When it comes to players committing to play NCAA hockey while playing junior hockey, no one in North America and the United States does it better than the North American Hockey League.
That fact continues to reverberate throughout the hockey landscape in 2022 thanks to another record-breaking year of NCAA commitments as the NAHL continues to define itself as the League of Opportunity.
For the sixth straight season, the NAHL has gone over 300 NCAA commitments in a calendar year. In 2022, the NAHL had 356 total NCAA commitments with 258 of those commitments (70%) were to NCAA Division I schools.
The impact the league, its 29 member teams, and 700+ players are currently making is having an impact Nationwide from Alaska to Maine.
It once again re-emphasizes that no other junior league in the world saw as many NCAA commitments for their players, while they were actually playing in the league. They all are truly Made in the NA.
“It is clear that our owners and coaches have made NCAA commitments their top priority and that is a core belief and goal among all 29 teams,” said NAHL Commissioner and President Mark Frankenfeld. “Our owners are seeing the benefit of the period we are in, and it is all because we have made an investment in servicing the players. They see the numbers year in and year out and they know where the best places to play are. The proof is in the pudding and the results are there. It is exciting because we keep setting a new standard of excellence each season.”
Our NAHL event structure also plays a big role in player advancement. The NAHL Showcase at the beginning of each season serves as a unique opportunity for hundreds of NHL and NCAA scouts to get a first look at players. The NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in February and the NAHL Roberson Cup Championship in May also draw hundreds of scouts as we continue to provide world-class events for our players,” continued Frankenfeld. “This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for players to develop, grow and mature so that they may become better hockey players and better people. We continue to ensure that the competition and league-wide events remain at the highest level, while also maintaining a focus on educating our players about NCAA compliance and the importance of education.”
As Frankenfeld alludes to, this week’s NAHL Showcase plays a big role in that success, with dozens of players each season earning an NCAA Division I opportunity during and following their participation in the event.
Now in its 19th season, NAHL Showcase attracts over 9,000 people in overall attendance, including more than 300+ professional, college and junior scouts. For scouting purposes, the NAHL Showcase is the premier event of its kind and is a yearly gathering for every NCAA program and NHL team as they get their first look at some of the best and brightest hockey talent North America has to offer.
Dubbed ‘The Greatest Show on Ice,’ the Showcase provides for interdivisional play with all the league’s teams in one place and has divisions for younger leagues in the NAPHL. The event is a staple of the opening-month schedule for the league and a highlight of the recruiting season for colleges.
“The Showcase is such a fantastic event. If you are a hockey fan, it is just one of those experiences you must take part in,” said Bill McCoshen, who is the Owner and President of the NAHL’s Janesville Jets and the NAHL’s Chairman of the Board. “For the scouts, coaches, and players, it is a huge opportunity. There is nothing like it anywhere. The teams work very hard to get to this point and everyone wants to take advantage of the great opportunity it provides.”
NAHL by the numbers in 2021-22
· 356 NCAA commitments in 2021-22 (6th straight season of 300+ commitments)
· 258 NCAA Division I commitments
· Over 500 NAHL alumni played NCAA Division I hockey in 2021-22
· 32% of NCAA Division I freshmen in 2021-22 were NAHL alumni
· Five NAHL alumni were named as NCAA Division I All-Americans
· 50+ NAHL alumni played in the NHL in 2021-22
· Over 80 players with NAHL ties attended NHL Development Camps
In 2022-23, the NAHL will continue to build upon their 48-year foundation for continued success, which includes a footprint of 29 teams representing 17 states.
“We have had a focus in the last dozen years to evolve our ownership, the coaches, and our markets in order to provide players the best junior development experience possible. The NAHL evolution during this time has allowed us to attract some of the best coaches and players in the world,” said Frankenfeld. “Back in 2007, we had 18 teams and just over 100 commitments, and currently we have 29 teams and over 360 NCAA commitments. The NAHL is where it is today because of our committed ownership, who all take a financial risk by providing players top-quality coaching, skill development and community-supported teams in stable markets, and one-of-a-kind events that provide unparalleled exposure.”
Tag(s): State Of Hockey