A Day in the Life of a Minor League Ice Hockey Player

In the Canadian junior ice hockey system almost every young player dreams about one day making it to the National Hockey League.

When you do a fast count in your head you soon realize that there are a huge number of guys playing junior hockey in Canada. You also soon realize that very few of these ice hockey players actually will make it to the National Hockey League.

This article will focus on all those ice hockey players that do not make it directly to the NHL.

These players have to prove themselves in the minor hockey system, before a few of them head up to the NHL where they want to play.

The minor hockey leagues are as follows:

At the level below the National Hockey League you find the American Hockey League and here most of the players have NHL contracts. It is good ice hockey with many good players.

Players that do not make the American Hockey League find themselves looking for a job in the minor leagues at the level below. A few of these leagues are East Coast Hockey League, Central Hockey League and the United Hockey League.

As you understand the players do not make as much money in the minors as they do in the NHL and life is tougher as well.

You still play about 70 to 80 games a season in the minors and it is very rare that teams at this level travel by plane. So, if you do not know how to sleep on a bus, you better learn. Fast!

A game day in the life of a minor league ice hockey player could look like this:

You wake up at around eight, have breakfast and arrive at the rink at nine. At the rink you make sure that your equipment is OK and you get ready for the mandatory pre-game skate.

Probably you are hoping for that the coach doesn’t have a bad day and skate you too hard. Even though a hard skate has not hurt anybody, very few players enjoy this.

After the morning skate, you shower, get dressed and head for a pre-game meal at a greasy restaurant. The food could probably be better, but who cares.

After lunch it is back to the rink, pack up the bus, watch two movies and four hours later it is time to prepare for tonight’s game.

When you get out of the area after the game it is already dark and you watch two more movies on your way back home. You hit the sack at 2.30 AM and if you lost the game you know that it will not be fun at practice tomorrow morning.

Hopefully they will be called up you before that.

About the Author

Article written by, a NHL hockey fan site where you can read more about NHL hockey and junior ice hockey.

Johnny McKenzie