NAHL - League of Opportunity

NAHL The League Of Opportunity


The North American Hockey League markets itself as the “League of Opportunity” and that is exactly what it has been over the past few years. The NAHL has evolved into a proven pathway for young men between the ages of 16-20 to develop into outstanding collegiate players. Since the 2009/10 season the NAHL website lists 560 athletes who have signed to play NCAA DI and DIII hockey. For these athletes their time in the NAHL provided them with the opportunity to pursue their education while continuing to play the game they love.

In 2009/10 a total of 108 players moved on to the NCAA ranks. Those numbers grew to 148 in 2010/11 and 171 in 2012/13. So far this season the number who have signed sets at 133 and is on a pace to once again eclipse the previous season in total signings. Of the 133 athletes who have signed to date in 2012/13, 89 will be members of DI programs next year with 44 headed to DIII institutions.

The NAHL Robertson Cup National Champion Amarillo Bulls and Kalamazoo Jr K-Wings led the way with 13 signees each followed by the Fairbanks Icedogs with 11. In all there are 65 NCAA schools represented among those who have signed NAHL athletes. Among DI programs the Air Force Academy has signed the most NAHL players with nine while the University of Wisconsin River Falls leads DIII schools with nine.

A breakdown of the signings to date shows all but one NAHL team represented.

Team Number Signed
Aberdeen

3

Amarillo

13

Austin

3

Bismarck

3

Brookings

4

Corpus Christi

5

Coulee Region

5

Fairbanks

11

Jamestown

5

Janesville

5

Johnstown

3

Kalamazoo

13

Kenai River

8

Michigan

3

Minot

1

Odessa

5

Port Huron

9

Soo

6

Springfield

5

Texas

6

Topeka

8

Wenatchee

4

Wichita Falls

5

The NCAA Conferences are well represented as well with Atlantic Hockey and the CCHA as the top two destinations for NAHL athletes.

Conference                  Num Signed
Atlantic Hockey, D1

28

Big 10, D1

1

CCHA, D1

25

ECACHL, D1

5

Hockey East, D1

5

Independent, D1

1

WCHA, D1

20

ECAC East, D3

7

ECAC Northeast, D3

1

ECAC West, D3

4

MASCAC, D3

2

MIAC, D3

4

NCHA, D3

20

NESCAC, D3

6

SUNYAC, D3

3

CIS, D

1

As additional proof of the caliber of play in the NAHL, 14 athletes have been signed by programs that were among the 16 teams competing in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. The league has also left its mark on the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, college hockey’s highest honor. Since 2001 the award has been claimed five times by NAHL alumni.

The NAHL’s impact on the US Junior Hockey scene continues to increase year after year as the level of play has witnessed a steady improvement. The league offers a tremendous opportunity for players to learn from some of the best coaches in the business. The NAHL is home to Tony Curtale and Bliss Littler the two winningest coaches in US Junior Hockey history as well as numerous ex-NHL players behind the benches. With all the NAHL has to offer the young men who play within its ranks, it truly is a “League of Opportunity”.

 

 

Tags: NAHL NCAA