be much concern about the Breakers not being selected based on their rating.

Girls 14U Seedings

Pretty much all the seedings make sense with 2 exceptions:

  1. Minnesota Walleye were ranked #1 according to MHR, but Lovell Academy was given the #1 seed.  The two teams never played each other during the season, so that could not be a factor.  However, when looking at just the last 10 games for each team, it seems Lovell Academy had a higher rating by 0.3 goals – so that may have been the determining factor in giving Lovell Academy the #1 seed.

2. The Minnesota Green Giants and Philadelphia Jr Flyers were ranked #5 and #6 respectively according to MHR. But the Jr Flyers were given the higher seed. But looking closer, both teams had an identical 95.81 rating. And the Jr Flyers had a 0.3 higher rating over their last 10 games – so this could likely be the determining factor for promoting the Jr Flyers.

The next posts will discuss the USA Hockey Nationals Girls U16 and U19 selections and seedings.


Want to be scouted at Nationals? Use Champs App Messaging to quickly & easily let coaches know your game schedule

Let NCAA coaches know you’ll be at Nationals and your game schedule. The Champs App Messaging tool is the fast, easy way to send error-free messages to coaches before and during the event.

You can easily select a coach & email template and the message automatically populates the coach’s info, school and your personal information from your Champs App profile.  Pick the Upcoming Events template and the Messaging tool with magically insert your upcoming games at Nationals into the message.

Watch the demo (Desktop Version) (Mobile Version) and try it out today!

Categories
2024 Development Camp Women's Hockey

Why U18 National Teams Shouldn’t Only Have Offensive Defenders on their Roster

Last week, I re-watched the Canada vs Czechia IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship semi-final game. Czechia won the game 4-2 after losing to Canada in the Group A game 8-1. I noticed that two of the Czechia goals were a direct result of major mistakes by the Canadian defenders. I then saw that the shots on goal were heavily in favor of the Canadians when the score was 3-2 at about 43-11 (ended up being 47-12 for Canada).

This got me thinking, how could Canada lose a game that they so clearly dominated in terms of offensive opportunities?

Two thoughts came to mind:

  1. Czechia did an amazing job learning from their group game with Canada and played a defensive structure which minimized Canada’s high risk chances. Czechia then capitalized on the few opportunities they had to score.
  2. Similar to my observations about the USA Hockey U18 selection process, Canada probably puts a bigger emphasis on fielding a team with offensive D than well-balanced defenders. As a result, a couple of defensive mistakes cost them the game.

This is just my hypothesis, I could be completely wrong.  And let me be clear, any player that makes the Canada or U.S. U18 teams are exceptional players.  They can all skate well, pass well and shoot well.  There is no doubt each of them deserved to be on the team. But maybe, they are too similar in their skill set?

When it comes to roster construction, sometimes you need to include one or two 200-foot players to complement the more offensive players.  Specifically, there are usually tradeoffs between a great puck handling D with a hard shot vs. someone who is technically better at 2-on-1s, clearing players in front of the net, playing the penalty kill or defending 1-on-1 zone entries.   An analogy would be having 7 Erik Karlssons playing defense for a single team – at some point in important games against good teams there will be times you need the D to keep the puck out of your own net.  Once again, this is not to say that those highly skilled U18 players aren’t good defenders, but when they go up against the top 2 or 3 forwards on a national team, they will also need to be technically strong on defense.

Let’s look at some data to support why I can understand how a coaching staff would  put together a roster with so much offensive power at the U18 level.

2023 IIHF U18 World Champsionship Shot Totals

Canada outshot their opponent by a 6:1 ratio throughout the tournament. They also had over 40 shots per game.  I would suspect they felt the team could outscore all opponents as long they didn’t have any major defensive hiccups. 

Of course, you are probably asking – weren’t they planning to play the U.S.?  Like all Canadian teams, they probably expected and planned to play the U.S.  at some point – likely in the gold medal game (given the new format of A/B group play this year, they wouldn’t play each other in group games).  So Canada would still need to be prepared to play a high-powered offensive USA Hockey team.

Then I looked at the shot total for the 2023 Under-18 Series which took place in Lake Place between the Canada and USA.  Team Canada swept all 3 games against the U.S. team by a combined score of 15-3.  Here were the shot totals:

uSA Canada u18 Summer Series SHot Totals

A couple of possible reasons for Canada to justify having highly offensive defenders… Either the felt they could still outscore Team USA and defend well enough to beat them.  Or, maybe their D were never tested enough in the USA-Canada Series to expose some of the technical weaknesses against world-class scorers.

So what?

During my experience attending and analyzing multiple USA Hockey camps/events, I have felt that the players being selected have had their offensive abilities overly weighted in the evaluation process.  Now, I am fully onboard with most of the high-end, offensive D being the ones being picked. However, including one or two defenders who can also keep the puck out of your own net at critical points of an important game can be the difference between winning and losing in the medal rounds.  Having a little more balance on the blue line could be the difference between winning and losing in big games.

