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What is Posted on this Page?

  • A section with general interest articles
    We just added a section for hockey related activities (dryland, academic, family activities etc.) during the current hiatus
  • A section with Concussion & Safety Info
  • A section with Info on NCAA Recruiting
  • A Section on "Going Pro"

Check back often for New Content!

Parent's Info

Parents: Do you have an idea about info you would like to see on this page? 

Contact Jeanne Barreca with ideas!
WNYAHL Assistant to Executive Director & Tier 2 Advisor

New Rules for 2021-25

New Rules for 2021-25

Link to the USA Hockey Rulebook page

Summary of Changes, Rule book to download, Officials Casebook and lots of other resources for those who want to learn more!

YouTube Video: Acceptable Body Checking

Worth viewing for all coaches and parents

A Renewed Emphasis on Body Checking to Develop PLayers for the Modern Game

Video posted 11/15/21 by USA Hockey on Body Checking and Body Contact and how Body Contact skills evolve into Checking for Youth at age 13. Highly recommended viewing for all - parents, coaches, players. A little over 2 minutes in length. At end shows other videos of interest.

General Interest Articles

Respect The Referees

Hello We are Your Officials Today

Hello We are Your Officials Today

A Call to Arms: Mass exodus of Young Officials Threatens the Future of the Game

Should be required reading for all parents and Coaches. Your actions this season influence the future of hockey.

Respect The Refs Poster

Respect The Refs

The Most Underappreciated Team

Read to find out who the most vital but underappreciated team is in Hockey.

Yelling At The Refs Will Help Your Team Win (NOT)

Yelling at the Refs Will Help Your Team WIn (NOT)

Abusive Sports Parents Epidemic lead to Lack of Youth Sports Officials

If youth sports can't find qualified youth sports officials then player safety is at risk. Parent and coach behavior is the biggest contributor to the shortage of officials.

Respect The Refs

Respect The Refs

If You Don't Like the Call - lace Up Your Skates and Take the Course

If You Don't Like the Call - Lace Up Your Skates and Take the Course

Respect The Refs

Excellent Article - What one town outside Calgary Does to Encourage respect for the Refs

Angry Parents are wrecking the Sport

Driving young referees out of the game and generally not acting like adults. Read this senior referee's viewpoint and observations.

Safety Info & Keeping Kids Playing

Is Your Kids Goalie Mask Illegal?

Link to a video on why some Cats Eye Masks are illegal in USA Hockey. Also a full explanation with pictures of legal and illegal Goalie Masks. Important Reading for your players safety!

We are Changing the Culture of Hockey

Video below describes acceptable and unacceptable body checking.  Recommended for all parents and coaches.

USA Hockey Declaration of Fair Play, Safety & Respect

Link to USA Hockey's Declaration of Fair Play, Safety and respect

Text of USA Hockey's Letter plus videos including the video showing what is acceptable and unacceptable Body Contact

Body Contact vs Body Checking

This page includes a video that is also shown to Level 1 and 2 officials during their training. Highly recommended for ALL parents and coaches!

The Ride Home & How to Handle Losing

The Ride Home

Advise for Parents on the Ride Home after the game. How to make the ride home non toxic and increase your child's desire to continue playing despite a loss or other disappointing event.

The Ride Home

After A Loss

Advice on how to handle it and help your child handle losses better.

5 ways to be a rock star parent

5 ways to be a rock star parent

Relax It's Only a Game Video

This 5 minute video is highly recommended for all parents.  The last 2 minutes have several scenarios of suspect parent behavior that will make you think...

Relax It's Only a Game

A Must Read for Every Hockey Parent

Raising Good Persons

Letter from a Hockey Player to His Parents

Male or female, 8U to 18U, this letter is a MUST read for all Parents.

Hockey Parents - Points to Ponder

Perspective for Hockey Parents

This is what your child hears when they hear you yelling at them from the stands or in the car going home!

How Does My Child Make It to the Next Level?

Should we try, what are the stats and if we try, what are the options

Division I Coaches on Minnesota's It Factor

Talks about unique aspects to development in Minnesota Youth Hockey. 8U players using Cross Ice to develop. Players playing in their communities instead of organization hopping (college recruiters do notice this as a negative!) and more!

