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Jets announce move to USPHL, will have two teams for '18-19 season

By Matt Mackinder, 04/19/18, 5:30PM EDT


FRASER, Mich. – Entering their 30th year as a junior hockey franchise, the Metro Jets have announced today that, effective for the 2018-19 season, the program will play in the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL).

The USPHL fields teams across the country at the junior level in three divisions – the tuition-free National Collegiate Development Conference (NCDC), Premier and Elite –  as well as youth teams at 18U, 16U and at the 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 birth years.

Founded in 2012, the USPHL now has more than 170 teams and has been designed to start young players in the youth divisions and give them an opportunity to strive to grow their hockey careers to achieve a spot on NCDC rosters and eventually, to college hockey.  The USPHL is the nation's leader is college commitments every year.  

The Jets will have two teams – one will play in the Premier Division’s new Great Lakes Conference with the Toledo Cherokee, Lansing Wolves, Pittsburgh Vengeance, Wooster Oilers and Southern Tier Xpress and the other team in the Elite Division as an independent – and both will play in a minimum of three showcases next season in the Midwest and out East. 

During the 2017-18 season, the Jets captured their fourth national championship, with the first three (1990, 2001, 2002) coming in the old Central States Hockey League. The Jets have built a powerhouse junior platform for player advancement and college commitments and will be able to strengthen that reach even more now. 

“Without question, the Metro Jets have seen great success over the last three years,” said Jets president Peter Cammick. “What that success has demonstrated to me is that there is so much more we can continue to do as an organization to serve the college-bound hockey players in Michigan. I believe there is a significant need in Michigan for development opportunities aimed at the junior player. The Metro Jets organization is uniquely positioned to continue their success and fill that need.   

“Alignment with the USPHL was a logical choice given their mission – ‘to prepare and develop players for college hockey (and beyond)’ – and breadth of programs covering all levels of junior hockey. I am very excited about the new opportunities we will be able to provide to junior players across Michigan in the coming years.”

“Our program has had a lot of success getting players to the next level in junior and college,” added Jets coach-GM Justin Quenneville. “The USPHL allows our program to provide even more exposure and advancement opportunities in the East now with the additional showcases and the NCDC now to add as a stepping stone. In discussions with coaches and scouts from junior and college programs, it was clear that we are going to get an opportunity to grow our network expand our pool of opportunities for our players out east." 

“We are excited about this, and so are the players.”

Over the course of the regular season, the USPHL Great Lakes Conference teams will play in three showcase events ranging in location from Boston to Chicago, to name but a few of the locations.

In the USPHL, the Jets will play familiar opponents from previous junior seasons. The history and strength of schedule will remain the same because of this transition.

The 2018-19 USPHL season schedule will be released late summer. The season typically runs from early September through mid-March.

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