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

OrganizationEventStart DateEnd DateLocationCityAges
200x85 TournamentsCCM MLK Girls1/14/20241/16/2024Massachusetts12U - 19U AAA/AA
Premier Ice ProspectsGreat Lakes Girls Fest2/2/20242/4/2024Detroit, MI19U through 10U Tier II
Premier Ice ProspectsMotor City Girls Fest2/2/20242/4/2024Detroit, MI19U through 10U Tier I
JWHLChallenge Cup 20242/17/20242/20/2024Rockville/Arlington, VA14U, 16U, 19U
OneHockeyOneHockey Connecticut GIRLS3/8/20243/10/2024DANBURY ICEDanbury, CTGirls Tier II (AA) 19U, 16U, 14U, 12U, 10U Girls Tier III (A) 19U, 16U, 14U, 12U, 10U
Pony Tail Tournament Pony Tail Tournament 3/15/20243/17/2024Baltimore, MDU10, U12A, U12B, U14A, U14B, U16A, U16B, U19
OS Hockey2024 OS SPRING FESTIVAL3/16/20243/19/2024Braemar ArenaMInneapolis, MN
St Cloud State UniversitySt. Cloud State Women's Hockey Camps3/29/20243/30/2024Herb Brooks National Hockey CenterSt. Cloud, MinnesotaAges 6-16
RINK Hockey Academy KelownaFemale University Showcase 20244/4/20244/7/2024Winfield Arena & RINK Kelowna Training Centre Kelowna, BC2005-2009 YOB
Delta Hockey AcademyDHA Female University Showcase4/9/20244/10/2024Planet IceDelta, B.C2006-2011 YOB
College Hockey ShowcasesSpring Break Showcase4/13/20245/15/2024Fort Meyers, FL2004-2010 Birth Years
The Rose SeriesCowgirl Shootout4/18/20244/21/2024Nashville, TN2012 Birth Years
Showcase Hockey2024 Minnesota Meltdown AAA Tournament4/19/20244/21/2024MinnesotaGirls AAA (10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, 19U)
200x85 TournamentsCCM CHI-TOWN SHUFFLE4/19/20244/21/2024Chicago, ILGirls Tier 1/Tier 2 (12U, 14U, 16U, 19U)
RINK Hockey Academy WinnipegFemale University Showcase 20244/19/20244/21/2024Rink Training CenterWinnipeg, MB2005-2009 (2010) YOB
Premier Ice ProspectsHockey Hall of Fame Future Legends4/24/20244/27/2024Toronto, ON2012 Birth Years
RUSH HockeyRush Spring Showcase (Florida)4/26/20244/28/2024Palm Beach Skate ZoneWest Palm Beach, FL2004-2012 Birth Years
Premier Ice ProspectsPIPs American Dream5/3/20245/5/2024American DreamEast Rutherford, NJ2010- 2013 Birth Years
Premier Ice ProspectsCCM Selects Training Camp - Notre Dame (Girls)5/3/20245/5/2024South Bend, IN2010-2016
OS Hockey2024 WHITECAPS CUP (HS)5/3/20245/5/2024MInneapolis, MNHigh School
Premier Ice ProspectsPremier Prospects Boston5/8/20245/10/2024The Edge Sports CenterBoston, MA2009-2010 Birth Years
Premier Ice ProspectsPremier Prep Prospects5/9/20245/12/2024The Edge Sports CenterBoston, MA2009-2012 Birth Years
The Rose SeriesLow Country Classic5/9/20245/12/2024Charleston, SC2011 Birth Year
The Rose SeriesThe Battle at the Beach5/9/20245/12/2024Fort Meyers, FL2010 Birth Year
Premier Ice ProspectsTop Prospects5/17/20245/19/2024Jacksonville, FL2010 - 2013 Birth Year
Showcase Hockey2024 Independent Classic5/17/20245/19/2024MinnesotaGirls AAA (8U, 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, 19U)
The National Girls Hockey LeagueNGHL NCAA Goalie Clinic5/17/2024York, PA2006 - 2010 Birth Years
The National Girls Hockey LeagueNGHL NCAA Exposure Clinic5/18/20245/19/2024York, PA2006 - 2010 Birth Years
RUSH HockeyRUSH RISING STARS PRE-COLLEGE SHOWCASE5/31/20246/2/2024CAA Centre BramptonBrampton, ON2010 and 2011 Birth Years
RUSH HockeyRUSH ATOMIC CHALLENGE5/31/20246/2/2024CAA Centre BramptonBrampton, ON2012 and 2013 Birth Years
OS HockeyPROSPECTS/FUTURES WEEKEND 1 Camp5/31/20246/3/2024Bloomington Ice GardensMinneapolis, MN
Premier Ice ProspectsWestern Prospects Camp6/1/20246/3/2024Kraken Community IceplexSeattle, WA2007-2013 Birth Years
Fierce Edge AthleticsFierce ID Series - SHOWCASE EVENT6/2024Canlan OshawaOshawa, ON2010-2011 ; 2009-2007 + 06* (GRADUATION YEAR 2025) DIVISION
Ohio State UniversityMINNESOTA CAMP6/3/20246/7/2024St. Louis Park Rec Center St. Louis Park, MNGrad Years: 2026-2030
RinkSportSCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA Development Camp6/4/20246/7/2024
Premier Ice Prospects585 PIP Showcase6/7/20246/10/2024Tim Horton's IceplexRochester, NY2007-2009 Birth Years
RUSH HockeyRush College Showcase6/7/20246/10/2024CAA Centre BramptonBrampton, ON2006 - 2009 Birth Years
Showcase Hockey2024 AAA Summer Showdown6/7/20246/9/2024MinnesotaGirls AAA (10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, 19U)
The National Girls Hockey LeagueNGHL NCAA Exposure Camp in Newington, CT6/8/20246/9/2024Newington, CT2006 - 2010 Birth Years
Ohio State UniversityYOUTH CAMP6/10/20246/13/2024OSU Ice RinkColumbus, OHU8/U10 and U12 age level
