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For Mike Snee, the Executive Director of College Hockey Inc., academic success in post secondary hockey institutions starts much earlier than you might think, and it doesn’t actually happen for the reasons we might assume.

The numbers Mike shares in his 2017 talk at our conference shines light on an interesting fact: players who reach the NCAA level are spread out. Minnesota, the self-proclaimed state of hockey and Mike’s home state, is also home to 47 hockey players who played in the NHL last season. 47! Of the 47, 41 played high school hockey.

So, there must be a small handful of hockey schools churning out these players like a factory churns out hockey sticks, right? Again, not the case. 41 of these 47 players played at 31 different high schools. Public schools, private, metro, rural – it doesn’t matter.

The point is that if you’ve got the work ethic, desire, and skill, then playing with and against the best is just not as important as we once thought.

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