Aiming to favour its smaller markets, the governors* voted in a new rule concerning "special arrangements" with players. This new rule, starting now, puts an annual limit of $10,000 on scholarships/bursaries allotted to Americans, for a maximum total of $40,000.If you’re a college hockey fan and one of your recruits is being perused by the QMJHL, this is good news.
This amount is in addition to the one already outlined in the QMJHL's scholastic policy, which puts an annual limit of $5,000 on bursaries awarded to these student athletes, for a possible total of $60,000.
And yet, one year's tuition in colleges such as Boston University, Boston College or Cornell University can easily cost anywhere between $25,000 and $40,000, depending on the program. As such, it's not uncommon for an American player to be offered a full scholarship ranging from $100,000 to $150,000.
"The League's message is paradoxical", according to Jean Gagnon. "On the one hand, for the last year we have been forcing teams to draft two American players, but on the other, we're preventing teams from making competitive offers to these players."
I am not anti-CHL by any stretch of the imagination; I think that the CHL route is a good way to make the NHL if you’re one of the “top” blue chip hockey players. If you’re a late bloomer or a player that takes longer to develop the NCAA route is going to be a better path to take.
Let’s not kid ourselves, I do favor the NCAA Division I college hockey route... I have been around college hockey for a very long time and have seen some really good hockey players make the NHL from the NCAA route. All you have to do is watch the AHL or the NHL on a weekly basis to see that there are very talented players making their way to the AHL and or the NHL from the NCAA hockey ranks. This season’s AHL Calder Cup playoffs were a perfect example of this. This year's Stanley Cup playoffs also featured many former NCAA alumni.
I do also think that the NCAA is on par with the major junior route when it comes to players making the NHL. Contrary to some in the thump your chest with everything that is CHL Hockey - there is more than one route of the NHL and I don't think that any one fan base can claim that their route is better than another route. Finally, I also look at the revelations of this article as a positive for the NCAA route.