Eastern Recruiting Improves If The USHL Moves Northeast

Eastern recruiting improves if the USHL moves Northeast The junior hockey news





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Eastern recruiting improves if the USHL moves Northeast May 8, 2012 6:47 AM

Long rumored eastern exdpansion for the USHL looks to be inching closer and closer to reality. Eastward expansion of the United States Hockey League would aid in the recruitment of players for the all eastern NCAA programs.

According to USHL Commissioner Skip Prince, the 16-team league is investigating the viability of creating a division of four to six teams in the Northeast.

Prince said the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston is one of several locations under consideration.

"No doubt there are a lot of recruiters who don’t make trips to the Midwest because we don’t have the budget to do that," Whitehead said. "It’s a big advantage for the western schools and the big-money schools in the Boston area. We would love to see the USHL spread to the east."

EJHL programs have dominated player placement in the east simply based upon geography and having a high level of talent localy to recruit from. Many ECAC, and Hoceky East programs are able to recruit only a handful of players from USHL teams.

Brian Petrovek, CEO and managing owner of the Portland Pirates, said he has been discussing with Prince the possibility of basing a USHL team in Lewiston ever since the Lewiston Maineiacs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League ceased operations last year after eight seasons at the Colisee.

The QMJHL produces many future NHL players, but players in that league aren’t eligible to play NCAA hockey.

"It will help grow the value from a fan’s perspective when they go see (a USHL) team in Lewiston, and they realize those kids could be playing at Maine, New Hampshire, Boston College or Boston University," said Petrovek. "There’s a closer connection and much better fit with a USHL team than there was with a team from the (QMJHL)."

According to Prince, 35 percent of the players who suited up for NCAA Division I teams this past season were USHL alumni.

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