The North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) has announced the complete schedule for the 2013-14 season, including the first event of the season at the 11th annual NAHL Showcase, which will be held from September 19-22 at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minnesota.
The NAPHL, which will be celebrating its fifth anniversary season in 2013-14, is composed of 16 Midget Major (18U) and 16 Midget Minor (16U) teams from across North America that compete at the USA Hockey Tier I level. The NAPHL continues to establish itself as the premiere training ground for development and is designed to maximize the exposure of all the participants through the NAHL's high-profile recruiting events which attract hundreds of junior, college and professional scouts. Not only did several former NAPHL players get drafted by NHL clubs in the recent 2013 NHL Entry Draft, but several per season are receiving scholarships to NCAA Division I schools and even more on top of that are being drafted and tendered by top junior programs across North America.
“In just five short years, the NAPHL has become one of the elite leagues of its kind in the United States,” said Denny Scanlon, Director of the NAPHL. “We are seeing the ladder of development in action with several of our NAPHL alumni going from the NAPHL, to junior hockey, to the NCAA. Last year there were three NAPHL Alumni selected in the NHL Draft, and we are excited to see this year’s group of up-and-coming players.”
Each NAPHL 18U team will play 24 regular season games and each NAPHL 16U team will play 20 regular season games during the 2013-14 season. The seven events that compose the NAPHL regular season schedule are spread amongst five locations. The Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, MN and the Troy Sports Center in Troy, MI will each host two events, while Sharks Ice in San Jose, California, Canlan Ice Sports in Romeoville, Illinois and Goggin Ice Center in Oxford, Ohio will host the others. Each NAPHL organization will field both an 18U and 16U team during the 2013-14 season.
The 18U and 16U teams for the 2013-14 season are (alphabetical): Anaheim Jr. Ducks, Atlanta Fire, California Titans, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks, Detroit Falcons, Esmark Stars, Lansing Capitals, New Jersey Jr. Titans, Omaha AAA Hockey Club, Phoenix Firebirds, Pikes Peak Miners, Pursuit of Excellence, San Jose Jr. Sharks, St. Louis Selects, Texas Tornado and the West Michigan Hounds.
A minimum of four playoff games will be played in addition at the season-ending NAPHL Championship Series in February. The top eight teams in each division from the regular season will qualify for the championship playoff bracket. The remaining eight teams will then play in a consolation bracket. The NAPHL season will conclude with the annual Top Prospects Tournament. Details and a schedule for the 2014 NAPHL Top Prospects Tournament will be released on a future date.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)