When it comes to ice hockey, how important are tournaments and camps? Attending men’s college hockey prospect camps and tournaments increases visibility and exposure for potential college hockey players while helping them develop their skills. Search NCSA’s list of men’s hockey camps and decide which will be right for you.
Not sure how to choose hockey camps that are right for a recruit? First, think critically about your skill level. You’ll benefit more from camps where you’re skating with other student-athletes who are at the same level.
At college hockey camps, established college coaches will be on the ice and interact with players, where they can see your work ethic and what kind of player you are. Whether it’s your explosive skating or getting the puck to the net, coaches will evaluate high school hockey players at the camp.
Hockey combines put men’s college hockey hopefuls through tests of their physical fitness on and off the ice. Many hockey combines will host the same college hockey coaches who would be seeing players at large tournaments, so it’s important to maintain communication with college coaches about when and where you’ll be attending a camp or hockey combine.
Participating in the right camp can help you get noticed by college coaches as you work toward becoming a well-developed athlete ready for college hockey. Consider attending junior hockey combines, NCAA college camps, the CCM showcase, global camps, national festivals and ACHA prospect camps for direct exposure to college coaches.
We hope this list will help you decide which camps are right for you. But as always, make sure you’ve done your due diligence by researching the camps and what they have to offer.
Ice hockey clinics
Hockey recruits can enroll in clinics to improve their skillset under the guidance of experts. The main goal of a hockey clinic is to build confidence with drills, mock games and player tips. Clinics can be focused on general skill development or position-specific development. Hockey clinics typically run for a few hours or an entire day.
Ice hockey camps
Camps are similar to clinics, with the main difference being camps usually span a couple of days or a week. Recruits can attend local or travel hockey camps, some of which take place on a college campus under the leadership of the coaches that run the program at that school. Recruits can expect a focus on skill and technique development during drills and mock games under the guidance of college coaches and other experts. An added benefit of attending a college camp is the opportunity to explore the college campus. Global Hockey provides a list of camps and clinics.
Ice hockey combines & showcases
Hockey combines provide recruits with education, exposure and experience as they work to develop their talent and pursue a collegiate hockey career. College coaches across all three NCAA divisions attend hockey combines to evaluate and recruit talent. The CCM hockey showcase is a popular event for junior hockey and NCAA coaches to recruit. In addition to our list, you can also view men’s hockey events on the USA Hockey website.
If a recruit wants college coaches to watch them play in real time, they’ll need to attend hockey tournaments that coaches typically attend.
Selecting which hockey tournaments to attend is dependent on whether the recruit is an underclassmen or upperclassmen. If the recruit is an underclassman, they should attend local and regions tournaments that will give them competition experience and contribute to skill development. On the other hand, upperclassmen should explore travel tournaments that will take them across the country to regions where college coaches recruit talent. This is especially important for recruits that live outside of the Northeast and upper Midwest regions, where the majority of college hockey programs are located.
Sign up for your free NCSA Recruiting Profile today to start getting on college coaches’ radar!