Friday, December 20, 2013

New York Times: Top Prospects Decide if Path to N.H.L. Runs Through College

I think this article is worth a look. Personally, I have been on record, in the past, of letting players that have played in the CHL, play in Division I college hockey. I don’t see why they can’t play college hockey. The money they get as a stipend is minuscule. There are others that feel this way as well. Of course this is not a popular stance to have.
Paul Brownfield, New York Times -- Berenson said Nieves, at 6-3, 200 pounds, was still learning to use his size and speed to cut to the net. Now in his 30th season behind the Michigan bench, Berenson, 74, preaches patience and life after hockey. Compared with major junior hockey, the college game is faster and more intense, he said.

“This is a team that essentially stays together all year,” Berenson added. “They’re like a pro hockey league. They’re trading players and demoting players. We go to school full time. This is a whole different lifestyle.”

Berenson is opposed to changing the rules so that players can experience the O.H.L. at 16 and then play college at 18. Michigan is a special place, he said, requiring a certain kind of commitment.

Berenson lamented the factors that rush Michigan players to the pros, including N.H.L. teams that sign draft picks as underclassmen to avoid losing them to free agency. (Teams have until Aug. 15 after class graduation to sign draftees who have played four years of college hockey.)

Of the seven scholarship hockey players in Nieves’s freshman class a year ago, only four are still enrolled at Michigan. Defenseman Jacob Trouba jumped to the N.H.L.’s Winnipeg Jets. Forward Daniel Milne was unhappy with his lack of playing time and joined the O.H.L.’s Owen Sound Attack, a team that plays two hours from his hometown.

“They thanked me for everything,” Berenson said of his discussion with Milne’s parents. “And they said, ‘I guess we’re too impatient; we’re just going to move on and play in the O.’ ”

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