Today’s guest is Mike Snee, the Executive Director of College Hockey Inc. He is a talented hockey executive with experience in amateur hockey and the NHL. Mike is College Hockey, Inc.’s Executive Director and guides their marketing efforts to promote men’s college hockey and its work to help grow the number of institutions offering the sport.
Mike spent nine years with Minnesota Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. He served stints as Director of Corporate Sales and Director of Ticket Sales and worked closely with college hockey as the Xcel Energy Center hosted the annual WCHA Final Five and the 2002 NCAA Frozen Four.
Mike was part of one of the most successful sponsorship groups in the NHL and helped spearhead the creation and execution of Hockey Day in Minnesota in 2007, a state-wide celebration of the game. Listen in for some great takeaways about Mike’s journey in the sport of hockey and how he is impacting the growth of college hockey as a Division I sport.
You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…
- Learn more about Mike Snee and College Hockey Inc. [3:28]
- What parents of youth hockey players need to know [8:38]
- The biggest mistake teenage hockey players make [12:35]
- Why the path to professional hockey is different [17:50]
- How young hockey players can get noticed by NCAA coaches [22:44]
- Where to get more information about the NCAA rules [27:30]
- A verbal commitment vs a national letter of intent [28:44]
- 93% of male hockey players earn a college degree [31:20]
- What student-athletes need to know about Name, Image, and Likeness [37:25]
- The landscape around scholarships for college hockey players [40:53]
- What brought Mike joy and put him in the right mindset for success [42:50]
Learn more about Mike Snee and College Hockey Inc.
College Hockey Inc. is a small non-profit funded by USA Hockey, the NHL, and others whose primary role is to provide information to young aspiring players about hockey-playing decisions. They strive to ensure that young players realize how good college hockey is and know what they need to do to remain eligible to play. They promote the sport and share the wonderful stories that exist in college hockey.
What parents of youth hockey players need to know
College Hockey Inc. tries to ensure that families are making decisions based on facts and reality—not their perceptions. Many young players can feel like they’re behind in the process when they’re actually ahead.
The average age that a current college hockey player commits to their school is 18.9. The average age a Division I men’s hockey player started their career was 20.3. Many people would call that player a late bloomer when they’re perfectly normal. You can’t base decisions on rare players who do things at an accelerated rate.
Mike wants 15-year-old players to realize they’re not recruitable yet. He wants them to focus on enjoying hockey and don’t spend their time focusing on what college coaches are seeing.
The biggest mistake teenage hockey players make
Mike also emphasizes that teenagers need to focus on how they’re playing, not necessarily on where they’re playing. The most important thing is that you’re comfortable playing and getting ice time in important situations. You don’t have to be in the best league possible to be recruited.
Secondly, the CHL—the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League—is seen as professional by the NCAA. So if a 15-year-old boy plays in that league, they lose their NCAA eligibility. It doesn’t work the same way for women. Teenagers need to be aware of this.
Lastly, Mike errs on the side of playing wherever you live for as long as you can. You don’t have to send your kid away from home at a young age. Mike’s research shows that it’s more about the players and less about the place. If you’re a good player, you will be found.
93% of men who play college hockey will earn a degree
That’s higher than the general student population. But why is that statistic so important? There are still only 700 or so spots on NHL rosters. Most players will keep those spots for 10+ years. The bottom line is that there are more great NHL players than there will be NHL roster spots. And unless the NHL expands, there’s nothing that can be done.
Most players won’t go on to play for the NHl. If you do, you won’t likely have a long career. While Mike encourages players to take hockey as far as they can, they can’t sell their education short. You can get a degree and be a fully committed hockey player.
Where can you get more information about NCAA rules? What’s the difference between a verbal commitment vs a national letter of intent? What do student athletes need to know about “Name, Image, and Likeness?” Mike Snee covers a lot of need-to-know information for aspiring hockey players. Don’t miss it!
Resources & People Mentioned
Connect with Mike Snee
A talented hockey executive with experience in amateur hockey and the NHL, Mike Snee was named College Hockey, Inc.’s Executive Director on Aug. 28, 2012. In this role he guides College Hockey Inc.’s marketing efforts to promote NCAA Division I men’s college hockey and its work to help grow the number of institutions offering the sport.
Snee is a member of the USA Hockey Board of Directors and serves on USA Hockey’s Junior Council. He is also a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Board of Directors and is on the Board of Directors with the Minneapolis Youth Hockey Association.
Snee joined College Hockey Inc. from Minnesota Hockey, where he spent four years as the Executive Director. During Snee’s tenure with Minnesota Hockey he led the creation of a strategic plan to ensure the long-term growth of the sport in Minnesota.
Prior to joining Minnesota Hockey, Snee spent nine years with Minnesota Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. He served stints as Director of Corporate Sales and Director of Ticket Sales and worked closely with college hockey as the Xcel Energy Center hosted the annual WCHA Final Five and the 2002 NCAA Frozen Four.
Snee was part of one of the most successful sponsorship groups in the NHL and helped spearhead the creation and execution of Hockey Day in Minnesota in 2007, a state-wide celebration of the game. Previously he led the initial ticket sales efforts for the expansion Wild, which produced a season-ticket base of 16,000.
Snee, a 1991 graduate of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., started his sports business career as an intern with the Minnesota North Stars and also worked for the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and the Minnesota Moose of the now-defunct International Hockey League.
Guests on the Mitlin Money Mindset Show are not affiliated with CWM, LLC, and opinions expressed herein may not be representative of CWM, LLC. CWM, LLC is not responsible for the guest’s content linked on this site.
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