Premier Ice ProspectsPREMIER PROSPECTS COMBINE6/11/20246/14/2024UPMC Sports ComplexCranberry, PA2010 - 2013 Birth Years
North American Female Elite ShowcaseThe Orion Top Prospects6/13/20246/16/2024Blaine, MN2007 - 2012 Birth Years
Fierce Edge AthleticsFIERCE FEMALE HOCKEY TOURNAMENT 20246/14/20246/16/2024Canlan OshawaOshawa, ONU9/ U11 (Tier 1 & Tier 2)/ U13 (Tier 1,Tier 2)
RinkSportRinkSport College Development Camp 6/15/20246/20/2024Babson CollegeBoston, MA2029 High School graduates or earlier
University of MinnesotaMINNESOTA GIRLS HOCKEY CAMPS6/17/20246/21/2024Mariucci ArenaMinneapolis, MN​​High School/ Varsity Camp #1 & #2
RinkSportBOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS Development Camp6/20/20246/23/2024
Premier Ice ProspectsPIPs Rochester Tournament6/21/20246/23/2024Tim Horton's IceplexRochester, NY2010 - 2013 Birth Years Tier I (AAA)
North American Premier Women's ShowcaseNorth American Premier Women's Showcase College Division6/21/20246/23/2024Merrimack College Athletics ComplexNorth Andover, MABirth Years 2007-2011 (PG's also Allowed)
Princeton UniversityGIRLS ICE HOCKEY ELITE CAMP6/21/20246/23/2024Baker RinkPrinceton, NJEntering grades 10-12
Premier Ice ProspectsGIRLS ELITE PROSPECTS CAMP6/23/20246/27/2024Tim Horton's IceplexRochester, NY2011-2013 Birth Years
Premier Ice Prospects14U PROSPECTS CAMP6/23/20246/27/2024Tim Horton's IceplexRochester, NY2010 Birth Years
Premier Ice ProspectsPROSPECTS GOALIE CAMP6/23/20246/27/2024Tim Horton's IceplexRochester, NY2008-2013 Birth Years
College Development ShowcaseGirls Camp6/23/20246/25/2024Ice DenHooksett, NHPlayers with birth years 2005-2010
The Rose SeriesBIOSTEEL WORLD INVITE6/24/20246/30/2024Toronto, ON2009 Birth Year
University of Wisconsin13 and Under Camp6/24/20246/28/2024LaBahn ArenaMadison, WI13 and under
RinkSportWASHINGTON , D. C. Development Camp6/24/20246/28/2024
University of MinnesotaMINNESOTA GIRLS HOCKEY CAMPS6/24/20246/26/2024Mariucci ArenaMinneapolis, MN10U &12U Camp
Ohio State UniversityHIGH SCHOOL ELITE CAMPS6/27/20246/29/2024OSU Ice RinkColumbus, OHGrad Years: 2026-2028
University of MinnesotaMINNESOTA GIRLS HOCKEY CAMPS6/27/20246/28/2024Mariucci ArenaMinneapolis, MNExposure Camp (ages 13,14)
RinkSportANCHORAGE, ALASKA Development Camp6/28/20246/30/2024
Premier Ice Prospects617 PIP SHOWCASE - BOSTON HARBOR STYLE7/1/20247/2/2024The Edge Sports CenterBedford, MA2025, '26. '27 Grad Years
Premier Ice ProspectsNORTHEAST PROSPECTS CAMP7/1/20247/2/2024The Edge Sports CenterBedford, MA2012 - 2015 Birth Years
Sacred Heart University PioneersGirls Ice Hockey High School Prospect Camp7/1/20247/3/2024Martire Family ArenaFairfield, CT Girls: 9th to 12th Grade
Princeton UniversityGIRLS ICE HOCKEY EXPOSURE ID CAMP7/6/20247/8/2024Baker RinkPrinceton, NJEntering grades 7-9
College Hockey ShowcasesCHS Cergy, France7/7/20247/11/2024Cergy, France2008-2013 Birth Years
Colgate University2024 COLGATE EXPOSURE CAMP | PRE-CAMP GOALIE'S ONLY7/7/20247/9/2024Colgate UniversityHamilton, NYGoalies Only. All Female players born between 2005-2009
The Rose SeriesWar for the Roses7/8/20247/13/2024Edmonton, Alberta2011 Birth Year
RinkSportEurope Camp7/8/20247/11/2024Madrid, Spain
Quinnipiac UniversityQuinnipiac Women's Ice Hockey Girls Camp 7/8/20247/12/2024M&T Bank ArenaHamden, ConnAges: 6-13
Quinnipiac UniversityQuinnipiac Women's Ice Hockey Girls Elite Clinic7/8/20247/12/2024M&T Bank ArenaHamden, ConnAges: rising 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th grade
The Rose SeriesQueens of Vegas7/9/20247/12/2024Las Vegas, NV2013 Birth Year
Colgate University2024 COLGATE EXPOSURE CAMP | SESSION 17/9/20247/11/2024Colgate UniversityHamilton, NYAll Female players born between 2005-2009
University of Maine Women's Prospect Clinic7/10/20247/11/2024University of MaineOrono, MEGrades 8-12
The Rose SeriesPARK CITY SHOWDOWN7/11/20247/14/2024Park City, Utah2014 Birth Year
NAHANAHA COLLEGE SHOWCASE7/12/20247/14/2024Boston Sports InstituteWellesley, MA2025, '26, '27, '28 Grad Years
Colgate University2024 COLGATE EXPOSURE CAMP | SESSION 27/12/20247/14/2024Colgate UniversityHamilton, NYAll Female players born between 2005-2009
College Hockey ShowcasesSweden Girls High Performance Camp7/15/20247/26/2024Nyköpings Arenor RosvallaNyköping, Sweden2004-2011 Birth Years
University of Maine U16/19 High School Girls' Hockey Camp7/15/20247/18/2024University of MaineOrono, MEGrades 8-12
