It’s not over!

The Ontario Hockey League holds its “draft” formally known as the Priority Selection every year. This year’s draft took place last Saturday. Unique to the Ontario Hockey League the draft takes place online. There is sweater wearing or picture taking. This year’s draft Erie selected first,  they select Ryan O’Reilly.As with any event in minor hockey, then came the “politics of the game” . “He got selected because his dad is rich”, “his dad is a scout”, “Joe smith from this teams is better, how did John Smith get selected”, and the list goes on. The important thing to remember is that there were 300 selections made, there was a reason you may not have been selected. Does this mean your hockey career is over? Now, don’t go jumping of the Bloor viaduct because your hockey career is certainly not over! You do have a journey ahead of you as any hockey player.

 If you didn’t get selected it could have been for a variety of reasons ranging from you didn’t “fit” into their team, or you simply were not good enough or ready. This is not to say that a year from now you won’t be ready. Don’t lose hope what you as a player now have to do is work that much harder and play every game with that much more intensity. Remember that somebody is always watching, if you are a good player you will get picked up. As the old adage goes “the cream always rises to the top”.

There are many opportunities for players to develop. Players can choose to play Midget AAA and develop in the minor hockey stream.  They can also choose to move to the Junior ranks and play Junior A and B both of which have promising results. There is also a third opportunity for player in the new “outlaw” league. Don’t let the “outlaw” connotation scare you. The Greater Metro Junior Hockey League has proved that it is a formidable developer of skill. Rumour has it that, they will be sending up to 40 players on to NCAA and higher levels of hockey for the 2007/2008 season, they will also be expanding to a 12 team league from a 7 team league.  Regardless of where you choose to develop remember to give it your all. If you fail you will at least know you failed trying, you would hate to go on in life and question if you had put that extra effort in where you would be. As Winston Churchill once said “I am easily satisfied with my very best”.

Good luck! Train hard!

 As a side note, Jerome Iginla, Darcy Tucker, Jeff Friesen, Dan Hamhuis, Scottie Upshall, Joffrey Lupul, Jeff Woywitka, and Shane Doan weren’t drafted!

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