What to Look For in a Hockey Player Agent

This article post comes from the perspective of an Agent who wants to help players and coaches succeed in their careers. The biggest problem in choosing a career as an Agent is the misconception players and coaches have that the Agent takes your money and disappears. Leaving the Player high and dry and literally damaging their career in the sport. There are as many dishonest wannabe Agents as there are Hockey Players trying to stiff them.

The business is cutthroat in many ways. The top ranked players get all of the attention from Agents while the rest get left behind. Sure some players develop faster then others and get a lot of breaks and exposure.

What happens to the player that does not get drafted to the NHL? Some will go to University/College and complete their playing days and begin the transition to work. Others who cannot afford to go to school or do not earn a scholarship end up moving on to play Minor Pro. Here is where they could meet the unregulated and possible scam artist calling themselves an Agent. They will ask for a large fee upfront and promise to get the player an opportunity to tryout on a team above their skill level. Days and months pass the agent does not return phone calls. The player ends up getting a job on a team through another player they know. They lose trust quickly with Agents as a whole. The player begins to do the process on their own ending up dropping lower in the level of league they should be at. They become frustrated and quit as its no fun anymore. So many players are victimized and lose trust that they pass up opportunities of good Agents who could have really helped them. Players need to know that there are a lot of good Agents out there, may that I had the pleasure of meeting.

Good Agents have also been victimized in the Player-Agent process. In the past 17 years working off and on as an Agent I helped over 400 players find a team to play for. Unfortunately many players found it difficult to pay fees at the end of a season This is why Agents charge fees upfront to prevent a complete loss. There are many reasons why the players end up not paying. They could range from the team not paying them at the end of the season, to poor budgeting. Whatever the reason is it cannot go on for both sides.

The important things to look for when you choose an Agent:

1. Does the Agent have a website and how long has it been in operation;

2. What is the background of the Agent, does he have pending criminal charges, past offenses, law suits, word of mouth through other players to stay clear of them. Run a name search and do your homework on the Agent;

3. Does the Agent promise something that is unrealistic to your abilities.

4. Check their Social Media profiles and the amount of followers that are genuine. Many Agents will purchase followers to look good. They need to be hockey people period. Check their Facebook profile, what do people say on their page. Do they hide under a company name and not disclose their personal lives, could be a red flag;

5. The average Agent will charge around $750 USD up front and a 4% at the end of the season, if numbers are much higher you may need to re-think your choice;

6. If you are a player who has the potential to make the NHL you will need a licensed agent for the NHL and AHL. These Agents are certified by the NHLPA and PHPA;

7. Look for an Agent who has a network of other Agents as this is a sign he has a good reputation. Reputable Agents will not do business with the wannabe Agent

That’s just a few things to look for.

The European market brings a whole new area of corrupt Agents. Some players have been guaranteed a spot on a European Team. When they arrive at the destination the team has never even heard of the player and there is no job awaiting. The Agent has taken your funds and disappeared leaving you in a strange country without a place to stay. Who would not lose trust in them.

Here are some facts to know so you don’t have a bad experience:

1. Pick an Agent who works with a registered agency in their country. They will usually have a website with a license number in the contact info.

2. Once you receive the official contract the Agent should make the introduction between you and the coach of the team.

What to expect in salaries:

NHL – Depends upon your ability . Rookies will have a cap for first year contracts.

AHL – You will earn over $1000 a week, depending on your ability can go up to $80,000 per season

ECHL – Wages vary from $250 a week to $1200 a week. This is where your Agent will negotiate a deal for you.

SPHL – You will usually earn less then $500 a week

FHL – Similar to the SPHL salaries are low, the league allows you to develop and move up leagues.

There are several semi-pro senior type of leagues that will pay as well.

What to expect in Europe:

The top Elite Leagues in Russia (KHL), Sweden (SHL), Germany (DEL), Switzerland (NLA) are all licensed and your Agent must be licensed with the governing bodies for you to get a chance to play there.

Elite Leagues can pay similar to the NHL, especially the KHL. In Sweden you could earn 6 figures. Teams in Switzerland also have very good salaries.

UK Teams have been known to even offer Masters Degree programs to supplement your wages.

The Average Teams will pay anywhere from $1200 to $5000 USD per month. This would be the 1st division level. Many 2nd and 3rd Division will pay less depending on the teams budget. The Agent will negotiate your accommodations for you and your family, travel costs, insurance, and even your equipment needs.

Many teams in Europe depend upon Sponsorship’s, if they lose their sponsors they may not meet payroll until a new sponsor is found. Budget your money just in case. Many teams in the lower levels will offer Room and Board or Meals paid and allow you to work teaching the children how to skate and play hockey.

Europe can be a terrific option for a player if its the start of his career or at the tail end of it. Picking the right Agent can make it a great experience overall. Europe has much more to offer then just hockey. You will immerse yourself in a new culture, discover local food and experience history. If your not single it would be an awesome adventure for your family.

If you’re working with a North American Agent make sure he or she has connections in Europe as you will need assistance with many of the issues a new country brings (Culture, Language etc.)

Let us know if you require representation. We offer a low upfront fee and no percentage at the end of a season. Playing overseas will allow you to earn a tax-free income. When we refer you to a partner Agent they may get a commission from the team for their work in finalizing the contract details. Any player we represent who has the potential to play in the AHL or the NHL will be referred to a partner Agency, fees may apply as per NHLPA or PHPA regulations. Ice Hockey Jobs will look after all of your needs to make your experience the best it can be.

Due to the volume of inquiries I receive each day, I can only offer my full attention to a limited number of people. If you have been finding it hard to find a place to play, lacking motivation, have limited contacts let me know I will get you on the track to find the right place for you.

 

I hope you found this helpful if you have questions feel free to contact me at

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