• Jeff Nygaard

NCAA Division I Commitment Update

Updated: Jan 13

Below is the monthly update for NCAA Division I hockey commitments made during the 2019-20 season, beginning July 1, 2019.

TJHP consistently gathers and memorializes this data so the program and level from which each player makes his commitment is locked in and does not update as that player advances through the development system. This will allow for verifiable data to back up or refute claims of these commitments by all programs or leagues.

Of interest in this data is the number of commitments being made while players are in the United States Hockey League (USHL). For many years it has been alleged that "most" USHL players enter that league with a commitment already in hand, which is proving to be false (at least in 2019-20).

The horse race for second place is also evident as 16U/18U, United States high school/prep, North American Hockey League and the British Columbia Hockey League jockey for position during each monthly update.

As the new NCAA rules limiting early, verbal commitments set in this data should tighten up regarding how many options and levels are listed above. Players now have to be entering their junior year in high school in order to make verbal commitments, which allows time for the top of the development pyramid to become more prominent. In theory, this should congregate more players at fewer levels when commitments are made.

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 having 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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