NA3HL celebrates record-breaking season of player advancement
June 9, 2016
With the results of the 2016 NAHL Draft now complete and posted, the NA3HL is pleased to announce that a total of 32 players who played in the NA3HL this past season were either tendered or drafted by NAHL teams. The 32 players either tendered or drafted is the most the NA3HL has ever had in one season.
This comes on the heels of a season in which the NA3HL also saw a record number of player movement to the NAHL during the season as over 40 players moved up to play in the NAHL during some point of the 2015-16 season. No other Tier III junior league had more movement to the NAHL.
“Our first priority is to provide the players the opportunity to play in a structured, healthy environment which in turn gives them the opportunity to be seen and advance to the next level,” said NAHL commissioner and NA3HL President Mark Frankenfeld. “Despite being just seven years old, the NA3HL has produced a proven track record of moving players on and this past season continued the trend of more record-breaking numbers.”
“Each year, top level NA3HL players earn the opportunity to advance on to the NAHL. No other Tier III league in the country sends more players on to the NAHL than the NA3HL. Additionally, many more players move directly on to college hockey. It all depends on the individual players developmental path,” continued Frankenfeld. “When you watch our NA3HL events like the Showcase, the Top Prospects Tournament and the Silver Cup Championship, with the level of play and the level of commitment, and with what is happening on the ice, that is a pretty fantastic product. The results and numbers behind the player advancement speak for themselves.”
The NA3HL has also had a tremendous season of college commitments and advancement, with over 110 players from the 2015-16 season making either NCAA or ACHA commitments. Almost 80 of those commitments are to NCAA schools.
In addition, five current NAHL head coaches are also coaching alums of the NA3HL. Aston Rebels head coach Joe Coombs previously coached in the NA3HL (when is was the CSHL) for the Dubuque Thunderbirds. Kenai River Brown Bears head coach Jeff Worlton previously coached in the NA3HL for the Breezy Point North Stars and Flint Jr. Generals. Coulee Region Chill head coach Ryan Egan coached the previous two seasons in the NA3HL for the La Crosse Freeze. Northeast Generals NAHL head coach Bryan Erikson coached the Generals last season when they were in the NA3EHL and new Shreveport Mudbugs head coach Karlis Zirnis was the head coach for the NA3HL’s Nashville Jr. Predators for the past three seasons.
The NA3HL serves as the top training ground in the country by providing the best coaching, exposure and developmental vehicles available for student-athletes in Tier III junior hockey. The NA3HL is organizationally managed by the NAHL, which includes the same benefits that those in the NAHL enjoy, including partnership with equipment partners, unmatched daily news and player recognition, live online broadcasts and league-wide events.
The NA3HL will be entering its eighth season of operation during the 2016-17 season with an all-time record number of 48 teams that stretches from Montana to Maine.