The criteria that was used in rating these eight leagues, was how do teams within the leagues compare when developing players who move on to the NHL, NCAA, USHL, NAHL, NCDC, and Canada Junior A hockey programs. The size of the league as in number of teams was also taken into account for depth of player talent throughout the league. The level of promotion of commitments was also taken into account for this particular rating.
1. USPHL – Premier
The USPHL, is the benchmark in North America by which all other Tier III leagues should be measured. Not only is the USPHL the United States and North America’s largest amateur hockey organization, but no other organization does as much for player development and promotion at every level. The NCDC is showing by its use of the USPHL Premier as its development pool that it is a proven recipe for successful development of players. The number of Tier II players coming out of the USPHL Premier increases every year and is a testament to great coaching. Players are regularly moving on to the USHL and NAHL as well as NCDC. The USPHL Premier by volume leads the way in NCAA and ACHA College commitments.
3. USPHL – Elite
The USPHL Elite is a solid development platform for the USPHL Premier, and NCDC. Not by design but by necessity it is younger than the Premier division. For those younger players or those who want junior hockey but are not satisfied with their AAA options, the USPHL Elite has become a destination. The Elite division has become the place where many players are choosing to play instead of leaving home for AAA. Giving them an opportunity to play at a high level while staying home and finishing high school in a traditional setting.
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And the follow-up article: