• Jeff Nygaard

Information That Matters Part II: NCAA Division I Advancement Data

Updated: Dec 9, 2019

Advancement data for NCAA Division I freshmen, defined as the team/league for which a player competed the year prior to matriculating to college, is not nearly as exciting or difficult to track as NCAA Division II/III. As most people in the United States know, the United States Hockey League (USHL) long ago established itself as the only Tier I Junior league in USA Hockey and as the dominant pipeline of Division I talent.

The myths regarding Division I advancements are fairly few and far between, but TJHP's commitment to verifiable data will dispel any misinformation. As we covered yesterday (Updated NCAA Division I Commitment Data), advancements are different than commitments and we are committed to tracking both at this level. Generally speaking, players will pass through one of these leagues below regardless of when and where they agree with a school on a commitment.

Below is the 2019 data for all 480 NCAA Division I freshmen. Not a lot of surprises and commentary is needed other than making note that TJHP treats the U.S. National Team Development Program (USNTDP) as a separate entity rather than as part of the USHL.

2019 data for all 480 NCAA Division I Mens Hockey freshmen

At the team level, it's again no surprise that the top 10 is dominated by USHL organizations. Of the 16 USHL squads from last year, 10 of them are in this list. The Amarillo Bulls of the North American Hockey League, the only USA Hockey Tier II league, comes in tied for eighth with the Prince George Spruce Kings of the British Columbia Hockey League and the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

Jeff Nygaard is the editor of The Junior Hockey Podcast. He covers Junior and college-bound hockey as a traditional “beat,” in addition to breaking news stories during the course of the year

He has a vast amount of experience on the business and organizational side of the sport as a former owner-operator of two Junior organizations two youth clubs and has served as executive director or commissioner of the Eastern Hockey League and the United States Premier Hockey League.

A Fergus Falls, Minn., native, Nygaard grew up playing for the Fergus Falls Youth Hockey Association, Fergus Falls High School, Fergus Falls Community College and North Dakota State University programs. He can be reached at info@juniorhockeyhub.com for questions, story ideas, and anonymous tips.

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