University of Maine U8/U10/U12 Girls' Hockey Day Camp7/15/20247/18/2024University of MaineOrono, MEU8/U10/U12 Skaters
Premier Ice ProspectsSOUTHERN PROSPECTS CAMP7/18/20247/21/2024Community First IglooJacksonville, FL2012 - 2015 Birth Years
RUSH HockeyBEANTOWN CLASSIC7/19/20247/21/2024New England Sports CenterMarlborough, MA2009 (08) - 2014 Birth Years,
200x85 TournamentsCCM Selects Beantown Women's Classic7/19/20247/21/2024Boston2008 - 2013
USA HockeyUSA Hockey Girls 16/17's Player Development Camp7/19/20247/24/2024Miami University Oxford, Ohio2007 & 2008 Birth Year
USA HockeyGirls National 2006 Training Camp (2006)7/19/20247/22/2024Miami University Oxford, Ohio2006 Birth Year
Clarkson UniversityClarkson Golden Knight Women's Hockey Prospect Camp 20247/21/20247/22/2024Cheel Campus Center and ArenaPotsdam, NY2007-2010 Birth Years
USA HockeyUSA Hockey Girls 15's Player Development Camp7/25/20247/30/2024Miami University Oxford, Ohio2009 Birth Year
RUSH HockeyBEANTOWN CLASSIC7/26/20247/28/2024New England Sports CenterMarlborough, MAU19, College / Super Series
OS HockeyPROSPECTS/FUTURES WEEKEND 2 Camp7/28/20247/30/2024Braemar ArenaMInneapolis, MN
Mercyhurst UniversityDIVISION I WOMEN'S HOCKEY ELITE CAMP7/30/20247/31/2024Mercyhurst UniversityErie, PA2006 to 2009 birth year
USA Hockey2024 Women's National Festival8/2024TBD
Pre-Prep ShowcasePre-Prep Showcase8/1/20248/4/2024New England Sports CenterMarlborough, MABirth Years: 2009, 2010 & 2011
University of Minnesota DuluthMinnesota Duluth High School Elite Camp8/1/20248/4/2024Amsoil ArenaDuluth, MNAny and all high school girls (grad years 2025-2028) are invited
Showcase Hockey2024 International Cup8/2/20248/4/2024MinnesotaGirls AAA (10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, 19U)
OS Hockey2024 TRADITION CUP8/2/20248/4/2024Braemar ArenaMInneapolis, MNCollege Level
RinkSportLOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA Development Camp8/2/20248/5/2024
USA HockeyUSA Hockey Girls Under 18 Player Development Camp8/4/20248/9/2024Miami University Oxford, Ohio2007, 2008, 2009 Birth Year
University of WisconsinHigh School Elite Camp8/4/20248/8/2024LaBahn ArenaMadison, WIHigh School
NCD CampsGIRLS NCDC COLLEGE DEVELOPMENT CAMP8/5/20248/7/2024New England Sports CenterMarlborough, MA2025, '26, '27, '28 Grad Years
Brown UniversityBROWN WOMEN’S HOCKEY ELITE SUMMER CAMP8/5/20248/7/2024Brown UniversityProvidence, RIHigh school students entering grades 9-12. Therefore, 2025, 2026, 2027 and 2028 high school graduates.
RUSH HockeyRUSH Hockey High Performance8/9/20248/11/2024CAA Centre BramptonBrampton, ONU11 - U22 AA
OS Hockey2024 OS SHOOTOUT8/10/20248/13/2024Bloomington Ice Garden and Braemar Ice ArenaMInneapolis, MNU8-U19
Showcase Hockey2024 Easton AAA Cup Tournament8/16/20248/18/2024MinnesotaGirls AAA (10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, 19U)
The National Girls Hockey LeagueNGHL NCAA Clinic8/22/2024Northford, CT2006 - 2010 Birth Years
College of the Holy CrossHoly Cross Women's Ice Hockey Clinics8/22/20248/23/2024Hart CenterWorcester, MA14-19 Years Old
Showcase Hockey2024 Summer Finale8/23/20248/25/2024MinnesotaGirls AAA (8U, 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, 19U)
The National Girls Hockey LeagueDawg Days of Summer - Red8/23/20248/25/2024Northford, CT12U-19U
The National Girls Hockey LeagueDawg Days of Summer - Futures8/23/20248/22/2024Newington, CT12U
Premier Ice ProspectsLabor Day Girls Fest8/30/20249/1/2024Pittsburgh, PA14U, 16U/17U and 19U Tier I (AAA)/Canadian AA
The National Girls Hockey LeagueLabor Day Challenge - Futures8/30/20249/1/2024Cromwell, CT12U
OneHockeyOneHockey Sacred Heart University8/30/20249/2/2024Sacred Heart University Martire Family ArenaFairfield, CT Girls 12U Tier I & II
The National Girls Hockey LeagueLabor Day Challenge - Blue8/31/20249/2/2024Cromwell, CT12U-19U
Premier Ice ProspectsFrieda Falcon Girls Fest9/6/20249/8/2024Slater Family Ice ArenaBowling Green, OH12U USA Tier I / CAN A
RUSH HockeyNORTH HALTON RUSH9/6/20249/8/2024CAA Centre BramptonNorth Halton, ONU11-U18 AA/A/BB/B
Showcase Hockey2024 Warrior Cup AAA9/6/20249/8/2024MinnesotaGirls AAA (10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, 19U)
The National Girls Hockey LeagueFall Classic - Futures East9/27/20249/29/2024Syracuse, NY10U & 12U
Premier Ice ProspectsCapital Cup Girls Fest10/12/202410/14/2024Northern VA19U through 10U Tier II
