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CT Girls Hockey: Why You Should Be Focused On Your Development - Division 1 Women's College Hockey By the Numbers
**Data has been obtained from USCHO.com rosters.**
Early and consistent development at the youth hockey level is critical for advancement and eventual placement on an NCAA Division 1 or 3 team. With many youth program options available, those programs that emphasize skills development will be key to career success.
The NCAA permits schools to speak to and meet with potential recruits after June 15th of their sophomore year. Scholarship offers may be made after August 1st of the recruit’s sophomore year. Accordingly, for second-year U14 players, those meetings and offers may only be two years away. Almost all parents of 13-year-olds believe that players have endless time to develop. They are shocked to learn that endless may mean three years.
The charts below tell the story of recruiting selectivity that CT girls hockey players and parents must understand. At one time, above-average players might have a shot at a Division 1 college team. The data shows that this is no longer the case, far from it. Here's the make-up of women's division 1 college hockey from the 2019-2020 season:
Where are these kids all from?
And here's the breakdown by state. The percentage column represents percentage of players from that state that make up the 945 total division 1 players.
We've only listed states with greater than 10 players who played at the division 1 level this past season. Following New Hampshire is New Jersey, Ohio, and Rhode Island with 9 each; North Dakota with 8; Vermont with 7; and Maryland and Maine with 6 each. 17 states did not have any players participating at the division 1 level in the 2019-2020 season.
Breaking it Down By Commitments Per Year
We see that there were 945 players in total who played at the Division 1 level in the 2019-20 season and more specifically a total of 28 were from Connecticut.
Which leads us to our next question, how many players are placed at the Division 1 level each year? We broke down the class years of the 945 players to determine the average class size per team:
We see that the national average class size is about 6 per team and Connecticut numbers are roughly similar, a little higher at 7, see below.
At the CT Tier I level for U14, there are currently 4 designated National Bound teams. Each team consists of 18-20 players, for an estimated total of roughly 80 players. If we include other Tier I non national bound teams and other high level players, we can estimate there are 100 players who are looking to play at the Division 1 level.
Statistically speaking, as a CT resident, to play at the division 1 level, you need to be one of the top seven players in the state for your class year, If you're not in the top seven, you need to develop at an accelerated rate to crack the top seven. And if you are in the top seven, you need to continue to develop to stay in the top seven.
There is one more important consideration, commitments by year by position. As you can see below, on average 7 players are placed, but this could be any variation of skaters and goalies. The chart shows the 28 Division 1 players from CT by class year and their positions.
All players should understand that the average of seven does not mean an even distribution of positions. Using the current freshman class as an example, it consists of four forwards, one defense, and two goalies. Projecting this breakout for future years, this would mean that a player at the forward position would need to be in the top four in the state, a defenseman, the top defenseman.
Of course, there are exceptions and other scenarios that could play out. These are merely models based on historical statistics. There could be more, and there could be less.
The bottom line to all CT girls hockey players is that the only way to crack the top seven is development, development, development.
While many will aspire to play at the highest level of women's college hockey, Division 3 also offers an excellent academic and athletic option for many top girls hockey players in the state. We look forward to sharing statistics on the NESCAC League in our next blog post.