What it’s Like to be a Professional Hockey Player
Hockey is a sport that has been around for centuries and still holds the attention of millions of people all over the world. It originated in Canada as an act of children playing shinny on frozen ponds, but it now has professional leagues all over North America and Europe.
The National Hockey League (NHL) was formed in 1917 with six teams and has since expanded to 30. The season lasts from October through April and the Stanley Cup finals take place in June, where two teams play a seven-game series until one team is victorious. There are currently no European teams that have won the trophy, but Canada has won it twenty times with 24 appearances, while the United States and Czech Republic both have three wins and eight appearances.
What Does it Take to Make it as a Professional Hockey Player
In order to make it into the big leagues, a player has to be willing to work hard and do what is necessary for their team. It is a very physically demanding sport with a high level of fitness required in order to succeed.
A career as a professional hockey player is short-lived, with many players only lasting around 10 years at most and in order to prepare for that, players must also continue with their education.
One cannot get by with just being a professional athlete and it is important to have something else to fall back on when the career is over. Education is especially crucial for young children who dream of playing professional hockey one day. In Canada, there are hundreds of junior leagues, which are organized by skill level – Major Junior, Tier II Junior A, and Tier III Junior B. These leagues are affiliated with the colleges that players attend after their junior career is over.
How Much do Professional Hockey Players Make
The average NHL player makes over $2 million a year, but the top players can make up to $10.5 million or more. The best players are paid handsomely for their accomplishments and skills on the ice, especially if they have won major awards like Stanley Cups or Olympic gold medals.
Individual players negotiate contracts with their teams and these deals can sometimes reach as high as $50 million over seven years. When a player is traded, they negotiate their contract with the new team and can make more or less than before, depending on what the situation requires of them.
The minimum salary of an NHL player is about $400,000 US per year and most rookies go into the league making that or just above, but after their first year they can start to make more money.
A rookie is someone who has never played one single game in the NHL and other players who are new to the roster may also be called up as well. These players’ salaries depend on what kind of experience they have had at lower levels and how much of a role they will play on the team.
How Different are Amateur and Professional Players
Players who play at the amateur level and then make it into the professional leagues are very different from each other. Amateur players spend their days studying or working and their nights playing hockey, while professionals don’t have as much time to practice as they would like because of other obligations such as public appearances and team functions.
Amateur players generally spend three or four days a week practicing or playing games, while professionals are able to put in more hours every day.
Amateur players don’t have as much experience and they may not understand how much work is required of them if they want to achieve something great. Professional players know what it takes and spend many hours training because that’s their job and it’s what they expect of themselves.
Some amateur players may be surprised by how much time and effort is put into training as a professional hockey player, but it comes with the territory. If one is not able to make those sacrifices or unwilling to make those sacrifices, then maybe playing at the professional level just isn’t for them after all.
Professional Hockey Players are very different from amateur players because they play for a living instead of studying or working. However, both types of players have to spend many hours training every day.