Making the Most of Your Opportunities

Not every kid gets drafted and persistence can lead to success. Excellent article about one Goalie's path to College playing time.

The road to the NCAA and the Pros is thru JUNIOR HOCKEY

Excellent article with the statistics of how many NHL and NCAA scholarship players are alumni of the NAHL and USHL (Tier II and I Junior Hockey).

Checking the Boxes of a USHL Draft Pick

Excellent article for 14U & 16U parents and players about how to get noticed by a USHL scout. Discusses BOTH on ice and off ice behaviors.

Info for Goalies & Their Parents

STOP treating Goalies as Though They are Different

Words of wisdom on the Goalie Position

Message to Parents - be a Good Goalie Parent

This PDF has excellent advice from a former Pro on how to be a Good Goalie Parent.

Understanding the Perspective of a Goalie Parent

This article shows the perspective of a Goalie Parent but also reminds all of us of what our children get from playing the game - discipline, time managment, friends, ...., to name a few. All of these are important to their future adult lives but rarely get mentioned.

Rushing kids to specialize in one sport may not be best path to success

Article from Penn State on when to specialize. Some interesting points for parents to ponder when helping their children to make decisions.

Raising 27's or Does Your Child Know How to Lose?

Do our kids know how to utilize a failure or loss to gain wisdom? To gain strength? To gain perspective? Can they lose and not feel like a loser? (This is big.) Can they fail and not feel like a failure? (This is also big.) If our answer to these questions is “No”, then we have some serious work to do, my friends. Because the experiences of loss and failure provide far more opportunities for growth, wisdom and strength than an 18-year-old who steps out into the world armed with nothing but a bedroom full of trophies.

8U & 10U Info

Keeping it fun while encouraging development

Is 8U the on ramp to the NHL?

If your child enjoys 8U then he will want to play then once he gets to 14U, then he might have the desire and ability to try for NHL. But what or how much he plays before 14U rarely makes a difference on his chances. This is an article from USA hockey ADM program.

From the Toronto Sun - Attention Hockey Coaches & Parents: Minor Hockey is for Kids

This article, reprinted many times, is the classic article about the priorities of players versus their parents or coaches. Required reading (and periodic re-reading) for ALL parents and coaches!

The Tipping Point in Youth Sports

Article about expectations and realizing that Development is a Process and more of a marathon than a Sprint. This article focuses on parent expectations.

A Radical Approach to Hockey at the younger levels

Do players really need travel at the 8U and 10U levels? Minnesota is showing that players who get to enjoy the game and play only in house thru 10U develop more. More development and less travel at younger ages leads to more players having success at higher levels (high school, juniors and college)

Concussion Info

A new way forward in Concussion Culture

A discussion with one of USA Hockey's experts.

What every coach and parent should be asking of their athletes

"We often forget that the person an athlete is going to confide in the most is a friend, a teammate … So, one of the best ways to become aware of the concussions we're currently missing is to ask teammates to speak up when they realize a teammate might have a concussion."
Chris Nowinski, Ph.D.
Concussion Legacy Foundation

USA Hockey's Information Page on Concussions

Articles, Posters, links to CDC Info, Signs & Symptoms to look for, An Action Plan and much more...

New 2019 Concussion Management and Return to Play Form

New Program from USA Hockey for 2019-20 on Concussion Management and a Return to Play form

Injury Prevention Info

Injury Prevention

From the USA Hockey website: Doctor Michael J. Stuart's informative and important presentations are available for download here. The valuable information is important for coaches, players, parents and physicians.

NHL/NHLPA Concussion Education Video

A lot of information specifically for hockey players on detection and management of concussions.  This information should not replace consulting your family physician should you suspect your child has a concussion.

Safety Info

What the heck is HECC?

What is HECC and why does my kids helmet have to have this sticker?

NCAA Info & Info on Getting Recruited/Noticed

Social Media - Creating Boundaries

Is social media a way for your child to market himself? Or will it wreck his/her future? Every high school has the story of the kid who posted behaviors and got suspended. But posting can impact a promising athlete as well - no recruiter or college coach wants a player who "might" be a problem.

