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Daily Dish: Developmental Disadvantage Canadian Junior Hockey News

Published: Thursday, 24 Oct 2019  
By: Stephen Heisler,

When is it good to uproot a college-bound high school sophomore, junior, or senior in the middle of a semester to transfer to another school? It never is. Yet that is exactly what is happening across the continent in the name of hockey development.

Outside of the major juniors, the rest of junior hockey is supposed to be about moving players onto college hockey, but we often see teams move a young player in to see how they fit with the group, only to discard a number of these players three or four weeks later.

This practice could have catastrophic academic repercussions and the young student athlete runs the serious risk of losing a semester of required course credits in the process. The big question I have is why. Why do league allow such a practice when the entire system is supposed to enhance our players' academic possibilities, not hinder them?

Everybody needs to work together towards protecting prospective student athletes from this tragic practice and shut the mid-semester revolving door. Mid-season moves should be done only at the semester break and teams need to commit to the players' education for the remainder of the semester. 

Sometimes common sense has to be part of the equation. Not only on the part of the team, but with the player and parents as well. Players are going to get excited when a team from one of the top leagues calls and asks him to leave home to help the team out for the remainder of the season.  Somebody needs to look at the big picture here and ask a few questions.

The bottom line is simple, if the young prospect is getting those calls now, he will get them again later. Players and parents need to consider all the consequences when considering such a drastic move in the middle of the semester.

Teams that are making a practice of this are taking huge chances with these young prospects' academic careers. Let's try to remember what this junior hockey thing is supposed to be all about.

Author: Stephen Heisler from
Stephen Heisler has spent a lifetime in the game of hockey. Stephen is also working with individual teams, coaches, and players as a director with Victorious Hockey Company. Stephen, his wife Deysi, and four children reside in Orlando, Florida.

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