The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced its teams and divisional alignment for the 2013-14 season. The 24-team league will be divided into four divisions (Central, Midwest, North, South) spanning 11 states.
Celebrating its 38th season in 2013-14, the NAHL is the oldest junior hockey league in the United States and one of only two that operate under the non pay-to-play model. The NAHL is also one of the best at advancing players to collegiate and/or professional hockey. So far during the 2012-13 season, the NAHL has over 150 NCAA commitments and over 100 alumni were playing in the NHL this past season.
“The North American Hockey League continues to champion the dreams of so many of our players, as we continue to provide more places for players to play and develop each and every year,” said NAHL Commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. “Most importantly, hundreds of players begin each season without an NCAA opportunity, but earn one through playing and developing in the NAHL. That is what we are all about and our NCAA commitments each season continue to support that.”
Five (5) teams will compete in the Central Division: the Aberdeen Wings, Austin Bruins, Bismarck Bobcats, Brookings Blizzard and Minot Minotauros.
Six (6) teams will play in the Midwest Division: the Coulee Region Chill, Fairbanks Ice Dogs, Kenai River Brown Bears, Minnesota Magicians, Minnesota Wilderness and Wenatchee Wild.
Six (6) teams will compete in the North Division: the Janesville Jets, Johnstown Tomahawks, Michigan Warriors, Port Huron Fighting Falcons, Soo Eagles and Springfield Jr. Blues.
In the South Division, seven (7) teams will compete: the Amarillo Bulls, Corpus Christi IceRays, Odessa Jackalopes, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees, Texas Tornado, Topeka RoadRunners and Wichita Falls Wildcats.
The 2013-14 regular-season schedule and 2014 Robertson Cup playoff format will be announced on a future date.
The Jamestown Ironmen and Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings have been granted inactive status for the 2013-14 season.