5 Things You Need to Know about Athletic Scholarships

Eye opening tips especially for hockey parents. Most hockey scholarships are NOT full rides. Athletic Scholarships are only good for one year - playing time, grades or a new coach could mean you lose your scholarship after one year.

What Does "Character" Mean to College Coaches

Your child has the talent to play in college but does he/she have the character? Will he or she fit in, play as part of the team, help team mates, get the grades to stay eligible? Coaches are watching to see how your child interacts with their team mates and coaches. Coaches are watching the parents too - the parents in the stands tracking playing time and yelling the refs will be noted. With college coaches, parents are to be seen and not heard.

An Open Letter from a Coach to a prospective Recruit

an article both parents and athletes should read. Coaches care about character.

Advice from a College Hockey Recruiter

Pay as much attention to the on ice as the off ice skills.


NCAA Recruiting

There are many college recruiting websites.  Whether you want to spend time on them or get involved with them is up to you.

But Realize: The most important group in college athletics is the NCAA.  They provide a huge amount of info for guidance counselors, parents and athletes.  This is where you should get the facts and if you hear something or get contacted by someone - check them out or go to the NCAA for the facts.

The Role of College Coaches in Admissions

You won't get into colleges without qualifying academically. But college coaches can help a little. Also discussions of how much athletic scholarships really cover. Full rides are rare except in certain sports.

2019 NCSA Power Rankings

Discussion of items to consider while looking at colleges as a potential college athlete.

14U/16U On College Commitments - Should my child commit early?

Social media makes a big deal about player's committing to a college at an early age. This quick question identifies what these commitments mean and what parents should be emphasizing to your child if they want to play college hockey!

Want to Play College Sports?

Excellent page with resources on Division 1,2, and 3. Also links to required high school coursework, GPA, SAT/ACT - required reading for potential student athletes and their parents

NCAA Recruiting Calendars

Links to the official NCAA Recruiting Calendars and a Frequently Asked Questions section on the terminology.

NCAA Eligibility Center

Visit this page to find out about eligibility and recruiting. Students must be qualified (as amateurs and academically) by the NCAA to accept a scholarship and play college sports.

USA Hockey Link to College Hockey Info

College Hockey Inc. Their frequently asked questions page appears to be up to date and has good information that is not easily found on NCAA and other websites. One example is Division I college hockey teams only have 18 scholarships and typically carry 25-30 players so not all players get full athletic scholarships.

How does my child get recruited to Play College Hockey?

Answer - play Juniors.  Go to the Junior and Development League websites (listed below) - they have recruiting events and tell you how to play in their leagues.  Even the NTDP 18U and 17U teams play in the USHL (Tier I Junior League).

My child plays AAA! or AA!  We go to these big expensive Tournaments to get recruited.  Fact remains, most college coaches want players to play a year or two of high level juniors.

Still don't understand?  Go to Division I and III hockey programs and check out their rosters.  Almost all list their players last team - very few come from High Schools or AAA teams, most come from Junior Teams or in some cases Prep Schools.  See the links below. 

USA Hockey's Junior Website

This website lists the Tier I (USHL), Tier II (NAHL) and Tier III (RMHL, NA3HL and EHL) Junior Hockey Leagues. Most Division 1 and III US college players get recruited by playing in a USA Hockey or Hockey Canadian sanctioned Junior Team.

Road to Tier 1 Juniors (USHL)

College Hockey Inc List of Developmental/Junior Leagues & College Hockey Leagues

Excellent play to find out where to play if you want to play College Hockey or want to explore the various College Hockey Leagues

RIT (Division I) Mens Hockey Roster

Every player is off a Canadian or US Junior team.

Boston University (Division 1) Men's Ice Hockey Roster

A few from USPHL elite teams, several from the NTDP 18U team, a few from Prep Schools and the rest from Canadian or USHL Junior teams

SUNY Brockport (Division III) Men's Ice Hockey Roster

One player from the NAHL with most of the rest split between the EHL (a Tier III junior league) and the USPHL

College Hockey or Canadian Major Junior - which is better for a NHL Career?

College Hockey Inc Article on College vs CHL

Biased towards the NCAA but worth reading

Understanding Junior Hockey

Written by the USHL which wants players to go to college

Predators coach Dan Muse’s advice for 14U/16U players

Could your child make it to the Pros? What skills are needed for higher levels of hockey? Predators Coach Dan Muse discusses these questions.

