The draft is likely one of the most misunderstood processes in all of youth hockey. The mystery of what happens behind closed doors, leads to numerous complaints and allegations of stacked or rigged teams. To begin, the draft rules are dictated by MAHA regulations and the draft is attended by a MAHA representative. Some of the regulations include number of 1st/2nd year players, out of district players, and goalie selections. The goal of the draft is to create even teams across each division.
So how are some teams better than others? Most of this is pure dumb luck, including which coach receives the 1st pick (reverse order in even number rounds). While the evaluations give a glimpse into each player; some kids perform better in drills than game stress situations (some opposite) and some kid’s brains are still in beach mode during the skates…some kids improve quickly, while others take a little longer adapting to changes in the game. Since most complaints arise around the mid-point of the season, it is recommended that families work with their coaching staff to grow and strengthen as a team.
Coaches are not provided player lists or ratings until just minutes before the draft. Certainly some coaches earn a slight advantage by knowing the kids, making their own evaluation notes, and being able to “read” the draft. Each coach comes to the draft with their own plan: some take top rated players each time, some select players/families they know, others seem to use a horoscope or pick by name during the draft.
Prior to the draft, coaches are warned not to agree to any deals and to avoid additional protected player requests. They are also urged to report any pressure to comply.
In the end, the MAHA representative present at the draft, as well as the KVHA Board of Directors, have the power to invalidate the draft if there appears to be any integrity problems. This could lead to coaches having to re-draft or teams being assigned based on ratings alone. The draft results are final and we are not allowed to make any changes.
Each year the association receives numerous request to be placed with a certain coach, avoid another coach, ride-share, best-friend, etc. Unfortunately, these request are not allowed under MAHA regulations. Each coach is only permitted one protected player (which is usually their son/daughter). Families are allowed to make requests known to various coaches, but the final decision lies with the coach and is limited to the availability of those players.
PLEASE NOTE: KVHA does not offer any promises or guarantees for players to be placed, or not placed, on any certain team. Refunds will not be considered for players who are not drafted on any specific team, with specific teammates, by any specific coach, or any other team request.