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January 23, 2020

Men’s Hockey | DI NCAA Men’s Hockey Recruiting Rules and Calendar

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Early Recruiting

·      Recruits will not hear from college coaches until their sophomore year. College coaches will evaluate you at tournaments, college camps, and combines, so put your best foot forward. 

·      College coaches might contact your high school and club coaches to let them know they are interested in you. 

·      Athletes need to attend events to increase their exposure.

Communication and Verbal Offers

·      DI coaches can begin contacting recruits, starting January 1 after the athlete’s sophomore year.

·      Coaches must wait until August 1 of the athlete’s junior year to make a verbal offer.

Official and Unofficial Visits

·      You may schedule unofficial visits starting January 1 of your sophomore year.

·      Recruits cannot talk to college coaches on campus until they can schedule an official visit. This starts August 1 of their junior year.

Accepting Scholarships

·      National letter of intent (NLI) recruits will be asked to sign an NLI and athletic aid agreement to accept a scholarship offer with an NCAA sponsored sport. 

·      NLIs can be signed starting in November. 

·      Student-athletes refer to National Sign Day dates on the NLI website.

When can college hockey coaches start contacting you?

·      As of May 2019, NCAA DI college coaches are permitted to contact recruits after January 1 of the recruit’s sophomore year. 

·      DII coaches have to wait six additional months because the NCAA recruiting rules state that recruits contact date starts June 15 of your sophomore year.

·      Student-athletes should prepare for the recruiting process. Some suggestions are: create a recruiting profile, Hudl highlight video, and be diligent with researching college hockey programs.

Junior Hockey Recruiting Rules

·      Junior ice hockey is an option that student-athletes can take to get recruited for men’s college hockey. Gives you time to grow physically and academically. 

·      High school athletes can play junior hockey once they turn 16 years old and compete until they are 20 years old. 

·      You can play junior hockey for five years.

·      College coaches care about which junior hockey league you were in, so choose wisely.

Three junior hockey tiers that are comprised of various leagues. Recruits that compete for the tier 1 USHL league have a better chance of being recruited by an NCAA DI program.

Tier 1: USHL

Tier 2: NAHL and NCDC.

Tier 3: EHL, USPHL Premier, NA3HL and WSHL

New NCAA Rules for Men’s Hockey

2019, the NCAA announced changes to the recruiting rules. These rules will impact the men’s college hockey recruiting process.

  • Communication between DI coaches and recruits is prohibited until January 1 of a recruit’s sophomore year. Take note, this means that recruits cannot initiate contact also. If a recruit initiates contact with a coach before this date, under no circumstances is a coach permitted to engage in conversation. 
  • Communication between DII coaches and recruits is prohibited until June 15 after the recruit’s sophomore year.
  • Recruits can receive their first verbal offer from NCAA college coaches starting August 1 before a recruit’s junior year. 

NCAA DI Hockey Recruiting Rules

Any time 

  • Recruits can receive material that is not related to recruiting. (some examples are: questionnaires, camp brochures, publications that are not related to athletics, and NCAA educational materials that are official. 

January 1 of sophomore year 

  • Coaches can start contacting recruits by phone and digital communication ( Some examples are: emails, text messages, and direct messages, and social media).
  • Recruits can schedule unofficial visits after this date.

August 1 of junior year

  • You can begin official visits and meet with college coaches on campus to discuss recruiting.
  • Time for coaches to start making verbal scholarship offers! 
  • Off-campus contact is now allowed at the recruit’s school or home.

DI Recruiting Calendar: https://ncaaorg.s3.amazonaws.com/compliance/recruiting/calendar/2019-20D1REC_OtherSportsDeadandQuietPeriods.pdf

DII Recruiting Calendar:


Resource: NCAA.org