The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) has announced the release of the 2017-18 regular-season schedule. The NA3HL is entering its eighth season and serves as one of the top USA Hockey Tier III junior leagues.
Each NA3HL team will play 47 regular season games, with three of those games taking place at the 2017 NA3HL Showcase.
The player advancement of NA3HL players last season to the NAHL and beyond again set a new standard for player movement. During the 2016-17 season, more than three-dozen NA3HL players got the call up to the NAHL. In addition, 25 NA3HL players were either tendered or drafted for the upcoming 2017-18 season. Over the course of the past two years, over 80 NA3HL players have been called up to the NAHL, while close to 60 have been tendered or drafted. Over 120 NA3HL players made college commitments during the 2016-17 season, with more than half of those being NCAA commitments.
“The release of the regular season schedule is always a landmark day for us. Combined with the NA3HL Showcase, the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament and the season-ending NA3HL Silver Cup Championship, we are all in for another exciting season with action-packed regular season games and highly-scouted league-wide events,” said NA3HL Commissioner Denny Scanlon. “We are eager to continue the recent trend of seeing more and more top level NA3HL players earning the opportunity to advance on to the NAHL and beyond. The flow of advancement is steady and NAHL teams are getting NA3HL players who are ready to play at the next level and who are very well coached.”
The 2017-18 season is an exciting time for the NA3HL, as the league will be at 47 teams. In addition to its regular-season schedule and playoffs, the NA3HL, which boasts a geographical footprint with 47 teams in 21 states (Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, 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 2017-18 season. All 47 teams will compete in a league-wide Showcase held from December 17-19, 2017 at the Schwan 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 at the USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan from February 26-27, 2018. The NA3HL will then finish their season with the Silver Cup Championship Tournament, which crowns the NA3HL’s playoff champion. The event will be held from March 27-31, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.
2017-18 NA3HL Divisional breakdown:
Central Division (5 teams): La Crosse Freeze, North Iowa Bulls, Rochester Ice Hawks, Wausau RiverWolves, Wisconsin Whalers.
Coastal Division (6 teams): Cape Cod Islanders, L/A Nordiques, Long Beach Sharks, Maine Wild, New England Stars, Northeast Generals.
East Division (6 teams): Lansing Wolves, METRO JETS, Pittsburgh Vengeance, Southern Tier Xpress, Toledo Cherokee, Wooster Oilers.
Frontier Division (8 teams): Billings Bulls, Bozeman Icedogs, Butte Cobras, Gillette Wild, Great Falls Americans, Helena Bighorns, Missoula Junior Bruins, Yellowstone Quake.
Midwest Division: (5 teams): Cincinnati Thunder, Evansville Jr. Thunderbolts, Nashville Jr. Predators, Peoria Mustangs, St. Louis Jr. Blues.
Northeast Division (6 teams): Binghamton Junior Senators, Jersey Shore Wildcats, Niagara Falls PowerHawks, Oswego Stampede, Roc City Royals, Skylands Kings.
South Division (6 teams): Atlanta Capitals, College Station Spirit, Louisiana Drillers, Mid Cities Jr. Stars, Point Mallard Ducks, Texas Brahmas.
West Division (5 teams): Alexandria Blizzard, Breezy Point North Stars, Granite City Lumberjacks, New Ulm Steel, Willmar WarHawks.