NAPHL announces three new members for 2018-19 season
May 7, 2018
The North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) has announced that Florida Alliance, the Nashville Jr. Predators, and Team Maryland have been accepted as members of the NAPHL for the 2018-19 season. The organizations will field full-time teams at the 18U, 16U and 15U levels.
“This is an excited day for the NAPHL, as we have added three organizations that not only further strengthen the depth and foundation of the NAPHL for our 10th anniversary season, but we also broaden the reach of the NAPHL across the United States,” stated NAPHL Director and NAHL Director of Player Personnel Tony Zasowski. “All three organizations have very experienced coaches, who understand how to develop players and properly communicate with NAHL and college scouts. In addition, adding these teams also provides everyone a new pool of players to assess.”
Youth hockey in Florida is alive and well, and Florida Alliance is the only USA Hockey Tier I status charter in the state of Florida for the 2018-19 season. There are close to two-dozen former Florida players currently on NCAA Division I teams, many more committed college players on the way, and even a few are active in the NHL. Florida Alliance remains focused on supporting play across all levels and is proud to share their vision in the NAPHL. Florida Alliance teams have benefitted from the reduced cost structure by expanding interest as measured by tryout participation. A further enhancement for the upcoming season is in response to our members’ request for more Florida Alliance games and learning from what has been successful for other USA Hockey Affiliates and NAPHL members. The 18U coaches are Fred Eaton and John Gentile, and the 16U/15U coaches are Alain Lemieux and Anthony Perdicaro.
The Nashville Jr. Predators are building a culture that will allow players to start at Mites and play through the Midget Major AAA hockey. Their model allows players to gain the skills and knowledge to compete at the highest levels (Mite-Midget). Their coaches bring passion and accountability to the players. The organization has been striving to provide high level coaching which will allow our players to have an advantage over their competition. The Jr. Predators were a guest team at several NAPHL event during the 2017-18 season and were very competitive against NAPHL competition. The Jr Predators coaching staff that has experience from the NHL, NCAA Division I level to the highest levels of youth hockey. The focus remains centered on ice time and coaching, which allows the players the best opportunity to develop. The 18U head coach is former NHL’er Mike Ribeiro, the 16U head coach is Corey Toy, and the 15U head coach is Harlan Pratt.
Team Maryland was formerly NAPHL members during the inaugural 2009-10 season. The mission of Team Maryland is to provide young hockey players, boys and girls, the opportunity to develop the talents to help the dedicated athlete move to the higher levels of hockey competition, whether that interest is Junior hockey, Prep school hockey, Olympic development or collegiate hockey. To facilitate the affiliation with the NAHL’s new team in Maryland, Team Maryland’s 18U team will move to Piney Orchard for the 2019-20 season and will share a 7,000 sq. ft. complex with dedicated locker rooms for midgets and junior teams, a hockey-specific training gym, coaches’ room, film room and more. In addition, some of the Team Maryland mini-camps will be held at Piney Orchard for all levels so that all Team Maryland players can take advantage of the amenities of the facility and gain exposure to the Junior coaches. Team Maryland is pleased and excited to announce this year’s Midget coaches: 18U Head Coach Shawn Grant, 16U Head Coach Chris Ceransky, and 15U Head Coach Matt Reid.