A Commentary on Higher Levels of Hockey in the Time of Corona - Midget and High School Edition
In our final installment of this series (for now), we'll look into how Covid is changing things for goalies at the Midget (U16, U18) and High School levels.
Obviously, the landscape looks different across the US and Canada, depending on your state or province's situation and state of play. In general, teams have not played as much as we'd all had hoped by this point. That much is true regardless of where you live.
We all wish things would be different. But they're not.
The prior two posts about Junior and College levels focused more on how Covid will change the trends of the goalie markets for the next few years.
What I hope to do here, is encourage all of our goalies currently coming up into U16 and U18 levels to stick to the process and maximize what we do get this season.
The same changes at the College and Junior levels will have a back-end impact on youth levels. If colleges keep more Juniors and Seniors for an extra season, then there will be fewer goalies committed from Juniors. If there are fewer goalies committed from Junior, then there will be more old goalies playing there still. If there are more older goalies at Junior, then there will be fewer spots for young goalies to come in and earn time or take over.
Therefore, I wouldn't be surprised if one of two things happened: 1) colleges recruit more and younger than they would before, hoping that by the time the goalie gets to their level, they'd have developed into their body, or 2) they simply do not recruit new classes for a couple years until more vacancies open up.
I think it's reasonable that there could be a trend of more U16 goalies committing to schools.
It happened before Corona, but the impact of a glut at the top might mean that schools want to give more of a time buffer for their goalies to develop into.
So, to 2003, 2004, 2005 goalies: the process may be long ahead of you. Maybe you have to play an extra U18 year. Maybe you don't play varsity right away. Focus on development, especially this year. You might not have many games, but don't put too much an emphasis on that...it's out of your control.
Make the most of whatever time you do get. Everyone is in a similar boat, so the "I don't want to fall behind" fear is just that...a fear.
Focus on yourself. Focus on your path. Focus on becoming the best you can be, so that when your time comes, you're as prepared as possible for it.
Now is your time to do things that are scary, that are hard, that challenge you. Now is the time to practice building your overcoming muscle.
Stay frosty, friends.