NAHL announces alignment and events for 2016-17 season
May 27, 2016
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced its divisional alignment and events for the 2016-17 season. The 24-team league will be divided into four divisions (Central, East, Midwest, South) spanning 12 states.
The NAHL will have 24 teams for the 2016-17 season, which includes the addition of the Northeast Generals to the East Division and the Shreveport Mudbugs to the South Division. The only other shift in the divisional alignment for the 2016-17 season besides the addition of the two new teams, was the Minnesota Magicians moving to the Midwest Division and the Minnesota Wilderness moving to the Central Division.
The league-wide events for the 2016-17 season will consist of the following:
NAHL Showcase – September 21-24, 2016 – Schwan Super Rink, Blaine, MN
NAHL Top Prospects Tournament – February 27-28, 2017 – USA Hockey Arena, Plymouth, MI
NAHL Robertson Cup Championship – May 11-14, 2017 – TBA
“The evolution of the NAHL in the East and South Divisions create opportunity for more players to play NAHL Hockey and more fans and communities to enjoy the NAHL hockey,” said NAHL Commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. “For 41 years, the NAHL has continued to offer junior hockey players the opportunity to develop, train, grow and succeed both on and off the ice, while playing for no cost. The NAHL is unique in the fact that a vast majority of players begin their NAHL careers without an NCAA opportunity, but earn one through the course of their development and exposure in the league. Our footprint and event strategy is unparalleled with the primary focus to provide NAHL players with the best development and exposure experience possible.”
So far during the 2015-16 season, more than 210 NAHL players have committed to NCAA schools and in the past two seasons over 450 players have made NCAA commitments. In addition, 11 NAHL players were listed on the 2016 NHL Central Scouting final list and seven players with NAHL ties were selected in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
The league’s 41st regular season commences on Friday, September 9, 2016 and each NAHL team will play a total of 60 regular season games (28 home/28 road/4 showcase).
Six (6) teams will compete in the Central Division: the Aberdeen Wings, Austin Bruins, Bismarck Bobcats, Brookings Blizzard, Minnesota Wilderness and Minot Minotauros.
Five (5) teams will compete in the East Division: the Aston Rebels, Johnstown Tomahawks, New Jersey Titans, Northeast Generals and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights.
Six (6) teams will compete in the Midwest Division: the Coulee Region Chill, Fairbanks Ice Dogs, Janesville Jets, Kenai River Brown Bears, Minnesota Magicians and Springfield Jr. Blues
Seven (7) teams will compete in the South Division: the Amarillo Bulls, Corpus Christi IceRays, Lone Star Brahmas, Odessa Jackalopes, Shreveport Mudbugs, Topeka RoadRunners and Wichita Falls Wildcats.