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Is Tier III the path to Tier II Ice Hockey?

What is the best path to Tier II or how can I get into Tier II? This is one of the most common questions asked when somebody contacts me. There is not one best answer. For every player there is a different path. Of course, the stats show you where most of the Tier II players come from. But, as mentioned before, it’s not the complete answer. [continue reading…]

USA Junior Hockey Tier III – do your homework!

Tier III Hockey (pay to play leagues) in the US is offered all over the USA. There are 7 leagues with a total of 171 teams (number at the beginning of the season). Before you send the first check to a team you better make sure you did your homework about the league and the team you will be playing for. Not all leagues and teams are the same! [continue reading…]

Changing Landscape in US Junior Hockey!

 

In September 2017 another new tuition-free, Tier II, league will mark their inaugural season. This will add another 12 teams to the current two free to play leagues, the USHL and NAHL resulting in about 300 additional no fee roster spots. The new League is the National Collegiate Development Conference – NCDC, located in the Northeast.
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USA – Youth Ice Hockey

In Europe’ Junior Hockey includes all age levels starting at U6 and going all the way up to U20. In the US they distinguish between Youth Hockey and Junior Hockey. Youth hockey starts at the U6 level (Mites) up to U18 (Midget). The Junior Hockey Leagues age group is 16 – 20 (see my post US Junior Ice Hockey – Leagues). There is an overlap at the 16-18 age level where players already play in Junior Leagues or at the Midget (Youth) level (more about this further down). [continue reading…]

US Junior Ice Hockey – Leagues

In a previous post I compared Swiss Junior Hockey with the USA Hockey Junior model  {Junior Hockey: Comparison USA – Switzerland}. The US Junior Hockey system is hard to understand for a European. I see this in the dazzled looks every time I try to explain the various Tier’s, and Leagues in the Tier III, and the emails I receive on the subject.  Here’s an attempt to explain the US Junior Hockey system, mostly based on a recent article by Alex Kyrias, Director Communications and Sales, NAHL (Junior Hockey: make the smart and informed decision) [continue reading…]