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Talented hockey players face a tough decision at a young age on where to pursue their hockey dreams. Two paths that can lead to the NHL, but both have have a number of differences.  One path is the CHL which consists of 60 teams from the Western Hockey League (WHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).


The other path to the NHL is NCAA hockey. The CHL includes players who have signed pro contracts, the NCAA considers it a professional league. Players who have played a game, exhibition game - in the CHL are deemed ineligible for NCAA competition. There are paths to have NCAA eligibility reinstated for players who have played a limited number of CHL games, but they are not guaranteed and must be initiated by an NCAA school.


If you are a North American, European, Russian player we can help promote you to play Junior A hockey.  European and Russian players, you can play in the USHL, NAHL, USPHL, NA3HL, EHL, WSHL in the USA.  


NCAA student-athletes in Division I or II must meet minimum academic criteria that takes into account high school grades as well as scores on standardized tests (the SAT or ACT). The NCAA Eligibility Center includes important details on those requirements, plus lists of approved core courses at specific high schools or in each Canadian province.


What you need to do:

  • Register for the NCAA Eligibility Centre   (typically during Grade 11).

  • Take 16 NCAA-approved core courses in your first four years of high school; you can find a list of approved courses for each U.S. high school or Canadian province on eligibilitycenter.org. Take at least 10 of those courses prior to the middle of your senior year.

  • ​ Register for and take either the SAT or the ACT. Plan to take it more than once; the NCAA will only consider your best score. Submit transcripts and test scores to the NCAA Eligibility Center.

  • If you would like to take university classes after high school but before beginning your NCAA playing career, do so as a part-time student – do not enroll full-time.




NCAA student-athletes are amateurs and cannot have played for a professional sports team prior to enrolment. Eligibility Centre will certify each prospective student-athlete's amateur status prior to clearing them for competition at the Division I level.


​What you need to do: 


  • Do not accept payment or gifts based upon your ability as a hockey player.

  • Do not sign a contract or play a game (even an exhibition game) for a professional team, including those in the CHL. 

  • You may attend a camp with a professional team for up to 48 hours if they are covering expenses or longer if you cover all expenses. 

  • Junior, prep or high school teams may cover some or all of your costs to play for them, as long as they are actual and necessary expenses.

From the NCAA Manual: Tryout Before Enrollment-Men's Ice Hockey and Skiing.

In men's ice hockey and skiing, a student-athlete remains eligible in a sport even though, prior to enrollment in a collegiate institution, the student-athlete may have tried out with a professional athletics team in a sport or received not more than one expense-paid visit from each professional team (or a combine including that team), provided such a visit did not exceed 48 hours and any payment or compensation in connection with the visit was not in excess of actual and necessary expenses. The 48-hour tryout period begins at the time the individual arrives at the tryout location. At the completion of the 48-hour period, the individual must depart the location of the tryout immediately in order to receive return transportation expenses. A tryout may extend beyond 48 hours if the individual self finances additional expenses, including return transportation. A self-financed tryout may be for any length of time.