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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.
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Girls Hockey Women's College Hockey Women's Hockey

Which DI women’s college hockey programs have the earliest player commitments?

In May, 2019, the NCAA introduced new recruiting rules which restricted college recruiting to only allow verbal commitments to start August 1st of a player’s Junior year. This fundamentally changed the timeline for women’s college hockey recruits.  We looked at almost 550 Division I college hockey commitment dates that are posted on the College Hockey Inc’s women’s college hockey commits web page. As you can see, the impact of the new rule has been dramatic.

Some interesting insights:

  • Five prominent schools (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Dartmouth, Princeton, Clarkson) have not had any publicly announced commitments since the new NCAA rules were implemented in May, 2019
  • The days-before-starting-school commitment days have been halved since the new NCAA recruiting rules were implements (1113 before, 553 after). Which essentially means the average player’s commitment has moved from mid-February of their Junior Year, to Mid-August of Sophomore Year
  • Before the new rules were implemented, Wisconsin women’s hockey players committed on average 4 years prior to starting at U of W
  • Currently, only 5 school average less than a year for their commits – 294 days (St. Lawrence University, RIT, Sacred Heart University, Post University Lindenwood University)

Now: Here are the Top 10 schools that are the most aggressive to sign recruits (since the new rules were implemented):

Before: Top 10 School who used to sign the earliest commits prior to the rule changes:

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 women’s hockey commits?
  4. Which colleges have the earliest player commitments?
Categories
Girls Hockey Women's College Hockey Women's Hockey

Which Division I colleges have the most women’s hockey commits?

This post is part of series on 5 Insights about Women’s College Hockey Commits.  As described in the methodology, please note that this data is incomplete since it is not from an official NCAA women’s college hockey commitment source. College Hockey Inc. does not list their sources, which we can only assume are from public announcements (via personal Twitter accounts or team websites). So which DI women’s hockey schools have the most commits?

Division Commits By School

Division I colleges most women’s hockey commits

Some interesting insights:

  • Top 3 colleges are Ivy League schools (Brown, Cornell, Yale)
  • The average number of commits is ~13 across all 41 DI schools
  • The bottom 10 schools average ~8 commits

Here are the outstanding questions:

Candidly, we don’t really know how to fully interpret most of this data.

  1. Why are there so few commits for the “traditionally” weaker Division I teams?
  2. Why doesn’t Harvard have more commits?
  3. What percent of school commits are never publicly announced?
  4. Why is Brown University tied for first given they have not been a powerhouse school? Is it primarily because of the academics and/or location?
  5. St Cloud St also seems like an outlier given that they are consistently a Top 25 team

Over the coming year I hope to get some insights and will post my learnings and link those findings back to this analysis.

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?
Categories
Girls Hockey Women's College Hockey Women's Hockey

Which Girl’s Hockey Programs Produce the Most D1 Women’s College Hockey Commits?

If you want to know which girl’s hockey clubs or schools produce the most DI women’s college hockey commits, here is your answer:

Top-25-Clubs-or-Schools-for-Div-I-Womens-Hockey-College-Commits

We looked at 526 college hockey commits that are posted on the College Hockey Inc’s women’s college hockey commits web page starting with the 2020 academic year and beyond.  There were 94 programs that produced at least 2 DI commits, but the Top 25 represented about 50% of all the commits.  And the Top 50 represented about 75% of all the committed players. So, while there is a long tail of places a player can come from, the significant majority are recruited from some of the most well-known girls hockey organizations.

Not surprisingly, Shattuck St. Mary’s Girls Prep is at the top of the list, followed closely by Chicago Mission and Selects Academy.

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?

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Development Camp Women's College Hockey Women's Hockey

What percent of D1 women’s college hockey commits come from Canada vs. the U.S.?

What percent of players of D1 women’s college commits come from Canada vs. the U.S. and why does it matter?  Well, as I talk to my 14 year-old daughter about potentially playing Division I women’s college hockey, it’s important for her to understand who she is competing with.

In analyzing College Hockey Inc’s published list of women’s college hockey commits, recognizing that the pool of players is from all of North America is important to know. As you can see below, almost 1/3rd of all Division I players are from Canada.

