“My parents didn’t have the money to ship me off to prep school,” said Nickerson, a small but slippery 5-foot-9, 162-pound center who has committed to Dartmouth College.
“It’s a different route and it works for different people.
“I look at it like I have to spend two years less in the real world. I wasn’t ready to go to college right after high school. It was nice having a year off. It lets you mature a little bit. I’m ready to go now.”
But the big piece of the junior hockey explosion that will give prep and Catholic school coaches headaches is the recruitment of players at a younger age.
“I think that raised my eyebrow a little bit more,” Young said. “They’re getting the kids in the pipeline a little bit younger. They’re doing the U-16 teams and adding the younger programs.
“I think that’s an effort to get them into the junior pipeline and hopefully they’ll stay there, which isn’t going to happen with every kid. Kids will want to do that and still go to prep school. It all depends on the kid.”
Full slate on Sunday
The fifth annual Garrett Reagan Hockey Summit is taking take place Sunday at the New England Sports Center, with 60 boys’ and girls’ high school teams playing a round of exhibition games.
“It’s always a really good event,” said the Marlborough facility’s general manager, Wes Tuttle . “The place is always packed.”
The games start at 11 a.m. Among local teams, Waltham plays Newton North at 11:10 and Framingham takes on Xaverian at 11:30. A full schedule is posted under “Other events” at www.nes.com.
Jason Mastrodonato can be reached at email@example.com.