The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced its divisional alignment and events for the 2017-18 season.
For the 2017-18 season, the 23-team league will be divided into four divisions (Central, East, Midwest, South) spanning 12 states. All 23 returning teams will play in the same division as they did during the 2016-17 season. The only change is that the Wichita Falls Wildcats have been granted and approved for inactive status and will not play in the NAHL during the 2017-18 season.
So far during the 2016-17 season, 225 NAHL players have committed to NCAA schools and in the past two seasons almost 500 players have made NCAA commitments. 86% of those current commitments are NCAA Division I commitments. In addition, seven players with NAHL ties were listed on the 2017 NHL Central Scouting final list and seven players with NAHL ties were selected in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
The league-wide events for the 2017-18 season will consist of the following:
NAHL Showcase – September 20-23, 2017 – Schwan Super Rink, Blaine, MN
NAHL Top Prospects Tournament – February 26-27, 2018 – USA Hockey Arena, Plymouth, MI
NAHL Robertson Cup Championship – May 2018
“The NAHL continues to offer junior hockey players the opportunity to develop, train, grow and succeed both on and off the ice, while playing for no cost. Each season, we raise the bar higher and higher because the vast majority of our players begin their NAHL careers without an NCAA opportunity, but then earn one through the course of their development and exposure in the league. This season is no exception as we are again on the cusp of another record-breaking year for NCAA commitments,” said NAHL Commissioner and President Mark Frankenfeld.
The league’s 42nd regular season commences on Friday, September 8, 2017 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
Six (6) teams will compete in the South Division: the Amarillo Bulls, Corpus Christi IceRays, Lone Star Brahmas, Odessa Jackalopes, Shreveport Mudbugs and Topeka RoadRunners.