Eastern Junior Hockey League Announces U16 League

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Eastern Junior Hockey League announces U16 league

As TJHN stated in earlier articles, changes are coming to Junior Hockey in the United States. The recent announcement of the EJHL adding a U16 league will guarentee a feeder program to Empire and the Eastern Leagues. According to an EJHL source it will be a full season league to develop their own talent. Next year they will use 98′s, top ’97′s and fill in with more ’96′s on their U16 teams.

The draw for players is obvious in the organization from the league office right down to the member clubs, however, the real strength of the EJHL is its exposure to college hockey because more than half of the NCAA Division 1 hockey programs are in the Northeast in addition to many Division 3 schools.

This opens the discussion on USHL expansion. Should they expand and if so where to. There is a lot of junior hockey being played in the east with incredible exposure. Players alrerady know this because the EJHL rosters are filled with great players. There may only be 50-100 people watching games in this pay-to-play league but 10 of them are coaches from schools.

TJHN has learned the USHL may be considering eastern expansion. Its no stretch to see the top EJHL clubs make the move, they are a key developer of talent for most of Hockey East, ECAC and Atlantic leagues. This move would also be likely to keep some top talent from going north to Canada, keeping them in the US to play college hockey. This will appeal to younger players who are considering prep school too, making the draw for players much more competitive.

We believe the USHL will find a way to make inroads into the hockey rich east. It’s good for the league, its fans, the players, colleges and for hockey in the US as a whole.

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