Major Junior vs College Hockey

Excellent article - which route is best for your child? Discusses the many pros and cons. Gives examples.

St John Fisher Academic Paper - Major Junior or College Hockey

A well written academic paper on the merits of college hockey versus major junior. Many citations and well researched.

Going Pro

Most NHL players came out of the CHL (Canadian Hockey League also known as Canadian Major Junior), the NCAA, or various European Leagues. 

The CHL includes the OHL, WHL and QMJHL. Playing or signing a contract to play in these leagues will forfeit your NCAA eligibilty.

Many NHL players play in the minor leagues before making it to the NHL.  Many NCAA players "go pro" after graduating from college by joining one of these leagues.  The American Hockey League (AHL), ECHL (East Coast Hockey League) and SPHL (Southern Professional Hockey League).  Each NHL team has a AHL affiliate.  Each AHL generally has an affiliated team in the ECHL and most ECHL teams have an affiiation with SPHL teams to replace players who get called up or are injured.

Statistics about Playing College Hockey & Going Pro from Men's College Ice Hockey

Shows the statistics of playing men's college hockey and the statistics of being drafted. One of the most interesting statistics is : In 2018, 31% of players on active NHL rosters played college hockey (all Division I), up from about 20% in the year 2000

There are more than 480,000 student athletes, less than 2% go pro

There are more than 480,000 student athletes, less than 2% go pro

From the 2020-21 Pandemic Season

As we move on to more normal seasons, we should never forget what we went thru and remain cautious and careful so our kids can PLAY HOCKEY!

We Stay Home so that we can get back on the ice and Play Hockey!

Hamburg Hawks Message

Posted with the permission of the Hamburg Hawks & Colleen Wheeler who put this together.

Training at Home & Activities During these Uncertain Times

USA Hockey Dryland & Stick Handling Drills

Something for kids to do outside in the driveway even if they can't go to the rink. Also check out the ADM article about Staying Active at Home at:

SportEngine At Home Health & Fitness Website

Lots of drills, suggestions and articles on how to keep your kids active and healthy while staying at home!

Training at Home & How to Stay Safe

Quick article on Staying Safe & Training at Home

Training at Home

From a Baltimore News Outlet

What Hockey Players can learn from watching games

Stuck in the house because of the rain (or snow/sleet)? Check the TV listings and find a game then apply the pointers in this article so your hockey player learn to watch and learn!

Activities While at Home

22 Best Scavenger Hunt Ideas

Recommended by Good Housekeeping

Genesee Country Museum Family Fun & Learning Page

Science, History, Pages to download and color, other activities including virtual tours...ENJOY!

Hogwarts & Harry Potter Fans

The link is to the Facebook page entry for the website. This is a free website which when it comes back up (down for maintenance on Easter weekend) has free online classes with content similar to Hogwarts. We recommend parents check out the website first and then decide if their kids are ready for the content. If your kids are Harry Potter fans - it should be worth checking out and help to keep your kids occupied during the shutdown!

Hockey Activities on the Computer

Some sneak in some actual learning!

Bring STEM to life Using Future Goals

Future Goals Now Available for Teachers and Families A FREE and fun online course to keep students and parents engaged at home Hockey has always been more than a game, it’s a community united by a sport. The NHL and NHLPA remain committed to supporting the hockey community, students, parents, and teachers during these ever-changing times. With many school districts and parents utilizing remote learning plans, we are offering teachers and parents free, remote access to our Future Goals program. Future Goals includes two online resources: Hockey Scholar – an interactive hockey-themed STEM curriculum for middle-school and elementary-school-aged students and Healthier Me – a program that provides elementary-school-aged students the tools they need to make healthy decisions. This comes highly recommended by a Hockey MOMS website! There is also a RESOURCES tab will lots more activities

USA Hockey Coaching Webinar Series

Lots of YouTube Videos from USA Hockey on Coaching! Great viewing if you are stuck at home and want to productively use your time to become a better and more educated coach! 49 videos and more being added!

USA Hockey Magazine Podcasts

Worth a look to see if something interests you or your kids. Lots of interviews with players.