Division III hockey: High schoolers pushed aside by older players

  • Article by: DENNIS BRACKIN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 12, 2012 - 9:06 AM

Division III hockey used to be a reliable Plan B for high school players failing to land on a Division I roster. But now college coaches -- even in the MIAC, which has no athletic scholarships -- are recruiting older junior hockey players.

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mckrackenJan. 11, 1211:31 PM

Hello to the MIAC. We've been waiting for you. The NCHA has been recruiting junior players for 30 years. Why do you think we always beat your teams so often? Again, welcome to college hockey.

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jerryaldiniJan. 12, 12 9:33 AM

It's official: The price of admission for D-III hockey players is now a couple years in Omaha playing Juniors.

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jericks5Jan. 12, 12 9:41 AM

This story makes it sound as if the MIAC teams just yesterday discovered that bringing in Juniors was a good idea. Hogwash. More than half of the roster of my MIAC team 20 years ago came from the Juniors.

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txcakeeaterJan. 12, 1210:56 AM

Excellent read. Man, how times have changed in Minnesota hockey. It's a sign of the times I suppose, but a little sad, that D3 hockey has come to this: bringing in mercenaries (foreigners & juniors)just so they can win more and compete with the other leagues that have been doing this for years. Bah! I'd rather watch my Gusties play the Tommies in an evenly-matched game with all-Minnesota high school kids who are getting a great college experience and education in the MIAC. Winning a D3 championship is that important? Really?

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hugelatsJan. 12, 1211:49 AM

Division III hockey still makes me yawn, but this was a fun article to read. Nice piece of journalism. Go Gophers!

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willie04Jan. 12, 1211:59 AM

I wonder how many players really want to play juniors vs those who are told that's the only way to make it. I would guess athletes in football, basketball, wrestling, volleyball etc would be bigger and stronger and better at age 24 also, but they aren't asked to go compete in a junior league before they go to college. Juniors is a good thing for some, but it makes college hockey (especially at this level) seem more like a business and I'm not sure that's a great thing.

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cluke2Jan. 12, 1212:30 PM

Mr. Brackin, did you just determine this phenomenon? The MIAC was doing this ten years ago at least, and as one reader said, probably 20 years ago. Not the greatest journalistic masterpiece here.

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northsportsJan. 12, 12 1:04 PM

I think Mr. Brackin's point is concerning the percentage of Jr. players in the MIAC and is valid as it is now pretty much impossible to compete at this level with players who have a highschool level resume only. The other point that needs to be made here is that it is really not division III hockey anymore either as the top DIII teams can compete and even beat the bottom DI teams. You don't see any games between the two anymore because when they did play in the past and the DIII team won there was a pink slip in the DI coaches mailbox at the end of the season. DIII is actually DII without scholarships and very good hockey. A good number of 1st and 2nd line DIII guys can easily play 3rd and 4th line DI on average. Many of them simply choose to prioritise education over athletics which is not always the case at DI hockey factories. The other wakeup call is that most pro hockey players are divorced and broke within 3 years after they retire along with no degree. This makes DIII hockey a more viable choice for most hockey players and may be the wiser choice in the long run for a family type guy.

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april24Jan. 12, 12 1:23 PM

I'm sorry, but if you think you're going to get a pro career after playing in the MIAC, think again. Just look around to see how many have done that. The example they use, Berenguer, is in the ECHL which is still worlds away from the NHL. If by a "pro career" they mean playing for the Charlestown Chiefs in the Federal League, then they may have a shot, but the NHL is a pipedream. It's a hard lesson to learn but we all go through it.

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soyoudontsayJan. 12, 12 2:49 PM

No scholarships ? So the "average" MIAC college hockey player pays the same tuition as non athletes ?

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