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NA3HL to NAHL: Pathway of opportunity

12/16/2017, 9:00am CST
By Let's Play Hockey

The 2017 NA3HL Showcase takes place Dec. 17-19, at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minn.

Louis Boudon is one of 46 NA3HL alumni currently playing in the NAHL. Earlier this season he committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for Lake Superior State University.

As the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) Showcase begins this week, the ladder of development and advancement from those players going from the NA3HL to North American Hockey League (NAHL) is as strong as it ever has been.

A total of 46 players that have previously played in the NA3HL are currently playing in the NAHL. In addition, there have been more than two dozen call-ups of NA3HL players to NAHL teams so far during the 2017-18 season.

“The primary and underlying mission of the NA3HL is to develop and advance players, so when it comes to the development path to the NAHL, no other Tier III junior league does it better or has more players advance on a yearly basis,” said NAHL Commissioner and President Mark Frankenfeld. “The NA3HL is a very important piece in the development ladder and we continue to see evidence on a daily basis on how NA3HL players are making an impact in the NAHL and beyond.”

With 42 teams, the NA3HL is not only the best and most competitive USA Hockey-certified Tier III Junior Hockey League in the United States, but also its largest and most diverse.

The NA3HL is also the only league that has an exclusive NAHL tendering system available only to NA3HL players. The NA3HL is also the only league whose players are eligible to participate in NAHL’s roster expansion program, which allows NAHL teams to add two additional players to their roster for the playoff push this February.

Another one of the main benefits of the direct relationship with the NAHL is the presence of NAHL Central Scouting at all the NA3HL events during the season, which includes this weekend’s NA3HL Showcase, the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament in February and the NA3HL Fraser Cup Championship in March.
NAHL Central Scouting is solely dedicated to finding NA3HL hockey players, evaluating them in a true unbiased manner and then organizing and providing that information to NAHL teams and college coaches. No other junior league in the United States has a system like it, where its primary mission is the advancement of players. NAHL Central Scouting is directed and organized by the Director of Player Personnel for the NAHL, NA3HL, and NAPHL, Tony Zasowski, who himself is a former NAHL and NAPHL head coach.

“Our hand-picked scouts are solely focused on evaluating as many NA3HL players as they can beginning this weekend and then getting that information organized and in the hands of NAHL and college coaches. I think that has helped us grow the advancement numbers and is something that is exclusive to the NA3HL,” said Frankenfeld.

This weekend’s NA3HL Showcase is the perfect example of the ladder at work. While all 42 NA3HL teams will be playing three regular season games under one roof, all 23 NAHL teams will be at the event, with either their head or assistant coaches in attendance. That is on top of the dozens more of college coaches that will also be at the event.

This all sets the stage for a proven and quantifiable NA3HL-NAHL pipeline, whose advancement numbers continually show an increase each season. This is the main reason that the NA3HL is still a step above the rest when it comes to the development path.

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Tag(s): State Of Hockey  News