The National Girls Hockey LeagueFall Classic - Red10/12/202410/14/2024Syracuse, NY14U-19U
The National Girls Hockey LeagueColumbus Day Showcase10/12/202410/14/2024Pittsburgh, PA14U-19U
The National Girls Hockey LeagueFall Classic - Futures West10/12/202410/14/2024Chicago, IL10U & 12U
The National Girls Hockey LeagueFall In CT, Futures10/12/202410/14/2024Connecticut10U & 12U
Girls Elite Hockey2024 TRADITION NIT10/18/202410/20/2024Blaine, MNU16 and U19
Premier Ice ProspectsRoc City Girls Fest10/25/202410/27/2024Rochester, NY19U through 10U
RUSH HockeyTWO NATIONS COLLEGE PREP SERIES10/25/202410/27/2024Detroit, MI19U through 12U Tier 1; U13-U21 AA
Premier Ice ProspectsRoc City Girls Fest11/1/202411/3/2024Rochester, NY19U through 10U Tier I (AAA), Tier II (AA), Tier III (A)
RUSH HockeyBUFFALO RUSH HOCKEY INFERNO11/1/202411/3/2024Buffalo, NYGirls Tier 1/Tier 2 (10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, 19U)
RUSH HockeyArizona RUSH Matt Shott Memorial11/8/202411/10/2024Arizona, USAGirls Tier 1/Tier 2 (10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, 19U)
National Sports CenterAll American Girls Hockey Tournament11/8/202411/10/2024NSC-Super Rink (Blaine)Blaine, MNGirls U10A,B U12A,B U15A
The National Girls Hockey LeagueNGHL Ann Arbor11/15/202411/17/2024Ann Arbor, MI14U - 19U Tier 1
Premier Ice ProspectsBurgh Thanksgiving Girls Fest11/22/202411/24/2024Pittsburgh, PA19U through 10U Tier I (AAA), Tier II (AA), Tier III (A)
Premier Ice ProspectsSmashville Girls Fest11/22/202411/24/2024Nashville, TN19U through 10U Tier I (AAA), Tier II (AA), Tier III (A)
The National Girls Hockey LeagueNorthern Classic11/22/202411/24/2024Utica, NY10U, 12U, 14U
The National Girls Hockey LeagueMile High Invitational - Blue11/29/202412/1/2024Denver, CO12U-19U
RUSH HockeyTWO NATIONS COLLEGE PREP SERIES12/6/202412/8/2024Brampton, ON19U through 12U Tier 1; U13-U21 AA
College Hockey ShowcasesBoise Breakaway Showcase12/13/202412/15/2024Boise, Idaho2007-2011 Birth Years
Premier Ice ProspectsErie White Out Weekend12/13/202412/15/2024Erie, PA12U and 10U Tier I (AAA), Tier II (AA)
Youth Hockey Hub2024 DANGLEFEST12/28/202412/31/2024NSC-Super Rink (Blaine)Blaine, MNGirls U10A, U10B, U12A, U12B, U15A, & U15B
The National Girls Hockey LeagueWinter Classic, Futures1/3/20251/5/2025Princeton, NJ10U & 12U
Premier Ice ProspectsMrs. Hockey® Invite1/17/20251/20/2025Ft Lauderdale, FL12U Girls - Tier 1 & Tier 2
Premier Ice ProspectsFort Laudy Daudy Showcase1/17/20251/20/2025Ft Lauderdale, FL19U through 14U Tier 1
RUSH HockeyFlorida RUSH1/17/20251/20/2025Palm Beach Skate ZoneWest Palm Beach, FLGirls Tier 1/Tier 2/ Tier 3 (12U, 14U, 16U, 19U)
The National Girls Hockey LeagueMLK Winter Classic - Blue1/18/20251/20/2025Haverhill, MA12U, 14U, 16U, and 19U
The National Girls Hockey LeagueMLK Winter Classic - Red1/18/20251/20/2025Philadelphia, PA14-19U Tier 1
The National Girls Hockey LeagueRed Division Champsionship1/31/20252/2/2025Rockland, MA14-19U Tier 1
RUSH HockeyTEXAS RUSH2/7/20252/9/2025StarCenter Valley Ranch Ice RinkDallas, TXGirls Tier 1/Tier 2 (12U, 14U, 16U, 19U)
The National Girls Hockey LeagueFutures Championship2/7/20252/9/2025Hershey, PA10U & 12U
The National Girls Hockey LeagueBlue Division Champsionship2/15/20252/17/2025St. Louis, MO14-19U Tier 1
Midwest Womem's Collegiate HockeyExposure Camp6/14/20256/15/2025Cornerstone Ice ArenaDePere, WisconsinGrade 10, Grade 11, or Grade 12
Premier Ice Prospects480 SHOWCASE - DESERT STYLE7/12/20257/24/2025Mullett ArenaTempe, AZ2007 - 2009 Birth Years
Premier Ice ProspectsSOUTHWEST PROSPECTS7/13/20257/15/2025Mullett ArenaTempe, AZ2010- 2013 Birth Year
Premier Ice ProspectsCCM Futures Camp7/19/20257/21/2025East Lansing, MI2011 Birth Year
Premier Ice ProspectsCCM Girls 68 (14U)8/7/20258/11/2025Chicago, IL2010 Birth Year
Premier Ice Prospects615 PIP SHOWCASE - MUSIC CITY STYLE8/8/20258/11/2025Predators' Ford Ice CenterBellevue, TN2010 - 2011 Birth Years
Premier Ice ProspectsCCM Futures Camp8/16/20258/18/2025Niagara Falls, ON2011 Birth Year
Premier Ice ProspectsNIAGARA FALLS PROPSPECTS CAMP8/16/20258/18/2025Gale Centre ArenaNiagara Falls, ON2007 - 2011 Birth Years
Merrimack CollegeMerrimack Womens Ice Hockey ClinicsLawler ArenaNorth Andover, MAEntering grades 9-12
St Anselm CollegeSullivan ArenaBedford, NH
Boston CollegeMaroon and Gold Women’s CombineConte ForumChestnut Hill, MA2010-2011-2012 players
Categories
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.

