It is an area that involves a lot of questions from both players and parents who are attending a Western Hockey League training camp. Kudos to you who are knowing the importance of keeping both avenues a possibility and not entering the situation uneducated. A WHL camp is an excellent opportunity for players- especially in Bantam- to get to play in a camp that demonstrates to them how detailed the junior game really is and how serious they take everything from preparation, to recovery, to nutrition. Not to mention the exposure it creates in front of Western Hockey League personnel and scouts. But many families are not educated enough when it comes to WHL/NCAA regulations. This also holds true to having an Agent/Advisor. As an advisor, I have a group of similar questions asked to me quite frequently, and therefore thought I would help answer some of them for you.
How long can I attend a Western Hockey League camp without ruining my eligibility?
- Many of us have heard the “48 hour rule” of how thats all players can stay at a camp until they have to go home. This is a myth. Players can stay at a camp for as many days as they want until exhibition season starts.
Can I play in exhibition games without ruining my eligibility?
- No. Any exhibition or regular season game you play in the WHL counts as a game played in professional hockey under the NCAA, and you will therefore not be eligible to play in the NCAA if you play in a game. Most WHL teams will not ask you to play in a game without a contract- meaning you are signed by that WHL club and will likely play for them.
Can I play in inter-squad games during camp?
- Yes. You may play in the inter-squad games during the camp, but not exhibition or regular season games.
Is it okay to receive accommodations or gifts for free?
- No. You must pay your way at a WHL camp, due to the fact that if a team pays for your meals, hotels, or any clothing, you are then considered a “professional” due to compensation provided for you, and your NCAA eligibly may be put in jeopardy if the wrong people find out. If they do give you a hat or jersey and there was a fee for camp, a good idea is to ask if they are included in the cost of camp. If there was no camp fee, talk to one of the staff about paying for it.
What if I am drafted by a WHL club or on their list?
- You can be drafted or listed by a WHL team just as long as you do not sign a playing contract. The minute you sign a contract, you will not be allowed to play NCAA Hockey.
Can I have an advisor or agent and still maintain eligibility?
- This is a question that is popping up more and more in today’s game as the use of player representation is increasing. You can have someone represent you, but you MUST pay them a fee. An agent is someone who works for commission on contracts, meaning during your Minor Hockey and Junior days, they are doing it for free, which again ties us back with the compensation thing. You can not get these services for free. An Advisor, however, is someone who works for a fee and advises players on where to go and how to maintain eligibility. This is completely fine.
For any more questions or insight you may have, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text 780-781-8004.