If you are looking for NCAA exposure, make sure you find out who really is coming to the event, and why they are coming?
Are they paid to be there?
Truth be told, they are a mixed-bag at best. Back in the day, there was definitely more scouts legitimately considering talent that they wouldn’t normally see. Today, there are so many of these camps out there that any individual camp has lost its cache. Also, the truly ELITE players have already been scouted in-season and if you aren’t going to end up playing in a good Junior A Tier II league, then your odds of a scholarship are slim anyways.
I know more then a few NCAA or pro coaches that get flown in every year to Vancouver, Toronto, Boston or Vegas, all expenses paid, put in a few hours on the ice and end up with a nice 4-5 day vacation. Everybody wins, that is the event gets name value scouts in ‘attendance’ and players get to interact with next level coaches. Unfortunately, the player thinks he’s getting thoroughly ‘scouted’ when that might be a bit of an overstatement, to say the least.
If you treat it like a summer hockey school where you get to skate with or interact with NHLer’s or elite coaches and maybe they will like what they see, then you are closer to the truth of the situation. Are players discovered and signed at these events? Of course they are. In fact, I’ve had two clients who had previously been ‘unknown Tier II players’ sign scholarships to top 15 NCAA teams by the end of the event. This isn’t likely to happen to you unless you are already playing at a certain level, like Junior A or maybe Jr. B. If you are in first year bantam or peewee, you need to temper your expectations.
Compare events and if you feel the need to go to an event for NCAA exposure, do your research, ask everyone and anyone what their past experiences were and take what they say on their website with a grain of salt. Then choose the best of the lot which looks to provide the best all round value.