June 14th, 2018 at 2:49 PM ^

This past year I got to know a young man who had a scholarship to play D1 baseball, but also had on average over a dozen major league scouts at his games.  He ended up being drafted in the second round and now has a decision to make.  Go to college or sign a contract and go pro with a possible million dollar signing bonus.



June 14th, 2018 at 3:36 PM ^

In baseball I think it's an easier decision.  Sign the contract to not only get the money but more importantly be instructed by professional coaches that are more concerned with your development than they are winning games.  Once you turn pro MLB will also pay for your college so you can still get that degree by going to classes in the offseason & doing online courses in-season so you're really only missing out on "the college experience".

If it doesn't work out in pro ball you can go back to college but if you go to college & it doesn't work out (and there are MANY reasons it may not) you can't go back to pro ball; you've missed your opportunity

Harbaugh's Lef…

June 14th, 2018 at 4:01 PM ^

I agree, more dynamics in hockey.

I feel, at least with American kids, you are missing something with either decision you make. If you play Major Junior, you miss out on the college experience completely; if you play NCAA, you miss out playing against the best collective competition. 

It's interesting to see more and more Canadian kids coming down to get the college experience and play in the NCAA but I'm curious to see if the Auston Matthews route of going to Europe as a 17/18 year old for a year or two picks up some steam.

Harbaugh's Lef…

June 14th, 2018 at 4:25 PM ^

Would edit if I could but:

Also what makes it different is that very few of the kids that get drafted every year get drafted out of high school. Almost all are either playing Major Junior in Canada, playing for the amateur/B level squad of a professional team overseas or playing in a travel/elite league here  or if they just missed the cut off date, are playing college hockey here in the US so most are already established with where they are on draft day.


June 14th, 2018 at 3:14 PM ^

My nephew was drafted just before Perfetti and I asked my brother-in-law if Perfetti would stick to Michigan because he knew the Perfettis.  His answer was that he had always thought Perfetti was OHL-bound, so I wasn't holding out too much hope for him to actually make it to Michigan.  It's too bad because that kid is really, really good.  Smallish, shifty, fast and really skilled.  He was probably the most fun player to watch when I went to see my nephew play on the Oshawa Generals in an international tournament with teams from Europe.  Something about him reminded me just a little bit of Paul Kariya.  Obviously not quite as good, but he seemed like a similar player.

For the record, I really tried to get my nephew to accept his Michigan offer (which he did like) but he went the OHL route as well.  The problem is the competition level for the two years between now and when college starts.  The only real option for Canadians is to play in an amateur league one step down from the OHL and there are a lot of men on those teams that failed to make the OHL so great, young prospects may not get better over those two years and they run the risk of injury playing against full grown men.  Additionally, OHL teams offer scholarships at Canadian schools later if the NHL doesn't work out and that blunts some of the US college experience advantage.




June 14th, 2018 at 7:52 PM ^

I'm sorry you feel that way but it is not as simple as you say.  My nephew was just drafted 4th in the OHL and I had multiple, extensive conversations with him and his parents about the decision.  The bottom line is that the decision they made was based on what I said.  Education at a US college with a potential stagnation of hockey growth and/or injury for two years vs. just shooting for NHL via the OHL now.  His parents are very well-educated and they don't need money so that wasn't part of it for them but a six figure payout to step on the ice is an attractive bonus as well.  They were only seriously considering Michigan and the Boston schools and he had an offer from all of them.  Likely, he could have gone to whatever US school he wanted - he was the top defenseman in the draft.

I felt he should go to a US college - specifically Michigan or Harvard if he wanted to be in Boston but I understand why they did what they did - even if he does have to live in Erie during the season.

I mention all of that because it is something that the US college hockey system is up against.  It's not just that the OHL (or whatever province they live in) is the clearer, quicker path to the NHL in their backyard.  It is also that Canadian kids don't have a lot of top competitive playing options in Canada if they choose to skip the OHL at 16 and wait to go to a US school at 18.  They can also get a free Canadian college education later which, on the surface, seems somewhat equal to what a US college can offer in the education department.  Granted, I doubt many kids take advantage of it, but the offer is there - or at least is was for my nephew.