"I'm just sure that
his parents are writing that check..."
Frank Vatrano, the highly regarded freshmen forward that withdrew from
Boston College earlier this week and was claimed and protected by the United
States Hockey League's Dubuque Fighting Saints. Instead of going to the USHL, Vatrano has joined
Peter Masters' Boston Junior Bruins of the Eastern Junior Hockey League, a
program that charges players $8,000+ a season.
The Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League have the
rights to Vatrano and speculation by many had him going to Canada.
U.S. Hockey Report is saying that Vatrano failed to get through the NCAA
Clearinghouse, meaning he would have been ineligible to play and that he still
plans on playing NCAA hockey once he gains eligibility.
Vatrano is also expected to play in this weekend's All-American Prospects
Game in Buffalo, New York.
Vatrano spent the last two seasons with the United States National Team
Development Program, is considered one of the top 40 prospects in the country,
so what can he possibly gain by playing against the inferior competition of the
EJHL? Folks across the country are asking that same question today.
Another question, how did Vatrano spend two years in USA Hockey's NTDP and not get any potential issues with the clearinghouse addressed before moving onto college. One would think that a program with 46 players and a $3 million budget would have any academic issues completely under control.
Add Vatrano to the list of other players that have elected to join the
EJHL instead of free-to-play opportunities in Canada, the North American Hockey
League, and USHL.
When is USA Hockey going to force leagues to comply with the standards of
operations? Everybody in the game knows that Vatrano and others are not going
to be paying a dime to play in the EJHL, while others are being forced to pay
in excess of $8,000 a year. This is a clear infraction of NCAA requirements.
A source within the Junior Council was frank about the situation.
"It would be nice to think that the owners in junior hockey would be honorable,
moral, and do the right thing," the source said. "We don't live in a perfect
society. The constant manipulation of the rules is going to destroy the level
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Stephen Heisler resides in Puerto Penasco,
Mexico with his wife, Maria, and their two children, Sonia and Tomas. Follow
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