New England Prep School Hockey is the best school sponsored hockey league in North America. It has a long and rich history of producing student athletes who have gone on to play at the NCAA and NHL levels.

Some of the retired NHLers include Tony Amonte (Thayer), Brian Leetch (Avon), Tom Poti (Cushing), Mike Grier (St. Sebastian’s), Jay Pandolfo (St. Sebastian’s), Scott Young (St. Mark’s) and Jeremy Roenick (Thayer) to name a few. Among current NHLers who played NEPSHIA include Colin White (Nobles & Greenough), Noah Hanafin (St. Sebasitan’s), Brad Malone (Cushing), Jimmy Vesey (Belmont Hill), Keith Yandle (Cushing), Jonathan Quick (Avon Old Farms), Nick Bonino (Avon Old Farms), Connor Sheary (Cushing), Cam Atkinson (Avon Old Farms), Chris Kreider (Andover), Brian Boyle (St. Sebastian’s), Luke Glendening (Hotchkiss) and Max Pacioretty (Taft) to name a few.

The league leverages top quality academics with one of the most competitive hockey environments in the US/CAN. Teams play between 25-30 games per season and benefit by a 2:1 practice to game ratio. Most teams practice Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with games on Wednesday and Saturday.

The 2016-2017 season had 2 NHL Draft Picks right out of prep school hockey in Jack Rathbone and Reilly Walsh; as well as Phil Kemp (Brunswick) and Jack Dugan (Northwood) who are prep school alumni. In that same year the US National Development Program selected 8 players for their U17 team from NEPSHIA which was the largest concentration of players from any league. Last year alone over 100 players moved on from prep school hockey to NCAA Division 1, NCAA Division 3 and Junior hockey in US/CAN.

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Boarding School vs. Day School

The main difference here is where the student sleeps. Boarding schools typically have a high percentage of their student body living on campus housing, typically dorms. Day Schools have most of their students living from home and going to the school during the day.


Every School has its own fees whether its tuition or room and board, but the schools vary in what they offer for scholarship. Parents applying for financial aid will fill out the FASFA form and that will be standard from school to school. However, every school prioritizes different values and has scholarship money available for both financial aid and non-financial aid candidates. Do NOT pass on the Prep School application process over the price before speaking with a school’s admissions office.


NEPSHIA Schools are located throughout New England and Eastern New York. Some of these schools are located in small rural towns while other are in larger cities.

Size of School

Prep School hockey defines a small school by their student population (only boys) and the numbers range from 550+ boys (Andover and Exeter) to under 100 (NYA and Hoosac).

Co-Ed vs. Single Gender

Most boarding schools are co-ed but there are some for only girls and some for only boys.


Like the college application process, each school has its own unique criteria for accepting students. Some schools place a higher importance on GPA or SAT scores or extracurricular activities. Some schools are more selective than others and therefore the student athletes should check with the schools admissions office to obtain their acceptance rates and requirements.

Myths About Prep School Hockey

Prep School Hockey is Too Expensive

Explanation: Prep Schools spend millions upon millions of dollars every year on scholarships for their students to be able to attract a diverse group of players from different socio-economic backgrounds and from all over the world. Many of these boarding schools will reward families with their full financial need according to FASFA and even help supplement that with scholarships. There are countless examples where players at prep school are paying less to attend that school and play hockey than the Midget AAA player despite there being a big difference in the sticker price of prep school versus Midget AAA.

Prep School hockey doesn’t play enough games

Prep Hockey Players are playing the same number of games as NCAA players. They are in a development focused model where there are no trades and the student athlete is practicing 2x as much as they are playing in games. This is what USA Hockey deems as the correct balance of practice to games ratio. Prep School teams typically practice Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with games on Wednesday and Saturday.

Coaches at Boarding Schools are teachers not hockey people

The quality of coaching in prep school hockey is arguably its most impressive component. Some of the coaches in the league are former NHL players, some have coached at the NCAA level and most all of which played hockey at the NCAA level. The coaches from the Elite 8 teams last year is a good example. Two of the coaches were former NHL players (Tony Amonte & Shawn McEachern; two of the coaches were former NCAA D1 Coaches (Tim Whitehead and Andrew Will) and all 8 coaches were former NCAA players: Tony Amonte (BU), Robbie Barker (UNH), Andrew Will (Union), Dan Donato (BU), Shawn McEachern (BU), Dana Barbin (UNH), Jeremiah McCarthy (Harvard) and Tim Whitehead (Hamilton).

How do I apply to boarding schools?

Every boarding school is different but similar to the college process students will have to take standardized tests (SSAT) and fill out an application. There are several resources to help parents and students navigate through the prep application process from the scheduling of the SSAT to Common Applications to Individual School Applications to timelines to give current teachers recommendation forms to deadlines for applications.
The process should typically start in September and October. The application process from filling out the applications to essays to getting teacher recommendations goes through November and December. Each school will have its own due date for applications but most fall sometime in mid-January and some as late as February.

Students will receive acceptance letters in early March. They should also receive their financial aid and scholarship rewards as well for those who qualify.

These are the typical time-tables but for some schools these are not in concrete. There are times where schools offer excellent packages to students they want and for whatever reason that student athlete does not come. In that scenario the prep coach may have room for another player and may have some scholarship funds available later in the process. Those situations can get resolved in the spring and some even go into the summer.