NA3HL releases 2021-22 regular season schedule
The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) has announced the release of the 2021-22 regular-season schedule. The NA3HL is entering its 12th season and serves as one of two USA Hockey Tier III junior leagues. Each of the 34 teams in the league's five divisions will play 47 regular season games. The 2020-21 regular season will commence on September 5, 2021 and end on March 6, 2022.
No other league of its kind has had more movement and advanced more players onto play in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) than the NA3HL. Thanks to additional and enhanced initiatives in cooperation with the NAHL put in place several years ago, more players from the NA3HL play, practice, and earn NCAA Division I scholarships with the NAHL than any other league.
This past season not only did 35 NA3HL players sign tenders to play in the NAHL for the 2021-22 season, but 21 more players were selected in the 2021 NAHL Draft. The NA3HL also continues to make its mark and is one of the leaders in junior hockey with the advancement of players onto the NCAA. So far in 2021, the NA3HL has over 100+ college commitments, with almost 70% of those being NCAA commitments. In addition, over 300 former NA3HL players are currently playing in the NCAA, and 13% of NCAA Division III freshmen this season previously played in the NA3HL.
“We are excited to announce our regular season schedule on time as we continue to get back to normal in 2021-22, which includes one of our busiest and most exciting seasons to date with a record number of 34 teams. Our teams and their leadership worked hard to make the schedule happen and we are looking forward to many of the enhanced and new match-ups in the NA3HL this season,” stated NA3HL Commissioner Blake MacNicol. “We all share in the common mission of creating an enhanced level of play and competition that is focused on a player’s development and advancement. We also share common goal for players to advance to college hockey while competing and developing in within USA Hockey Ladder of Development.”
The 2021-22 season is an exciting time for the NA3HL, as the league will be at 34 teams. In addition to its regular-season schedule and playoffs, the NA3HL, which boasts a geographical footprint with 34 teams in 16 states (Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming) allowing players to compete and excel academically at home, will participate in the NAHL's high-exposure events, which attract hundreds of college, junior and professional coaches and scouts.
The NA3HL will have three events during the 2021-22 season. All NA3HL teams will compete in a league-wide Showcase held from December 20-22, 2021 at the Super Rink in Blaine, Minnesota. The second event of the season will be the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament, which will take place alongside the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament on February 7-8, 2022. The NA3HL will then finish their season with the Fraser Cup Championship Tournament, which crowns the NA3HL's playoff champion. The event will be held from March 24-28, 2022, in St. Louis, Missouri.
2021-22 NA3HL Divisional breakdown:
Central Division (6 teams): Milwaukee Power, Oregon Tradesmen, Peoria Mustangs, Rochester Grizzlies, St. Louis Jr. Blues, Wausau Cyclones
East Division (6 teams): Bay State Bobcats, Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks, Long Beach Sharks, New Jersey Titans, Northeast Generals, Norwich Sea Captains
Frontier Division (8 teams): Badlands Sabres, Bozeman Icedogs, Butte Cobras, Gillette Wild, Great Falls Americans, Helena Bighorns, Sheridan Hawks, Yellowstone Quake
South Division (8 teams): Atlanta Capitals, Austin Ice Bats, El Paso Rhinos, Louisiana Drillers, Mid Cities Jr. Stars, Oklahoma City Hockey Club, Texas Brahmas, Texas RoadRunners
West Division (6 teams): Alexandria Blizzard, Granite City Lumberjacks, Mason City Toros, Minnesota Loons, New Ulm Steel, Willmar WarHawks