Why Players Consider Junior Hockey?
Because the exceptional athlete who is attempting to advance his career to college and/or professional hockey needs to practice every day, play against the best, and be trained by qualified coaches with out losing amateur status. All USA Hockey sanctioned Junior programs afford these players that opportunity. If a player participates in a Major "A" League (OHL, WHL, QMJHL), he chooses to forgo this amateur status and may not be able to participate at the collegiate level.
Junior Hockey has experienced tremendous growth in the last 10 years both in the number of teams and in the professionalism of the individual franchises. Some myths that should no be dispelled:
Myth: Junior players are not adequately supervised
Fact: Junior players have extremely busy schedules including school attendance, daily practice(s), off ice workouts, and in some instances, part-time jobs. These activities are overseen by qualified coaches who are there for both supervisions and assistance. Also, in most instances, Junior players live with host families who also help lend stability and guidance to player’s lives.
Myth: School is unimportant to Junior Programs
Fact: Junior programs stress hockey and academics equally. Most programs are active in their academic involvement, which includes arranging classes and monitoring progress. Junior Hockey in the United States is the developmental program for collegiate ice hockey teams. While football has "red shirting" and basketball uses Jr. Colleges...hockey has Juniors which allows the athletes to mature and develop.