Photo by Michael Caples/MiHockey

NCAA D1 council approves rule changes for college hockey recruiting


By @MichaelCaples –

The NCAA D1 Council has approved rule changes that will alter the recruiting timeline for Division 1 men’s hockey prospects.

It comes “with the goal of slowing down and improving the recruiting experience,” per a release from College Hockey, Inc.

The highlights:

  • Eliminating all recruiting conversations (whether initiated by a coach or a prospect) prior to Jan. 1 of a prospect’s sophomore (grade 10) year.
  • Establishing Aug. 1 prior to a prospect’s junior (grade 11) year as the first date when NCAA coaches can make a verbal offer.

“The college hockey community recognized recruiting has accelerated to a point that isn’t healthy for prospects, our programs or the sport as a whole,” said Josh Fenton, NCHC commissioner who led a committee of commissioners, coaches, and administrators that developed the rule change proposal. “Our underlying goal is to improve the recruiting landscape for prospects, families and coaches, and we believe these changes will make a significant impact.”

The rules go into effect on May 1.

“Our sport faces unique challenges in recruiting but our committee, and the men’s hockey community as a whole, did not want that to deter us from making a positive change for all involved,” Fenton said. “We feel strongly that these changes strike the right balance, allowing for a recruitment period to take place prior to a prospect making a significant decision while also slowing down the recruiting process.”

It has the seal of approval from the NHL and USA Hockey.

The NHL fully supports the recruiting rule changes for men’s Division I hockey that were approved today by the NCAA,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. “We are confident that rules which support and promote college contacts later in a player’s development will reduce many of the unnecessary pressures felt by young hockey players, and will provide them better and more enjoyable experiences playing the game. These are precisely the types of changes that hockey organizations like the NCAA and the NHL pledged to pursue when we signed onto Hockey’s Declaration of Principles.”

“It is important that all the stakeholders in our game continue to make changes to positively impact hockey at all levels,” said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey. “When we announced our American Development Model a decade ago, it was based on providing the best possible environment for our players, and the legislation passed today by the NCAA related to Division I men’s ice hockey is in that same spirit.”


From College Hockey Inc.

From College Hockey Inc