Last Cut from Junior A? When is the right time to think about a Call up?!
Two of my clients were both the last cuts from the Junior A level a few weeks ago. Sadly, they weren’t the only ones! At some point in your career, unless you are Sidney Crosby, you are probably going to have to deal with the rejection of being sent to the ‘Minors’. The good news is that they are both back up playing Junior A this weekend as ‘AP’ or Affiliate Players. Whether they stay long term or go back to the minors is another matter, what’s important is that they didn’t have to wait around till Christmas to get their next shot.
Your number one priority if you find yourself in this situation is to focus on how do I get back to where I want to be?
AP to Carded Player
The first step is to get called up or be an ‘AP’ player for a set of weekend games. If you can get into the lineup and show your ‘stuff’, that will go a long way towards getting an offer to sign for the rest of the season.
OK, that advice isn’t rocket-science. What’s important is how you go about getting your next round of tryouts.
Do NOT just wait for the ‘Call’ to come!
You have to be proactive.
You cannot wait for the right scout to acknowledge your awesomeness, which can take way too long. Teams at the next level are worrying about starting the season off right and focusing on team chemistry and winning. They may not be out there pounding the pavement as intensely as other points in the season.
Do your homework
Take the time to go through the rosters and see who might have a few extra injuries right now, come up with a short list of teams and let them know you would be excited about the opportunity should the need arise. Ideally, you will have spoken with a few teams in the summer and have laid the foundation for an early call-up. If not, do not be afraid to call a GM and let them know you are available, interested and that they should keep an eye on you. Just be polite and do not waste their time.
Lastly, if you belong at the next level, you need to prove it. Nothing gets you an extended look in Junior Hockey more than scoring goals and piling up the points. Or do whatever it is that makes you a valuable player for any team; stop pucks, block shots, kill penalties. Provide a skill-set that teams need and do whatever you can to get your foot in the door. Above all, the sooner you begin planning to get back to where you belong, the better.