Joel Johnson, head coach of the University of St. Thomas women’s hockey team, recently spoke with The New York Times about why talented young women are drawn to the U.S. for college athletics.
From the story:
In any given school year, close to half of first-year women’s ice hockey players come from outside the United States, trailing only tennis, according to NCAA statistics. Thousands more head to American campuses for sports such as basketball, golf, soccer, swimming, and track and field, and even fencing and bowling.
But top-tier ice hockey players have been especially drawn to America because the United States, along with Canada, is one of women’s hockey’s foremost powers, stirring a talent development network that includes colleges.
“For many young women who are playing in the Czech Republics of the world, they don’t really have a great system once they graduate from high school,” said Joel Johnson, the University of St. Thomas coach who led the silver-medal-winning American team in Beijing. “To this point, there has been no better overall development, for age 18 to 22 or 23, than the U.S. college system.”