Hockey and prep schools go together like ice and a puck. If your child is serious about playing professional hockey some day, then you need to consider a prep school. Most prep school integrate their athletics programs right into the schedule of daily activities. The facilities are usually excellent. So is the coaching. The result is plenty of practice and game time. That's hard to duplicate in public schools with their tight budgets and other considerations.
This list of Canadian schools is a starting point in your search for the right school north of the border.
A hockey school set in the Canadian Rockies? Does it get any better than this? Of course it does! Banff is not as easy to get to as Toronto or Ottawa. Leaving that aside, BHA offers a strong program which will develop your son's hockey skills at the same time as it sharpens his academics. Great skiing nearby too!
BCS has been around since 1836. It's coed. The location south of the hockey capital of the world, Montreal, is sans pareil
. Your son or daughter will get great coaching and plenty of ice time. Add to that solid academics and the incredible skiing available minutes away in the Eastern Townships, and you'll understand why BCS needs to be on your short list of schools to consider.
I can personally attest to the gorgeous, rural setting of Harrington College. My weekends growing up were spent at Grandfather Kennedy's camp in Calumet, a stone's throw away from Harrington. Harrington offers your son an extremely focussed approach to hockey. He will live, breath, drink and eat hockey. If that's too much for him, then look at other schools with less intense programs!
PEAC is a new school whose mission is to serve student athletes. There's no track record yet, but the school is definitely worth a closer inspection. The location just outside the GTA is a big plus as your child can take advantage of the many amenities Toronto offers. Toronto airport is just a short flight from most major U.S. cities.
Ridley College offers a balanced, coed approach to athletics and academics. The location in the sunny peach belt of Ontario offers easy access either from Buffalo, New York or Hamilton and Toronto airports.
Photo © Rothesay Netherwood School
Rothesay Netherwood School has been around in one form or another since 1877. The school offers solid academics as evidenced by the fact that it has been an IB World School since 1968. In addition it has a fine athletics program which includes some serious hockey. RNS is located in the Maritimes easily accessible by both car and air from the northeastern U.S. states.
Saint Andrew's College offers a complete athletics program for your son. So, if he is thinking about hockey long term, but also loves squash and basketball, this school should be on your short list. Accessible GTA location makes SAC close to all Toronto's vast array of cultural and sporting activities.
St. John's is not noted as a hockey school per se
, but it offers so many other wonderful attributes including a plethora of alums who are Rhodes Scholars, that it has to be on your list. Winnipeg is a little far afield, to be sure, but that is a very small minus. My nephew Guy attended SJR.
Photo © Stanstead College
The excited headline on the Stanstead site says it all: Former Spartan drafted by NHL
Danny Hobbs ('06) was the sixth pick by the New York Rangers (seventh round, 198th overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft held June 23.
Oh, and did I mention that Stanstead is coed too?