The majority of players in the North American Hockey League aspire to move on to the Division 1, National Collegiate Athletic Association level.
The fact is, though, that the majority of NAHLers do not make it to Division 1.
Which should not be seen as the end of the line for NAHLers who have made playing Division 1 hockey their ultimate goal.
To be sure, there are plenty of good Division 3, NCAA schools out there.
Just as there are some Division 1 schools that are better than others, the same holds true at the Division 3 level.
Many NAHLers are classified as being borderline Division 1-Division 3 players.
And really, there is a fine line between being a Division 1 and Division 3 player for a lot of NAHLers.
A quick check of the memorybank tells me that between the Michigan Warriors, Port Huron Fighting Falcons and Soo Eagles alone, there are at least six better-than-average, 1993 birth-year skaters who right now are borderline Division 1-Division 3.
One is Connor Lyons, an energetic, good-skating, all-purpose forward with the Warriors.
Lyons isn’t tall at 5-foot-9 but he’s strong at 187 pounds and while he doesn’t score a lot — he has 4 goals, 11 assists, 15 points and is a +5 in 41 games with the Warriors this season — he has a good shot and is a maximum-effort player.
It’s also a credit to Lyons that he has the trust of his hard-boiled coach, Moe Mantha. Watch the Warriors play and Lyons is on the ice in most key situations.
Will Lyons get a chance to play Division 1 hockey in 2014-2015?
I can’t answer that.
But if he doesn’t, he will have a choice of good Division 3 programs to play at.
Do I think Lyons could be an effective role player at a smaller Division 1 school?
Yes I do.
PHOTO: Michigan Warriors forward Connor Lyons. (NAHL photo.)