One of Native Hockey’s big initiative is to encourage our young players to consider collegiate hockey as an alternative to other roads. Nothing beats an education, and many college hockey players go on to play professional hockey. Players like Rene Bourque of the Colorado Avalanche who played all four years at the University of Wisconsin, and Brandon Montour of the Anaheim Ducks who played a year at University of Mass-Amherst, played NCAA Division I hockey.
In addition to getting an education that will pave the way for a career after you’re done playing hockey, college hockey has an amazing development program. State of the art strength and conditioning facilities and coaches teach you the proper way to train for hockey and top ranked sports medicine doctors and staff are available. Tutors and academic advisors help you navigate your course of study and keep you organized.
Perhaps most importantly, college is a place where diversity is valued. The NCAA is committed to maintaining a league where all ethnicities and cultures are respected, in an environment that gives everyone an opportunity to learn and better themselves. It gives people the opportunity that perhaps their parents or grandparents never had, often times breaking cycles of poverty and dependency.
However, getting recruited to a collegiate team is hard, and getting a full scholarship is even more difficult so you need to start planning early. Here are some links to some great resources if you are considering a college hockey career:
- College Hockey Inc. is a site completely dedicated to giving potential college hockey players all the information they need about collegiate hockey, how to plan for college, etc.
- Also on College Hockey Inc. is an area specifically related to recruitment, letting you know everything from how to contact teams to how to get noticed. A sample resume is included to help you get started.
- NCAA eligibility guide for potential student-athletes is important for you and your family to read to make sure you don’t lose your eligibility for any reason, from playing in what are considered pro or semi-pro leagues or tournaments to having too low of a GPA.
- Information on scholarships and how to contact schools are best done by going to the athletic site of each school you’re interested in. However, NSCA has some quick facts about each school so you can compare tuition. Native Hockey does not endorse using NSCA as a recruitment site as we have no familiarity with their services. Rather, we can only recommend the information that it provides.
First Nations Hockey, the official non-profit of Nativehockey.com, also provides an annual scholarship for an NCAA D1 hockey player. For more information, see Butch Mousseau Memorial Scholarship.