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

There are 41 Division I college women’s hockey teams.  Assuming 22 players on each team, with 25% graduating every year, then there should be about 225 openings each year (assuming no DIII transfers to DI). With ~32% percent of players coming from Canada, that means a player needs to be one of the best 150 players in the U.S. for their graduation year. Drilling down a little more, at the position level, it means a player needs to be one of the best 25 players at their position. And if your goal is to play for a Top 25 team it means you basically need to be on of the best 15 players in the U.S. at your position.

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

How do you know how good a player is compare to their peers?

Feedback from Coaches

Obviously, the best way to understand if a player is one of the top 15 players at their position is no easy task, even for the best college coaches who travel the country at tournaments and showcases to find recruits. Having several coaches provide feedback to the player and parents from these top schools is probably a good proxy.

National Camps

Another way, is through the USA Hockey National Player Development Camps that are held each non-Covid summer. If a player is invited to the U18, then there is a pretty good chance that they are in the Top 15 for their position. If a player is invited to the girls camp for their age group they are certainly in the running, but they would need to see how they compare to their peers and listen to the feedback at the end of the week.

Level of Recruiting Interest from Top Schools

Finally, and probably the most important way to know how good a player is during non-Covid times, is to see the level of interest from women’s college hockey recruiter as they start U16 hockey. By attending camps, tournaments & showcases and meeting coaches from all types of schools, a player and their parents can gage the level of interest from Top 25 schools as they progress from their sophomore, junior and senior years.

Implications for U.S. Players

If a player has hopes and dreams to play for a Division I women’s college hockey team, they need to understand that they are competing with the top players in North America. Given the large number of girls AAA and prep schools (>250 clubs/schools), being one of the top 15 players in the U.S (or top 25 in North America) at your position. is roughly where the bar is set.

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?
Categories
Women's College Hockey Women's Hockey

5 Insights about Women’s College Hockey Commits

As a parent of a 14-year old girl hockey player who has only played with boys, we are trying to figure out her best path to playing Division I college hockey. However, there is no playbook that is given to parents or players on how follow the process. In fact, from talking to several coaches, each player’s journey is unique. However, if you live in a non-traditional girl’s hockey market like we do, the route can be even more complex.

NCAA Women's Ice Hockey

As we look to decide when and where she play girls hockey for both development and recruiting purposes, I thought I would see what data already exists to help guide our decisions.

Insight #1 – Less than 0.3% of Women’s College Hockey Commits only played boys hockey

In my research, I have only found two female players who only played on boys teams for their club or school teams prior to college.  And this is after looking into about 1000 Division I college players or commits.  Those two players were Dominique Petrie, who only played AAA Boys hockey in California before attending Harvard. And a goalie from Alaska, Hannah Hogenson prior to attending Bemidji State. 

College Hockey Inc

Additional Questions to be Answered

In my upcoming posts I will answering the following questions:

  1. What percent of D1 women’s hockey commits come from Canada vs. the U.S.?
  2. Which U.S. programs are the biggest D1 college hockey factories?
  3. Which D1 colleges have the most commits?
  4. Which colleges have the earliest player commitments?

It’s all about the data

Before these posts are published, I want to make sure the sources of the information are documented and the limitations of the data is clearly defined.

NCAA Women's Ice Hockey

Data Sources:

  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 10/21/20 for players who are committed for the 2020 season and later.

Data Integrity:

  1. The data on Women’s College Commits website may not be complete and likely does not include all D1 commits
  2. If a team/club was not listed, I referenced eliteprospects.com for additional information. Thank you to Beau Marchwick who populates most of the girls hockey data and stats.
  3. A player’s designated club/school is chosen based on the commitment date. If a player played on both a school and a club team, then the club or school with which the player was playing on longer was selected (because they were responsible for developing the player for a longer period of time).
  4. For time period calculations, we assumed Sept. 1st as the start of the college academic year to calculate the number of days from the date of commitment.
  5. The analysis does not include any U.S. Division III or Canadian University Sports commits.

This post is part I of a 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?