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How good is high school hockey?


16kid

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It's a big deal in Minnesota. I don't know if I can say "how good" it is compared to Canada (which is what I am guessing you meant). What Delayed Penalty says about Michigan is not true of Minnesota. Our best teenagers play high school (unless that's changed since I was a kid). From the Twin Cities north, hockey has a history of being part of the outdoor recreation culture ("pond hockey"). I went to a large Twin Cities suburban school and there were plenty of kids that played their entire lives that had no chance of ever playing varsity.

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In states like Minnesota, the players are pretty good, and some go on to play college hockey. In Canada, most of the really good talent goes on to play junior hockey in the CHL, etc., so the guys who play high school hockey usually just do it for fun.

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Yes, in Minnesota the best kids do play High School. Hockey here in Minnesota is like High School football is in Texas. We televise games, little towns are crazy for their hockey. The biggest thing though is that at state tournament time, we can sell out an NHL arena (Xcel). I should know, I play for a High School team here in the Twin Cities.

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It's actually a pretty big deal here in New York. My school's been to the State semifinals two straight years and we are all really into it. I'm sure that it's not as big as it is in other states. But most of the big games (Sections, State tourney, States) all sell out.

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In Arizona, it's such a non-factor that it's not sanctioned by the NFHS-member association.* Quite a few of the big high schools have hockey in the Phoenix metro, despite there being only a small but growing number of facilities to host games.

*Neither is lacrosse.

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The best players in Ohio don't play high school hockey, and the talent level is nowhere near Michigan or Minnesota or the Northeast, but I had a hell of a fun time in my 4 years and we attracted some large groups of students away from our terrible basketball team. A head count at the Columbus regional title game last year said there were almost 4,000 people at the game.

It's getting bigger and the central Ohio varsity conference has grown to about 15 or 16 schools. There's a handful of teams in Cincinnati, the Dayton area has a good amount, and Cleveland and Toledo have historically been the best for high school hockey in the state. Last I heard there were actually more hockey programs in Ohio than there were lacrosse. So there's that.

When I was in school (Dublin Jerome High School, Blue Jackets Cup Champions 5 out of the last 8 years) there were only 8 teams in our conference and that was just 6 years. With the number of rinks growing in the city, I'd expect more kids to try out and the talent level to get better every year.

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I played for a public school in maryland, where its a club sport and not an official varsity sport. Most schools in my area of Maryland (the dc suburbs) have a team and the sport is rapidly growing. The best players in the area usually play both high school and travel team. I know that there are at handful (probably 2 or 3) players in the entire public school league who went on to play D1, but that was far from the norm. In fact, I think that most players who went on to play NCAA hockey were girls, cause our league was co-ed, who got scouted from their travel team.

Private schools in the area are different, though not by much. Some of the teams have much more national recognition, but they are far from pumping out NCAA players.

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In Ohio, the house program has turned into a complete joke, where kids play hockey before they can stand on skates.

The squirt/peewee kids that are "better" (to me it's hard to say an 8 year old should be playing what would be AAA), play travel in one of the three A's.

Bantam Hockey you play JV and wait until the past seniors clear out.

High school hockey isn't as strong as it used to be, and is really only a contest between four Cleveland teams (*St. Ignatius, St. Edwards & University School$

AAA is where our best players play. Though now (in at least Columbus, they've expanded their scouting to other states.

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Wisconsin is a weird one. We have our share of travel teams (Milwaukee Jr. Admirals and Madison Capitols are the ones I know of, but I think there may be a couple more), but there's also a few high schools such as Madison Memorial, Superior and University School of Milwaukee that have established their programs to the point that they're generally taken to be travel team caliber. Parents will often move into their respective districts so their kid can play for the team. In fact, Superior's program is so good that the only time they play Wisconsin schools is in the WIAA tournament. They're actually part of a Duluth-based conference in Minnesota.

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