College hockey offers players the unique opportunity to pursue a professional hockey career at the highest levels while earning a college degree from some of the world's most prestigious institutions of higher learning.
More than 85 percent of college hockey players graduate with a college degree, setting themselves up for success after their hockey career. Each year men's Division I hockey programs award more than $30 million in scholarships, unquestionably the most significant education program in the sport.
“Let’s be realistic. At 16 years old, how many kids are actually going to make the NHL? I wanted a fall-back plan. I didn't want to put all my eggs in one basket, so I thought I'd go to school and get an education. If I could make the NHL out of college, great, and if not, I had a (finance) degree to fall back on.”
– Kevin Bieksa | Bowling Green
College hockey is played primarily on weekends to maximize class and study time, allowing student-athletes to enjoy a full college experience while becoming part of the campus community.
Every U.S. college boasts thousands of alumni in countless professional fields: business, law, engineering, government, medicine, sports and entertainment. Alumni networks, combined with a degree, put graduates in an ideal position to transition into their post-hockey careers.
Even for those players who reach the highest level, very few play in the NHL past their mid-30s. That leaves decades of life ahead - and college hockey prepares its athletes for both the NHL and what lies beyond.