There have been a number of discussions in the past concerning the possible merger of the midget and junior levels of play. I feel that such a collective management structure would enhance the developmental system while wrangling a bit of control from the youth levels of play.
The bottom line in the struggle between the youth and junior levels has always been about self-preservation and power. Youth associations want the numbers and try to do whatever is possible to limit the hockey prospect's options. It has become more than obvious that the ME FIRST system is retarding the natural flow of talent to higher levels of play.
Youth clubs at the AAA level are now competing against junior teams for talent and that makes absolutely no sense at all. USA Hockey (and Hockey Canada) would do wonders for development by not allowing players from outside the community on youth level on midget rosters. That change would automatically boost overall development because the top end of the talent would all be at the same levels of play.
It is my opinion that the power struggle between the youth and junior levels will retard the overall development of both the American and Canadian games. Maybe it is time for a change.
Author: Stephen Heisler
Stephen Heisler has spent a lifetime in the game of hockey. Stephen is also working with individual teams, coaches, and players as a director with Victorious Hockey Company. Stephen, his wife Deysi, and four children reside in Orlando, Florida.
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