By Michael Caples -
The High Performance Hockey League will be invading Minnesota in September.
The six-member league – consisting of Michigan’s Honeybaked, Little Caesars, and Compuware programs and three from Illinois - will compete in the 10th annual Combat Hockey/NAHL Showcase Tournament, to be played from Sept. 12-16, 2012, at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minn.
“We believe the addition of the teams from the High Performance Hockey League will just add yet another competitive element to an already tremendous Showcase line-up,” said NAHL Commissioner and President Mark Frankenfeld in a press release. “With four different leagues playing under one roof, we believe that the partnership will be nothing but a positive for the thousands of players, scouts and fans that will be in attendance.”
The HPHL teams – Chicago Mission, Team Illinois, and the Chicago Young Americans make up the rest of the six squads – will join 24 teams from the North American Hockey League (NAHL), 36 teams from the North American Prospects Hockey League (PHL) and 8 teams from the Upper Midwest High School Elite League (UMHSEL) for a five-day, 74-team showcase event. Each HPHL 18U team will play five games, one against each of their league counterparts, during the showcase.
Joe Jones, director of the Honeybaked Hockey Program, told MiHockey that he believes the event will serve as a great opportunity for both Honeybaked and the five other HPHL teams.
“The NAHL Showcase is one of the most scouted events in North America every year,” Jones said. “It’s an honor for Honeybaked and the HPHL teams to now be included in it. It’s going to be great exposure for our players to be able to perform in front of a multitude of scouts watching over the entire weekend.”
Compuware’s hockey director, Mike Henry, said his program is excited for the opportunity.
“I think it’s going to be a great event for the HPHL, and I’m happy that Compuware’s going to be a part of it,” Henry said. “It’s great. It’s new for the HPHL, but I believe the North American League has been doing it for years, and they have great success out there with scouting, and it’s going to be great exposure for Compuware kids plus the HPHL kids.”
Former NHLer Gino Cavallini, director of the Chicago Mission program, said it’s a great way for the league to start off their year.
“The NAHL puts on one of the premier hockey events of the season with hundreds of scouts attending from across North America. We feel this opportunity ties into our mission and see the event as a jump start to our season,” said Cavallini in the press release. “There is no doubt the exposure the event promotes is invaluable and clearly a must place to be. We are thrilled to be able to offer players in the HPHL this sort of showcase.”
More from the press release:
Traditionally, the NAHL Showcase Tournament attracts over 9,000 people in overall attendance, including more than 250 professional, college and junior scouts. For more information on the Combat Hockey/NAHL Showcase, visit www.nahlshowcase.com
About the HPHL
The HPHL is a collaboration of six high-profile AAA hockey organizations that formed a Tier I amateur hockey league during the 2011-12 season that competes with both a Boys and Girls division. The member clubs are: Chicago Mission, Chicago Young Americans, Detroit Compuware, Detroit Honey Baked, Detroit Little Caesars and Team Illinois. The League was created to bring together organizations of like mindedness, notably a philosophical commitment to USA Hockey’s American Development Model (ADM) and its Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) recommendations which includes age-specific development of young athletes. The clubs are connected by history, purpose, and proximity, and bound by a mutual interest in creating a highly competitive training and developmental environment. In 2011-12, 13 HPHL teams competed in the USA Hockey National Championships at all three divisions, including Peewee Major – Chicago Mission and Detroit Compuware, Midget Minor – Chicago Mission and Detroit Honey Baked, Midget Major – Detroit Little Caesars. Nine players with HPHL ties were selected in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Visit the HPHL online at www.hphl.us