A player in youth ice hockey has less than a 0.11 percent chance of playing in the National Hockey League if they continue to play through high school, according to statistics. This statistic is based on a study of 30,000 Ontario minor hockey players born in 1975. It compares the likelihood of an individual player making it to the NHL with the overall rate of success for junior hockey players.
In other words, only one out of every 100 junior hockey players will go on to play in the NHL. The number is even smaller for black players and female players. Only three women's national teams have ever won the gold medal at the Winter Olympics. The United States team won in 2002. Canada also won gold medals in 1998 and 2010.
There are several factors that can influence whether or not a young athlete makes it to the NHL. Body type is only one factor; skills, work ethic, and luck are others. A player's height is important; the shorter you are, the less likely you are to be able to shoot the puck.
Black players are underrepresented in ice hockey. In the 2012-2013 season, only two black players were registered as junior hockey players. The majority of black players in ice hockey come from African countries such as Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Senegal. There are no black players currently signed to NHL teams.
Female players are underrepresented in ice hockey.
Hockey on Ice 10.8 percent of high school seniors (less than 3 in 50) will play collegiate hockey. A National Hockey League team drafts 3.8 percent of college senior players (1 in 26). A significant percentage of high school seniors who play hockey will be picked by an NHL team.
The odds of a high school player going on to play major junior hockey are about 1 in 100. The odds of a high school player playing major college hockey are about 1 in 6.
Collegiate hockey is different from major junior and minor professional hockey in that it is not considered a viable career choice. However, many players do receive some form of education through athletic scholarships that cover tuition, fees, books, and housing. In addition, there are many jobs available within the sports industry for coaches, managers, trainers, etc. There are also opportunities as officials at all levels.
Almost any state in the country can offer collegiate hockey programs. Most schools have club teams that play other colleges and university clubs throughout the season. Some schools also have varsity teams that play other varsity teams in their conference and sometimes outside the conference too. The best colleges tend to have very competitive ice surfaces that are used by both the club and varsity teams.
There are three types of schools that sponsor collegiate hockey programs: non-varsity, club, and varsity.
Overall, college hockey generated 34 NHL players out of 738 players in 1998-99, for a 4.6 percent production rate. And if a player reaches the big junior or college levels, he is likely to be a marginal or mediocre player.
After high school, potential NHL players attend college or play in the "Major Juniors," which are lower-level professional leagues akin to minor league baseball. Physical and mental toughness are fundamental requirements for each level of professional hockey player.
How do athletes get into the NHL Draft in the first place? To be eligible, players must be 18 by September 15 and under 20 by December 31 of the draft year. Non-North American players above the age of 20 are eligible. Undrafted North American athletes under the age of 20 are considered unrestricted free agents (UFAs).
College hockey players in the United States must be judged eligible for NCAA participation by the NCAA Eligibility Center, which assesses a student-academic athlete's requirements as well as amateur status. Players who have competed in the Canadian Hockey League or any other professional hockey league are ineligible.
The OHL had 31 of 360, accounting for 8.6 percent, while the QMJHL had 16 of 270, accounting for 5.9 percent. Overall, junior hockey generated 79 NHL players that season, for an 8.3 percent production rate. Hockey East led the lead in college hockey with 11 NHLers out of 162 players, accounting for 6.8 percent.
NHL players often begin playing hockey at the age of six or seven. Children begin skating at a younger age, with the typical age being about three or four years old. Hockey players, on the other hand, can begin later and still have a great career in the NHL. One player who started at eight years old was Vincent Lareau; he played until he was 12 years old.
NHL players tend to develop faster than other children's sports because they are playing against adults who are more experienced. This gives the young players an advantage since they are not held back by their age. Many top-level hockey players start as early as four years old and play in minor leagues before moving up to the major juniors.
In addition, ice time is given to young players as soon as possible so that they can learn the game and get experience. This is especially important for offense-minded players who need lots of shots on goal to improve their skills.
Finally, parents want to give their children every opportunity to succeed in sports; therefore, they will often pay for private lessons and/or hire coaches for their kids. All of these factors help explain why hockey is the most popular sport among pre-adolescents.
Between 1988 and 2005, 233 minor ice hockey clubs competed in 13 minor professional leagues in North America. Only 21 of these teams were established in Canadian cities, despite the fact that the great majority of these teams played in the United States. There were 123 minor professional clubs in the southern United States.
In addition, there are at least four other teams that have only been active for part of a season: the Colorado Eagles, an expansion team in the ECHL; the Florida Everblades, an expansion team in the AHL; the Houston Aeros, who relocated to Allen, Texas after one season; and the Iowa Wild, who replaced the Kansas City Blades as the newest member of the AHL.
These figures do not include teams that have only been active for part of a season (such as the aforementioned Colorado Eagles or Florida Everblades) or those that have only been playing in their current city for several years but do not qualify as minor pro teams under our definition (such as the Oklahoma City Barons or Chicago Wolves).
There are currently two major league-level teams and three junior league-level teams in Canada. In the United States, there are 233 minor professional ice hockey teams, including four major league-level teams. This is a decrease of nine teams since the end of the 2004-05 season.