Categories
2023 Development Camp Girls Hockey Player Development Women's Hockey

The USA Hockey 2023 Girls 16/17 Camp Feedback Process – Part II

My Recommendations

Read Part I Here

Feedback is a gift.
Giving feedback is hard.

Having led performance feedback to dozens (if not hundreds) of people I’ve managed in business, I recognize it is one of the most challenging interactions to conduct in my career.  At the same time, I was taught how to take it seriously and learned many of the best practices to ensure a positive outcome from the process for both parties.  

It is pretty clear from the parent meeting at the 16/17 Girls camp (and the letter that accompanied the feedback/rating letter) that USA Hockey  wants to make no doubt that they are providing a variety of different levels of feedback for each player at the national camps. The details of this feedback were clearly explained in Part I on this topic.

And it is important to recognize that they really do care about giving feedback – because they have dedicated time and resources to the process.  I also wanted to also acknowledge that is takes a non-trivial amount of effort to provide detailed feedback to about 400 players across 4 major camps each summer.

At the same time, I’ve spent a ton of time thinking about this topic trying to figure out why almost everyone I have spoken with is disappointed with the USA Hockey Girls National Camp selection and feedback process. And here is what I came up with…

At the end of the day, the current process does not solve the unmet need of the players – which is to have actionable direction on their highest priority development areas. This is because the robustness of the feedback is not commensurate with the level of commitment and investment the players put into making, preparing and attending the camp.

And my reason for this is the following:

The feedback is too generic. For almost all the players, it’s just too simplistic/superficial without personalized examples and not actionable enough.

Here are my recommendations:

  1. Standardize a More Robust Process – The coaches should go through a training session on how the process works and what the expectations are from the coach on the process, content & delivery. All players should receive player-specific information using a common format, but with player-specific examples in the review. While the coaches should have flexibility to adapt the process to their style, each performance review (in addition to the attribute ratings mentioned in Part I) would require the feedback to include each of the following….
  2. Include Player-Specific Key Statistics (e.g. pass completion rates or turnover rates). Nothing is more powerful than data. Being able to show a player how they compared on key attributes compared to their peers makes things much clearer. This became quite evident to me in my analysis of the 16/17 Camp forwards and defenders.
  3. Support with Player-Specific Video Clips  –  showing a player exactly what they do well and how/when they make mistakes provides “hard-to-argue” credibility to the stats and the coach’s feedback. This would likely use a video analytics system like Instat/Hudl so each player’s shifts could be coded.
  4. Prioritize Key Areas to Focus OnDarryl Belfry consistently talks about High Frequency – Low Success Rate Situations.  Video and statistical analysis will surface these situations. Then a coach should be using them to focus on a limited number of these game patterns to prioritize (3-5) situations/skills for a player to work on.

These four recommendations would require a significantly greater amount of time and resources than the current effort being done at the USA Hockey girls camps. There may not be time to aggregate everything during that week.  But the feedback session does not need to occur at the camp. It can be done a week or two after the camp via a video-call.  What matters most is that the players are getting their needs met as to where to focus and improve as a player.  Ideally, there would be someone in leadership who was solely responsible for player development and not directly associated with the selections for the U18 camp or team. I know it can be done, because I have seen first-hand more robust feedback processes on the boys side at both the USA Hockey and junior hockey levels.

Final Thoughts

The best organizations focus relentlessly on their customers. One of the biggest ways to ensure these organizations are meeting the needs of their customers is to ask them for feedback. Specifically their overall satisfaction with a question like “Would you recommend [product/service] to a friend or colleague?” followed by “Why?”. In my few years interacting with USA Hockey both as a coach and a parent, I have never been asked for my feedback on the programs I’ve been been engaged with. In essence, USA Hockey has a monopoly on the national team programs so it is understandable that they may not need to be as customer-centric as an Amazon or an Apple. But, if leadership for USA Hockey female national camps wants to continuously improve their program, just like their players do, it would be great if they solicited their own feedback on areas they can improve as an organization. Who knows…maybe getting the gift of feedback on themselves may translate to improved performance on the ice?

