The United States Hockey League today announced that it will host the 2013 USHL Western Shootout, in partnership with the San Jose Sharks, from August 30th to September 2nd, 2013. It is the second consecutive season for the event after the inaugural tournament last year in San Jose, California.
The USHL Western Shootout is the first USHL youth event to take place west of Chicago, providing Member Clubs, USHL Central Scouting, and NCAA Division I scouts an opportunity to evaluate players on elite teams from three levels of AAA hockey – Midget Major, Midget Minor, and Bantam Major. All games for the event will be held at Sharks Ice in San Jose, the largest hockey facility in the western United States.
“Since the day they introduced NHL hockey to the Bay Area, the San Jose Sharks have made as great a commitment to youth hockey as any team in the National Hockey League,” said USHL President and Commissioner Skip Prince. “The loyalty and commitment of their extraordinary fan base, and the growth of hockey at all levels in the region, is a testament to that effort. As America’s exclusive Tier 1 junior league and the top education-based development league in the world, the USHL’s commitment to the Sharks is to return the favor, so that emerging young players throughout the region get to see the pathway we present – to the USHL and junior hockey, NCAA Division I competition, and if they’ve got the skills and drive, the National Hockey League.”
The USHL, the Sharks and the San Jose Jr. Sharks – a youth hockey club offering competitive teams for players at various levels including Tier I AAA – have partnered to provide an exciting tournament format designed to help the USHL and its Member Clubs identify the League’s and America’s future stars. Each team will be guaranteed four games, and each game will be played with two 25-minute stop-time halves. All players will receive a participation gift, and trophies will be awarded to the Major Midget, Minor Midget, and Bantam Major Division champions.
“We are thrilled to have the USHL back for this event,” said Jon Gustafson, Sharks Ice General Manager. “The USHL is the premier junior hockey league in the country, and we are honored to be their partner. We are very pleased by the quality of teams and the talent we have assembled for the Western Shootout, and it is very important that we have the opportunity to showcase these great kids to the best.”
League and Member Club management will also be looking to identify top players to participate in its 2014 USHL Combines. Players will take part in information sessions regarding the USHL and the unique, education-based path it offers the world’s top players to the NHL and NCAA Division I hockey. The best teams and players from the western United States are set to participate.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)