NAHL announces the North American 3 Atlantic Hockey League
March 30, 2016
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) is proud to announce the addition of a new hockey league to the NAHL family made up of eight teams from the league formerly known as the Metropolitan Junior Hockey League (MJHL), which just completed their 50th season of operation. The league will now operate as the North American 3 Atlantic Hockey League (NA3AHL) for the 2016-17 season.
The eight-team league will compete at the Tier III junior level and features teams located in the Eastern United States including: New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
The NA3AHL features six approved members, which include: Central Penn Panthers (Lancaster, PA), Jersey Wildcats (Wharton, NJ), Long Island Junior Royals (Huntington, NY), New Jersey Junior Titans (Middletown, NJ), New Jersey Renegades (Bridgewater, NJ) and New York Metro Fighting Moose (Brooklyn, NY). The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights will be included in the league pending final approval from the USA Hockey Junior Council no later than June 10th. In addition, the league expects to relocate one final team to bring the membership to eight teams, which is currently being negotiated and must respect confidentiality at this time.
“We feel the opportunity to manage the NA3AHL will continue to provide more opportunity for players on the East Coast who have aspirations of playing college hockey, utilizing our unique and proven development model. The continued growth on the East Coast of our NAHL, NA3HL and now NA3AHL properties is further affirmation that our structure and decisions are based solely on what is best for the players. Combined with our professional management and full-time staff, we feel we can take the NA3AHL to a heightened level of competition and organization,” said NAHL President and NAHL Commissioner Mark Frankenfeld.
As a developmental league, the NA3AHL is a league where many players may begin their junior careers. It is a developmental stage of the player’s life where adjustments to the playing style of a higher level of hockey are intertwined with the adjustments to a new phase of life. The NA3AHL will operate as an official Tier III USA Hockey junior league, pending Junior Council approval no later than June 10th.
“I'm pleased to have our teams affiliated with a league that truly supports the ladder of development with the players best interests first and foremost,” stated Gene Palecco, President and Commissioner of the Atlantic Youth Hockey League.
NAHL Director of Player Personnel, Craig Barnett, will serve as Commissioner for the NA3AHL. “I am excited to be in a position to work with all the teams, players and families of the NA3AHL and help lead them into a new chapter of junior hockey on the east coast. The NAHL has many resources we can implement into the NA3AHL business plan to help provide stronger competition, educational resources, as well as exposure to assist in the development of the players. I look forward to next season as well as projecting out where we might be two, three years down the road,” said Barnett.
The NA3AHL will play a 40-45 game regular season schedule, as well as, participate in other non-league events such as the NA3HL Showcase and Top Prospect Tournament. In addition, NAHL Central Scouting will be utilized to evaluate the NA3AHL players throughout the season. As it does for the NA3HL and NAPHL leagues, the NAHL Central Scouting reports for the NA3AHL will be dispersed to all NHL teams, NCAA I and III programs and all NAHL teams. This is a proven system that will assist each NA3AHL team to promote and market their players in the ladder of development model.