Emile Therien, Ottawa
U.S hockey officials, lead by ex NHL players' union boss Paul Kelly, have launched an offensive against major junior hockey in Canada in a battle to keep some of the best players in the U.S and encourage them to stay and to play U.S college hockey.
I wish to comment on this initiative by College Hockey, Inc.
Let me first express my bias. I was a Canadian who took advantage of attending a U.S. university on a hockey scholarship. My son took this same route years later.
The record speaks for itself!
The benefits offered by U.S. college hockey far outstrip what major junior hockey has to offer: the opportunity to get a free education, a much better environment to enhance and develop one's life skills, the opportunity to play and grow in an environment that is less stressful and intimidating, characterized by less travel, fewer games and far more practice and development time, etc.
At the end of the day, the real test to determine who is better off, aside from those players from both major junior hockey and U.S college hockey who do go on and play in the NHL, is to assess the "happiness quotient" of the players.
Overall, based on observations, I would say U.S. college products are far more comfortable with their decisions, have fewer regrets, and fair much better in jobs and other performance indicators.
I encourage aspiring young hockey players to take a similar route.