One of the many steps hockey players do on their journey to becoming a pro hockey player is hiring an agent. To most casual fans, the role of an agent is to help a player get a contract. However, an agent is more than that; they are a person who not only gets their client a deal but they can also help them navigate every aspect of life away from the rink.
Import Sports is helping the mid-market players get the valuable representation they need. While many agencies try to focus on bigger clients, Import Sports are focusing on helping players in some of the top minor leagues around the world!
Import Sports started a little over a year ago and already represents over 70 players in over 16 different leagues! The founder of Import Sports, Cody Dray, is only 23. He has a passion for business and hockey. While playing overseas, he saw a gap in the market for minor league players to get fair representation. Even before ending his competitive career, he started working to get his agency going.
Before being able to help players an agent needs to be certified. Cody got his North American certification in only 9 months! He said usually the process can take around 2 years. By gaining his certification so quickly, he became the youngest agent in North America and can represent players as high as the AHL. (Which the next step is the NHL). Being this young, Cody sees his age as an asset to his agency. He likes the idea of being around the same age as the majority of his clients and can grow with them.
With so many clients, and playing in leagues all over the world, Cody does have some help. He has a business partner, Adrian Soun that helps with the European leagues. Cody and his team do not have a typical day. He says work can vary from day to day. One day could be dealing with the DEL-2 in Germany or working with his partners over in Sweden with the SHL. Then he could be dealing only with his North American Clients in the ECHL or the SPHL. Having this wide range of clientele is what Cody and the team at Import Sports find exhilarating.
In addition to working with a wide range of leagues, Import Sports works with a wide range of players. Their youngest player is 15 and their oldest is 36. Each one of their 75-plus players is different. Some require a lot more hand-holding than others. Import Sports can help their players with a multitude of things besides contract creation and management. They can help a player find living arrangements, set up bank accounts, and even wealth management. An agent can even help younger players get college introductions. Whatever the player may need, the agent is there. However, their end goal for each player is the same, to make it so the player doesn’t have to worry about anything other than playing their best. If that happens, it opens up more doors for the player and in turn, gets them more opportunities to sign with better clubs!
With Import Sports being a little over a year old there is a lot to look forward. They are going to this year’s draft in Vancouver which will be their first time there! Besides that, they are looking to hire legal staff members to assist in all the various legal action with clients. In addition to all that excitement, Import Sports is always on scouting for players to help represent.
Import Sports, as well as other agents, play a huge role in a hockey player’s life. They help with every aspect of the off ice life so, at the end of the day, a player can focus on being the best hockey player possible.