So you’re wondering what path to take to get into the NHL. What does it take to play in the NHL? Before you set out on a path to the NHL, ask yourself this primal question: Do I love hockey?
The very smallest subatomic particle of qualification of a professional hockey player, is their deep love of hockey. Almost obsessive love.
Do you need anything else? There are a couple of other things. Desire, skill, coordination, conditioning, tons of practice, perseverance, some business sense, and on and on. Did I say a couple? There are tons of other things, but the burning love of hockey is what drives very few hockey players to go pro, or even to make it to NCAA or Major Junior hockey. Think about it. So many kids play, yet there are so few positions on a hockey team and so few high level hockey teams. Currently there are roughly 900 players in the NHL, but how many people play the game around the world? The funnel that minimizes so many down to so few that make it to the NHL is very restrictive. Who filters through that funnel? Those that love it the most and are compelled to do what it takes to get there.
Asking for advice is good, and a good place to begin, but don’t expect a handout. You have to want it. If you want to play in the NHL, go get it. Do the work. There’s no room in professional hockey for “I want it right now. I deserve it to be handed to me.” Anyone who won’t exert themselves in every aspect of life that is required to make it to the NHL, simply won’t even make it to a minor league that leads to the NHL. Hockey is not a game for complacent people. If one loves the game, they’ll do the work, and love doing it.