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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
Additional Questions to be Answered
In my upcoming posts I will answering the following questions:
Secondary information is from Elite Prospects which was used to supplement missing club/school information for some players.
The period covers 8/20/16 until 10/21/20 for players who are committed for the 2020 season and later.
The data on Women’s College Commits website may not be complete and likely does not include all D1 commits
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.
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).
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.
The analysis does not include any U.S. Division III or Canadian University Sports commits.
Top 10 Podcasts for Girl Hockey Players (and their Parents)
Kudos to multi-sport athlete Finley Frechette for creating this show about the Cornell Women’s Ice Hockey team. Starting a podcast is no simple task, especially when you have school and hockey to deal with already. What I love about this podcast is that Finley explores what life is like as a current women’s college hockey player both on and off the ice and around campus. By listening to the shows, you get a good insight into living in Ithaca as a student-athlete.
My favorite episode was when Finley interviewed one of the team’s super-fans, Casandra Moisanu, who is also a member of the band. Cassandra talks about her dedication to the Big Red team both at home and at away games. The first episode of the new hockey season just released this week, with the new players being introduced and sharing a little about themselves. Best of luck to Finley and her teammates for the upcoming season (hopefully it will start soon).
Top 10 Podcasts for Girl Hockey Players and their Parents
As someone who has a daughter playing hockey in a non-traditional hockey market, it is great to hear about Lyndsey Fry’s journey from Arizona to Harvard to the U.S. Olympic team. In addition, she is now committed to developing the next generation of girl hockey players on the west coast by leading the Arizona Kachina’s hockey program as well as her travelling hockey camps to underserved girl hockey markets. Her conversations with former teammates and other coaches dedicated to developing women’s hockey in non-traditional markets is really great to listen for someone like me.
The episodes of Lyndsey’s experience in travelling at a young age to Colorado to play youth hockey and then process of making the 2014 Olympic team are great listens. I don’t usually listen to the podcasts more than once, but there are a couple of her shows that are on that short list of repeat plays. Candidly, Lindsey’s podcast would be higher on this list if she just published more of them :).
Top 10 Podcasts for Girl Hockey Players and their Parents
From The Point is a relatively new podcast focused on all things women’s hockey. Hockey coach Bob Deraney and Hank Morse started the show in late 2019 and have continued new shows into the 2020-21 season. Bob’s previous experience as head coach of the Providence Friars women’s ice hockey team and parent of two daughters brings a unique combination of insights to the shows. What I have particularly enjoyed are the episodes dedicated to youth hockey and what it takes to make it to college hockey. They also talk to prep hockey coaches and former players. Specifically, the Alyssa Gagliardi episodes provides some excellent insight on her path from North Carolina to prep school to Cornell University. Both hosts are based in the Boston area, so their discussion and guests have a strong New England theme (prep, college & NWHL).
Hi! I’m Ray and I’m a hockey dad. In addition, I am a below average hockey player with an above average love of the game. Both my kids play youth hockey here in northern California. This hockey season, if there is one, my kids will be playing U14, with my daughter being a 2006 birth year and my son is a 2007. I have no expectations for where hockey will take my kids other than I know that hockey will help them develop life skills they can take anywhere.
Crazy Hockey Parent?
At the same time, like any somewhat-crazy hockey parent, over the past few years I have tried to give my kids every opportunity to be the best they can be when it comes to hockey. This includes waking up at well-before the break of dawn multiple times a week to take them to practices and private lessons at our local rink (which is almost 20 miles away) plus travelling 300+ miles each way for regular season games in SoCal.
My daughter has only played on boys teams so far during her hockey experiences, last season playing on a slightly above-average Bantam AA team. So, we think she is probably an above average 2006 girl player, but we don’t really know how she compares. This spring we had planned for her to attend several girls recruiting showcases and go through the USA Hockey Selects process. The expectation was we could really get a good feel for where she was in her development and hopefully receive feedback from college recruiters/coaches on how she compares to her peer group.
From Quarantine to Champs App
Well, we all know what happened in March 2020 as hockey and the world shut down due to the Corona virus. With all the showcases, tournaments and USA hockey camps cancelled, that’s when I took it upon myself to help kickstart the recruiting process for my daughter. I assumed building an online profile page for my daughter which included key information plus highlight videos would be a start. So I decided to try to build my own website using a popular website builder.
After several days of manipulating a web template that was created for a completely different audience, I was able to get it to look pretty good. However, I couldn’t imagine other hockey parents trying to do this on their own. I then looked at other sites that are in the “college athlete recruiting” business and while they did offer the ability to create basic profiles, they seemed more concerned with upselling you on advisory services. I asked myself why isn’t there a simple “LinkedIn”-like app for the women’s hockey community? In addition, there must be thousands of parents out there just like me trying to figure out how they can help their kids on their athletic journey.
Time to Build
Having done several startups I wanted to see if someone else thought this was a viable idea. I contacted my friend John Lorance who is a technical genius and someone I have partnered with off-and-on for almost 15 years. Turns out he had been thinking about a similar type of platform for a completely different audience, but with many of the same characteristics. He liked the idea of building such an engine and using youth athletics as the perfect use case.
This is how the idea for Champs was born. The Champs mission is to help youth athletes be the best they can be. Specifically, assisting them to meet their goals in both academics and athletics.
We are planning to take a slightly different approach on how to navigate these challenges and get to the next level, whether it is their next team, next level, prep school, juniors, college or pros. By focusing on creating a lifelong sports network and community, athletes can both promote themselves and find resources/opportunities via the Champs App.
Drop the Puck!
Given my personal passion, Champs will focus first on hockey and specifically Women’s Ice Hockey. The cliché I’ve heard frequently is how hockey is a small community and everyone knows everyone, so Champs will be a good test. As we grow, we hope our community pulls us into adjacent sports, especially since we know many hockey players are multi-sport athletes.
So welcome to Champs! I am sure there will be ups and downs along the way as we figure this out. Hopefully you can be part of the journey as we all try to enable youth athletes to strive to achieve our mission.
P.S. Here is a screenshot of the web page I designed back in February that spawned the creation of Champs. When the app launches, I will update this post with a link to her profile on Champs