NAPHL presence significant in NAHL to start 2016-17 season
September 23, 2016
As the North American Hockey League (NAHL) released its 25-man rosters to begin the 2016-17 season, that has since continued to the Showcase this week in Blaine, Minnesota, the advancement of NAPHL players to the league is even more evident To start the season. In total, 83 players that are alumni of the NAPHL are now playing in the NAHL.
This continues the recent upward trend of advancement by NAPHL players to the NAHL. During the 2016 NAHL Draft, a total of 17 NAPHL players were drafted. That is in addition to the 47 NAPHL players who were signed to a tender over the course of last season, bringing the total number of NAPHL players who played in the league in 2015-16 that were either tendered or drafted into the NAHL to 64. The 64 players that were drafted or tendered into the NAHL set a new record.
In addition, three current NAHL coaches have experience previously coaching in the NAPHL, including Tony Zasowski of the Springfield Jr. Blues, Tony Curtale of the Wichita Falls Wildcats and Tom Kowal of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights.
It highlights the record amount of NAPHL recognition and advancement current and former players have received. It is yet another benchmark moment for the NAPHL, which is in its eighth season in 2016-17 with an all-time record number of 45 teams at the 18U, 16U and new 15U USA Hockey Tier I youth levels. The success of teams on the National stage, as well as, the success of NAPHL players at the next levels of hockey, is further proof that the NAPHL is redefining exposure and has elevated itself to one of the premier training grounds for development and opportunity.
Earlier this summer, seven NAPHL alumni were selected in the 2016 NHL Draft.