Why do prospects play NCAA hockey? I understand the desire for an education but, why delay the start of an NHL career to get it? When you consider what the CHL offers, it really makes no sense. For every season you spend in the CHL you get a one-year University scholarship. The CHL is also the best developmental league creating future NHL players so it is the best place for a developing prospect. If a player doesn't actually make it in pro hockey, he can then take his scholarship and get educated. Now, opting for the NCAA means you spend more time playing amateur hockey, delaying your NHL career. If you complete your NCAA obligation, you end up as a pro at about age 22 or 23 - essentially wasting two to five years of pro hockey and pro money to get an education. Why not take the most direct route to the NHL? If it doesn't work - then you get your education. Do players go the NCAA route because they believe they will never make it so they are taking their fall back first? Based on what the CHL offers, I see no value to the NCAA route. Am I missing something?