Feel free to send feedback on our posts or Champs App to feedback@champs.app

Categories
2023 Coaching Girls Hockey Player Development Women's Hockey

The USA Hockey 2023 Girls 16/17 Camp Feedback Process – Part I

I have a lot of passion about feedback when it comes to hockey player development, because I think it is probably the most important factor to improve player performance.  Darryl Belfry, who is regarded as one of the best player development coaches in the world, uses actual game analysis as the primary way to provide feedback on improvement areas for players.

As the governing body of hockey in the U.S., USA Hockey understands the importance of player feedback. At the USA Hockey 16/17 Girls Camp which took place in Oxford, OH this past June, feedback was highlighted in the parent meeting as a key component of the camp.  In Part I of this post about the USA Hockey Girls Camp feedback, I wanted to focus on understanding the three levels of feedback  utilized during and after the camp.  Part II of this topic will discuss my thoughts on how effective the feedback process has been.

1. On-Ice Feedback  – During Practice and Games

Just like with their regular teams, coaches were quite consistent in talking to players individually and in groups during practices to share their thoughts on specific, tactical ways to improve a drill or situation.  Same for a player coming to the bench during one of the games after a shift – coaches would lean over to players and give advice on what adjustments could be made to improve a player effectives.  These situations are quite comfortable for all the coaches at an event like this since most were DI coaches or previous DI players.  As I mentioned in my previous post about player feedback, in-game comments are the easiest for a coach to communicate.

2. One-on-One Feedback with one of the Team Coaches

All teams had two head coaches.  On about the fourth day of week-long camp, each player had a 10-15 minute conversation with one of their coaches.  It is my understanding that most players were asked to do a self-review in anticipation of the meeting.  From talking to several parents, the coach-player conversation was then highly dependent on the coach. Some coaches were well-prepared and had video clips to show players as a way to communicate their feedback, some coaches had simple basic priorities for players to focus on while others relied on the player’s self-evaluation as the primary source of the feedback conversation.  Given the variance in feedback methods, I suspect the feedback meeting process was not highly structured by the camp organizers.

3. Letter Grade and Player Development Performance Criteria

About four weeks after the end of the 16/17 Girls Camp, my daughter received by snail mail a form letter which included an evaluation which is supposed to serve as a benchmark for a player’s performance at the camp.  This entails a letter grade and a rubric on the “Player Development Performance Criteria”.  Here are the details.

At the top of the player evaluation sheet, the players was provided a rating of A, B or C with the following explanation

“A” grade = Excellent – ranks in the top 1/3 of players at camp

“B” grade = Good – ranks in the middle 1/3 of players at camp

“C” grade = Below average – ranks in the bottom 1/3 of players at camp.

The Player Development Performance Criteria had 5 possible selections (from best to worst):

  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Fair
  • Poor

Each skater then had attributes selected within two categories.  General and position-specific attributes with a selection in one of those five boxes (“X” for each attribute).  Here are those attributes:

General:

  • Makes Possession Plays (i.e. keep team on offense; limited turnovers)
  • Angling: pressure to take away time/space; dictate play with body/stick
  • Stick Positioning
  • Deception
  • Quick Transitions
  • Off-Puck Habits & Puck Support
  • Scoring Ability
  • Physicality
  • Athleticism
  • 200-Ft Player
  • Skating Ability (north/south; agility; speed)

Defenders:

  • DZone Execution First
  • Puck Retrievals
  • Good First Pass or Exit
  • Win Race Back to D-Side of Play/Net
  • Wine Board Battles
  • Deter Offensive Opportunities
  • Scan to Make Exit Play; Fast Transition to Breakout
  • Work Well with D-Partner
  • Gap Control: (North/South & East/West)

Forwards:

  • Puck Retrievals & Ability to Stay Off the Wall
  • Ability to Leave Perimeter and Gain Inside Ice
  • Owning Space with Puck
  • Scanning/Awareness of Teammates & Opponents
  • Use Teammates to Make Plays
  • Zone Entry: Ability to create depth/layers/lanes
  • Create & Maintain Offense

I don’t know the process that was used to aggregate the evaluators feedback, but am assuming they collected a populated rubric from all the evaluators for a position and then aggregated the data to take an average of the selections.  (I hope they used some online tool to aggregate this all, because there are lots of ways to simplify collecting this information).  Then I suppose this compiled data was used as the rating for each player’s Development Performance Criteria. I would then assume the average across all Development Performance Criteria was calculated and the each player was force ranked into one of the three tiers to give the letter rating of A,B or B based on which third they ranked.

Other than the rating and the rubric box selection – no other personalized information was included in the feedback. No short paragraph summary (like you would see in a student report card) from the coach or evaluators to provide additional context was provided.  

It is important to note that the ratings are based on the criteria described above.  If different criteria were used (which will be discussed in the next post), then a player’s rating might be different if those criteria were closer or further away from the capabilities of a player.

In Part II on this topic I will share my perspective on the good, the bad and the ugly of this feedback process.

