Elite talent: The private school education of NHL All-Stars

CBC News
Edmonton's Connor McDavid CBC News | James Alexander Michie

Edmonton's Connor McDavid scores a highlight reel goal against Morgan Rielly's Toronto Maple Leafs. McDavid is one of 15 North American skaters named to this year's NHL All Star game who attended private school. (Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

An extraordinary proportion of players named to this year’s team attended pricey private schools

Of the 37 North American players named to this year’s NHL All-Star game or filling in as replacements, 15 — or 40 per cent — attended private school. It’s a statistic that reinforces the notion that hockey, particularly at its very highest levels, is increasingly a sport not just for those who can afford it, but for those in the highest tax brackets.

Some attended athletic academies. The Oilers’ Connor McDavid attended Premier Elite Athletes’ Collegiate, a now-defunct private school in the Toronto area with an annual tuition that ranged from $15,500 to $27,000. The Maple Leafs’ Mitch Marner went to The Hill Academy in Vaughan, Ont., (where Prep Hockey tuition is currently $13,000) and later Blyth Academy (where tuition is $15,995).

Carolina’s Dougie Hamilton, who was named to the Metropolitan Division team but is injured, and St Louis goalie Jordan Binnington went to Crestwood, a private day school in Toronto, which currently costs $28,500 per year.

Tuition was even higher among some American players. Chicago’s Patrick Kane went to Detroit Country Day School, where tuition is $32,200 US.

Max Pacioretty of the Las Vegas Golden Knights went to The Taft School, a prestigious private academy in Watertown, Conn., where day school tuition is $46,500 US and boarding runs to $62,500 US.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner will be making his first all-star game appearance. Marner attended The Hill Academy in Vaughan, Ont., and later Blyth Academy. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

All the private schools offer scholarships and some sort of financial aid to those who qualify. CBC News was not able to determine if any of the NHL All-Stars who attended the schools received scholarships or financial aid.

But the number of private school alumni is astounding, considering the chances of any young hockey player having a steady — non-All-Star — career in the NHL are just .02 per cent, according to an oft-quoted study.

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Source: Aaron Saltzman | CBC News

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