In the junior hockey atmosphere a player has an ample amount of decisions, not even including the question of which team to play for. And the part that needs to change is the amount of teams in junior hockey. In a perfect world there would be one Tier 1 league (USHL), one Tier 2 league (NAHL), and one league for Tier 3. Now the problem doesn't lie in Tier 1 or Tier 2, it's Tier 3 that has an issue. Overall, tier 3 has over 100 teams spread amongst several leagues. The question is, why? Why does Tier 3 junior hockey need that many programs? It is undoubtedly the major concern in the junior hockey world. The obvious reason as to why this is a problem is because when there are more teams the level of play drops. Good talent gets spread across each league. Also it creates a much harder opportunity for players to be seen by scouts. Scouts won't be able to make it out to games, or even know where to start when trying to scout for new players.
I understand that there should be a place for every kid to play but if you want to have great competition and somewhere that players can develop and receive the most guidance possible. it is a known fact that when a player has good teammates they will become better and that is a huge help in the development process. I do know that this has been being discussed in the junior hockey world and there have been plenty of ideas tossed around but nothing has been decided. My personal opinion is that junior hockey will continue to grow and leagues will become huge and that would be awful for the sport. It is an issue that deserves a dialogue and I believe that it is important for Tier 3 junior hockey to shrink league sizes and up the level of play.
I am by no means saying that Tier 3 should be done and wiped away. There are some great players and leagues at the Tier 3 level, however I do believe that making the leagues smaller would in fact create a better market.