Read Part II Here

Categories
2023 Development Camp Girls Hockey Player Development Women's College Hockey Women's Hockey

Analyzing the USA Hockey Girls 16/17 Camp Forward Selections for the U18 Camp

USA-Hockey

The is the second analysis I have done about the selections for the USA Hockey Girls U18 Camp which took place last week. The first was about the defenders picked to go to the U18 Camp. Now that the selections of the forwards from U18 Camp to go to the Women’s Festival were announced a few days ago, it makes this analysis even more interesting because none of the top 3 point-getters from either the Girls 16/17 Camp nor the U18 Camp were selected to advance to the next stage in the process.

WHAT?

Similar to the previous post, rather than engage in a subjective discussion on who was selected, I thought it might be helpful to collect some analytical data and metrics to understand how top players performed at the 16/17 camp and compare them to a couple of the players who weren’t selected.

WHY?

When you don’t select the top 3 point-getters from either Girls 16/17 Camp or the U18 Camp, there are bound to be a lot of folks who wonder what the selection criteria is for making it to the next stage of USA Hockey. I don’t know the answer to that question. But I can analyze the video of each shift for several of the top players picked and not picked to see if there is an obvious difference between the two segments. The purpose of this post is not to say who did or did not deserve to be selected to the U18 Camp. Instead, it is to help provide perspective and context to other players and parents the types of metrics that demonstrate the level of play needed to be selected.  And ideally, individual players do their own self-analysis to see how they compare.

HOW?

I watched and coded specific attributes for every shift in all 4 games for every player in this analysis using the USA Hockey TV footage. I collected more metrics than are listed below, but I feel that the attributes shown, provide the right amount and level of data to gain an understanding of the level of play for this position. Note: Sometimes the live stream footage didn’t always focus on the area of the ice where the play was taking place, so it is very likely the odd play may have not been accounted for.

WHO?

Here is the list of the 13 players selected to go to the 18’s camp

Since I only had the time to watch 5 players – I watched 3 selected forwards plus 2 top players who weren’t selected. Those 3 forwards represented a mix of the forward selections.  I am not identifying the names of any players because singling out any individual player is not my objective.  For full transparency, in this analysis I do know the parents of one of the players.

SO WHAT?

Do I think the 5 selected were in the Top 10 forwards at the camp, almost certainly. Do I think there are 3-5 other players that could easily have been selected instead – also, almost certainly. There is no algorithm to calculate and rank the top players. I don’t know the selection criteria, so whatever they may be (whether well-structured or not) at the end of the day what matters is results. As stated in the parents meeting, the results of the last two U18 World Championships was not the result USA Hockey wanted – so we will see if the current process yields better results.

THE ANALYSIS

2023 USA Hockey Girls 16-17 Camp Analytics for Forwards Selected to Advance to the U18 Girls Camp

Note: Players 1-3 were selected to go to the U18 Girls Camp – Players 4 & 5 were not selected

Some notes on the tracked attributes:

  • Takeaways = a one-on-one situation where the player gains control of the puck from directly challenging the other player
  • Giveaways = full change of possession to the other team (e.g. a missed pass, dump in/out, rim or redirected puck)
  • OZone entries = skating across the blue line with full possession of the puck
  • Team Shots For/Against do not include shot attempts that did not reach the net. Only SOGs were included.
  • I am not including the point stats or PIMs for any player since they can already be found on the USA Hockey website
  • There were additional attributes I tracked like “faceoffs won” but they indirectly show up in other higher-order key metrics. Since not all the forwards played center, I didn’t include the faceoff attribute.  But I did want to note, that one player was very good at faceoffs while another was not.  The one that won most of their faceoffs did see that reflected in other measurement areas since many faceoff wins led to greater possession time.

OTHER THOUGHTS

  • From all the players and games I’ve watched, it seems (and it’s only natural) that really good plays are rewarded disproportionately more than their equivalent poor plays are punished (e.g. creating a “wow” scoring chance vs. causing a “wow” scoring chance for the other team). Forwards tend not to surrender many negative scoring chances unless they are somewhat negligent defensively.  So, it seems likely that creating offense is highly disproportionately weighted in player evaluation.
  • Not all players gave the same defensive effort throughout a game, whether it is being tired or laziness.  But over the course of four games, it was pretty clear who consistently tried to play a 200-foot game (vs. cheating a little defensively or taking some shortcuts).
  • Scouting and evaluating is not an exact science.  In my humble opinion, most of the scouts/coaches don’t watch any player enough to really get the full picture.  It is sampling data – and while it is directionally correct, when there are many players within a close band it is hard to discern who is absolutely the “best” player. And who you pick may vary when you are building a team for a short tournament and need different types of players. 
  • After watching over 20 hours of individual game footage, this process is somewhat exhausting. It takes a lot of work to watch and tag each type of play. I can’t imagine being a scout and trying to watch 10 skaters live on the ice throughout an entire game.  At the same time, the insights are quite valuable.  I hope that college scouts leverage Instat to watch players individual shifts (if a club/prep team uses Instat) to evaluate the full body of their work rather than just sampling one or two periods of a game during a tournament or showcase weekend. To me, it is hard to watch multiple players in a game rather than on just one player at a time.
  • Note: We are still waiting to on the written feedback and letter rating that we were told all players would receive.  If you are a player or parent from 16/17 Camp who has a received this feedback, please reach out and let me know. Update: We did receive the USA Hockey Feedback on July 27th – I will be writing up my thoughts on the feedback process in a upcoming post.