About Jr Hockey Recruit
We are a group of current and former NCAA D1 and CHL hockey players, trainers, scouts and agents that want to help parents and players make tough decisions about their (and their child’s) hockey careers. We provide information, stats and the experiences of players who have taken the various routes through hockey’s higher ranks.
From being drafted to the CHL, being awarded an NCAA scholarship or heading south to play in the minor pro leagues – we provide a first hand account of what life is like in these leagues what it takes to make it.
Check out our List of Members. If you are a former or current player who wants to get involved Contact Us.
Check out our Contributing Authors and Videographers. If you are a writer interested in getting involved Contact Us.
I grew up playing hockey in the Greater Toronto Hockey League for the North Toronto Hockey Associations’ AA team until minor midget. After 6 years of enjoying hockey with friends I made the move to play AAA with the Toronto Young Nationals. The Nationals went on to win the City, Provincial (and nearly the National) championships with a league record of 70-10-10. I later played Provincial Jr. A for the North York Rangers, NCAA DI with the St. Lawrence Saints and then ended up in the Ontario Hockey League with the Owen Sound Attack.
I still don’t know if it was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time, but in the middle of my midget season with the Nationals I was featured in a Toronto newspaper article (Young Nats’ Wires Doubled Pleasure (NCAA and CHL) about deciding between the NCAA and the OHL. The author said something to the effect of “soon Wires will have to decide between following his brother to the NCAA or securing a spot on an OHL roster.” The article came as a surprise to me. It was as if overnight a door opened to a new world because at the time, I never considered having a future in hockey.
I was 17 and had incredibly average school grades. That meant I’d have trouble getting into a Canadian university. My prospects outside hockey were scarce, or so I thought.
After the article was written I can remember the exact moment I decided to put all my chips in and pursue the game. My brother Mark had announced he was going to Bowling Green State University in the NCAA on a full scholarship and I decided I wanted to do the same thing; I wanted a scholarship to play hockey in the States.
I remember a sense of relief when I decided I would commit and not turn back. It was the first time I felt like I had a purpose, an objective and a real challenge.
In 2001, part way through my Jr. season a few NCAA opportunities struck and I committed to St. Lawrence University by accepting a full scholarship. I stayed with the Saints for a year and a half and then headed off to the Ontario Hockey League with the Owen Sound Attack.
Although I didn’t have a very long career, I got to play with some amazing players. Take NHL’ers Bobby Ryan, Andre Deveaux and Mark Giordano, my D-partner in the video below, for example. I witnessed first hand how hard these palyers worked and what they did to crack the NHL.
Although there are others, I am one of the few players who had the opportunity to play in both the NCAA and the OHL. I’m in a position to recount my experience and reveal the pros and cons of both leagues; to shed some light on them and give advice to players currently making their way through the ranks on what it takes to get recognized and recruited.
While “making it” is hard, the formula for success in hockey and getting recruited is simple. You need a little God given talent (and if you’re reading this, you or your kid’s probably got a bit of that) a desire to succeed more than anyone else on the ice and some direction.
This site provides just that; direction. One of the things that became clear over the years is that sometimes being the better hockey player, or having more talent isn’t enough. I played with lots of guys that on an individual level were more skilled but there’s a lot to be said for the guys who make it on sheer determination, will power and the right potential to succeed.
For more about my experience you can check out my posts (here) and this Newspaper Article about me from When I was 17:
Young Nats’ Wires Doubled Pleasure (NCAA and CHL)
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