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Evaluation Process

We pride ourselves on our team selection process and truly believe that no other organization in the DVHL goes to such lengths to ensure the integrity, honesty and fairness of the process. Below is a brief description explaining the entire progression for player evaluations/tryouts and placement.

Evaluation Staff:

Off Ice Evaluators:

Six to eight evaluators, including a minimum of 4 non-parent evaluators, are chosen for each age level, from the following:

•             Potential Coaches,

•             Former coaches,

•             Non-Parent evaluators,

•             Hockey Operations.

On Ice Staff:


• An Ice Boss - responsible for running the on-ice practice plan developed by Hockey Operations.

• Additional Coaches - to ensure players are getting their repetitions in, lines are kept moving, and the Off-Ice Evaluators are getting an opportunity to see all players.

On Ice Evaluation Sessions

The On-Ice Evaluation Sessions consist of age level specific drills, designed to demonstrate game relevant skills as well as scrimmages to show game relevant ability.

Players are assigned random jersey numbers during check-in.

Off Ice Evaluators are given a list of players by jersey number only, no names, and 5 categories to grade the players over 3 nights:

•             Skating,

•             Passing,

•             Shooting,

•             Hockey IQ,

•             Compete Level

Data from the Off-Ice Evaluators are compiled into one spreadsheet after all the Off-Ice Evaluators have had a chance to grade every player in every category.

Note: Players may be removed early from the 3rd evaluation session if his or her placement has been clearly identified by the evaluators. Doing this allows the evaluators the opportunity to focus on fewer players in an environment consisting of those players with similar abilities.  If we do not get all the data needed, or there are too many players at a level, an extra night to be added to fairly assess all players.

Team Selection Process

The goal of the team selection process is to assign the players to the team where they will have the most success while continuing to develop, along with balancing the numbers of players per team.  Players will be placed on teams and those teams will then be assigned to levels to have the best opportunity to be competitive (AA, A, B). 

Once the data is compiled by jersey number, Hockey Ops meets with the Off-Ice Evaluators, former coaches, and potential future coaches to put the teams together.

The process is primarily data driven, and the spreadsheets are more than 75% compiled from Off Ice Evaluators with no stake in the game, who do not have a player at the age level.  However, there will      always be players that are considered “Bubble”, that are more heavily discussed.

“Bubble” players - are players that score identically and require more discussion and data to differentiate, including:

•             End of season evaluations from the prior year

•             Prior coaches speaking for players they have coached.

•             Feedback on coachability, teamwork, attitude, work ethic, and other factors.

No individual Coach can force a player onto a team, alignment from the Evaluation Team is required.  If a Coach wants a particular player, they must clearly state why that player belongs on a particular team, and the argument must be strong enough to gain alignment from the evaluation team.

Will players fall through the cracks? Yes, the process is far from perfect, but is the fairest system we can use.  Some players will not have their best 3 nights, some will have their best 3 skates ever. We do the best we can to put the players where they will have the most success, while continuing to develop.

Team Annoucement

Team assignment will be emailed to the players family within approximately 1 week of the final night of evaluations.

All placements are final barring unusual or special circumstances that must be approved by the executive board.