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Parent's perspective: Elite II is great second option

By Robb Leer, Special to MN Hockey Hub, 10/28/09, 8:48AM CDT


Coaching, organization, high level of competition help players hone their skills in preparation for high school season

Fall in Minnesota presents the best and worst of times for a high school hockey player’s development.

Players and parents alike find themselves wondering out loud, “How much ice time will be enough?” and “What is the best way to prepare your game for high school tryouts?”

The clinics and AAA team options in this market are many. The Upper Midwest’s High School Elite League is our area’s premiere fall development program, but earning a coveted roster spot practically is like winning the lottery.

The Elite League is the envy of every aspiring player who wants to extend his playing days after high school. The talent level showcased for eight spectacular fall weekends and the skilled coaching these players get really is something special.

One of my sons was fortunate to have played in this league for two seasons ---- two fabulous fall campaigns with 20-something games played at an unmatched tempo.

And as impressive as the play on the ice was, so too was the fairness displayed by the coaches who rotated their lines so everybody played and everybody got better.

From my hockey family’s fall experience, I thought there couldn’t possibly be anything that could come close to offering the development resources of the Elite League.

Guess what? I was sadly mistaken.

This summer my youngest hockey-playing son was searching for a place to hone his hockey skills. He tried out for our section’s Elite II program.

Neither of us knew what to expect. The tryout was intense, the competition was spirited. And after the team was picked, the work for players and coaches began.
Now, 20 games later, our fall experience has been extremely fulfilling. The coaches encourage players to push themselves. And all the players in the league share the same fall hockey development goal and a commitment to improve. The good news is this league is an outlet to help them achieve those goals.

The Elite II league is well organized and well coached, and the games provide a good primer for the high school season ahead.

There is an old saying, “Some is good, more is better.” But that expression doesn’t always translate. For the aspiring high school player in Minnesota, however, it does.

Thank you Elite II league. In this case the number two signifies that the opportunities to develop in the fall are doubled.
-- Robb Leer, Elite II League parent