The 2020-21 junior hockey season has started across the country with the North American Hockey League and United States Premier Hockey League commencing regular-season games and the United States Hockey League forging ahead with preseason games.
While playing games brings back a sense of normalcy, there are still a myriad of factors that are making this junior hockey season anything but normal. Fans are limited or prohibited in some venues. Division 1 college coaches aren’t allowed in the buildings due to the NCAA recruiting dead period associated with the coronavirus. There is growing uncertainty in terms of available spots on college rosters for the next few years with current collegians being granted an extra year of eligibility.
The 2020-21 season might be the worst in history to be a junior hockey age-out. There’s less exposure and less guarantee of spots the following year on college rosters. That being said, there are some ’00s and ’01s off to notably hot starts to their junior hockey seasons. Here’s a look at a few of them and why I believe they’ll end up playing Division 1 hockey in the future.