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Youth Hockey
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Re: Best leagues in the country

USPHL , AYHL two other real good leagues

Re: Best leagues in the country

It really depends on the age group. Everything changes at HS, with leagues like the MPDHL having very good half season teams. And this region is different at the HS level than others because of the number of prep and private schools, so the answer to the league question would be different at U14 and up than U12 and down. We've certainly seen that MA teams can be competitive if properly constructed, like MMF a few years ago. But, a "regular" league team from the EHF or E9 is going to have a hard time competing at a national level.

And, what league is the Jr Bruins Brick team in?

But, for me, hands down, it's the HPHL. Only six teams, drawing the best players from very large geographies, from Squirts on. If you've ever played Honey Baked, or Little Caesars, or Chicago Mission, you understand that these are truly elite teams, and what we call "elite" is laughable.

Re: Best leagues in the country

......."But, for me, hands down, it's the HPHL. Only six teams, drawing the best players from very large geographies, from Squirts on. If you've ever played Honey Baked, or Little Caesars, or Chicago Mission, you understand that these are truly elite teams, and what we call "elite" is laughable."

Poster is right. It's exclusive and the quality of hockey is hard to beat. The philosophies of these teams/clubs is just different, and that's a big factor. HB04, BT03, LC02 - those are all teams that are built to win. Yes - development is a factor, and they get great coaching..... but every move those teams make year in/year out is for wins/losses and national acclaim.

Not only do they pull from a hockey-rich area like Michigan, but they also work the system to bring in import players, usually the best players from OTHER geographical areas. Layer on top of that $70K/yr coaching salaries, and all of the sudden, it's a business.

Re: Best leagues in the country

Anon
......."But, for me, hands down, it's the HPHL. Only six teams, drawing the best players from very large geographies, from Squirts on. If you've ever played Honey Baked, or Little Caesars, or Chicago Mission, you understand that these are truly elite teams, and what we call "elite" is laughable."

Poster is right. It's exclusive and the quality of hockey is hard to beat. The philosophies of these teams/clubs is just different, and that's a big factor. HB04, BT03, LC02 - those are all teams that are built to win. Yes - development is a factor, and they get great coaching..... but every move those teams make year in/year out is for wins/losses and national acclaim.

Not only do they pull from a hockey-rich area like Michigan, but they also work the system to bring in import players, usually the best players from OTHER geographical areas. Layer on top of that $70K/yr coaching salaries, and all of the sudden, it's a business.



New England teams do pretty well against them. Most of those "Super" Fed teams are pretty deep top to bottom. The other better FED teams can hang with them for awhile and the lower FED teams cannot. The E9 teams are not even in the discussion. Just Kidding!

Re: Best leagues in the country

If you're talking generally cross-BY, the top 3 FED clubs are probably close or right there with them (some BY teams closer than others).

Beyond that, goal margin starts expanding.

Re: Best leagues in the country

Anon
If you're talking generally cross-BY, the top 3 FED clubs are probably close or right there with them (some BY teams closer than others).

Beyond that, goal margin starts expanding.


Agree, which is really amazing if you think about it. We have so many good players in such a small area.

The way things are set up now may not be conducive to earning a top 5 ranking (with a few occasional exceptions), but it sure does keep the cost of travel hockey down. I bet it's 2 to 3 times more expensive to play in that league with one of those super teams. Much more travel for league games (Detroit to Chicago?) and more travel for tournaments to find equivalent teams for competition. At the end of the day, for most of us with kids who are not ticketed to hockey greatness, we're probably better off in the New England youth hockey market.

Re: Best leagues in the country

anon
Anon
If you're talking generally cross-BY, the top 3 FED clubs are probably close or right there with them (some BY teams closer than others).

Beyond that, goal margin starts expanding.


Agree, which is really amazing if you think about it. We have so many good players in such a small area.

The way things are set up now may not be conducive to earning a top 5 ranking (with a few occasional exceptions), but it sure does keep the cost of travel hockey down. I bet it's 2 to 3 times more expensive to play in that league with one of those super teams. Much more travel for league games (Detroit to Chicago?) and more travel for tournaments to find equivalent teams for competition. At the end of the day, for most of us with kids who are not ticketed to hockey greatness, we're probably better off in the New

England youth hockey market.[/quote


So True. Most of it is about the parents ego's! Just like the $10k summer trips to Finland. We will spend our $2k for a summer's worth of skills and 20 + tourney games. The other $8k will come in handy

Re: Best leagues in the country

Agreed - quality competition locally is the feather in new england's cap. HPHL's Detroit-to-Chicago trip is one thing - but imagine the AYHL teams - having to travel up and down from Virginia to CT. Not sure I'd be willing to do that.

Re: Best leagues in the country

Or worse yet, LA Jr Kings, Florida Alliance, Dallas Stars...the only AAA teams for miles. It's a flight to find any competition. Makes the trip to Enfield seem walkable.

Re: Best leagues in the country

anon
Or worse yet, LA Jr Kings, Florida Alliance, Dallas Stars...the only AAA teams for miles. It's a flight to find any competition. Makes the trip to Enfield seem walkable.
Take a look at the T1EHL schedules. That's the model. You go there and you play 4 in 3 days, they come here and you play 4, you play the teams in your region a couple of extra times, you play in a couple of high end local tournaments.

I think BA 15/16/18 go to Chicago, Windsor, and Detroit, then MN for playoffs. Four trips in an entire season. The rest is driveable.

The key is, every game is high end, true elite skill level, as opposed to playing watered down teams here more than half the time.

Re: Best leagues in the country

I've seen it and I agree. It is kind of cool, 5-6 years ago when they were first bringing teams into Pilgrim we went to watch and saved a program. Looking at the names and looking up the kids now old enough to be in juniors & college it is pretty amazing how many are still doing real well.

The local teams that have USPHL Junior teams would be the first local teams to put youth teams into it I would suppose. First dibs.

Re: Best leagues in the country

Anon
anon
Or worse yet, LA Jr Kings, Florida Alliance, Dallas Stars...the only AAA teams for miles. It's a flight to find any competition. Makes the trip to Enfield seem walkable.
Take a look at the T1EHL schedules. That's the model. You go there and you play 4 in 3 days, they come here and you play 4, you play the teams in your region a couple of extra times, you play in a couple of high end local tournaments.

I think BA 15/16/18 go to Chicago, Windsor, and Detroit, then MN for playoffs. Four trips in an entire season. The rest is driveable.

The key is, every game is high end, true elite skill level, as opposed to playing watered down teams here more than half the time.


15/16/18 is one thing, but we're talking all that travel for youth hockey. Not worth it, and no way to ensure the competition will be level enough to make all that travel worthwhile.

Re: Best leagues in the country

anon
Anon
anon
Or worse yet, LA Jr Kings, Florida Alliance, Dallas Stars...the only AAA teams for miles. It's a flight to find any competition. Makes the trip to Enfield seem walkable.
Take a look at the T1EHL schedules. That's the model. You go there and you play 4 in 3 days, they come here and you play 4, you play the teams in your region a couple of extra times, you play in a couple of high end local tournaments.

I think BA 15/16/18 go to Chicago, Windsor, and Detroit, then MN for playoffs. Four trips in an entire season. The rest is driveable.

The key is, every game is high end, true elite skill level, as opposed to playing watered down teams here more than half the time.


15/16/18 is one thing, but we're talking all that travel for youth hockey. Not worth it, and no way to ensure the competition will be level enough to make all that travel worthwhile.
Well, then you're going to have a choice to make, because it's all moving in the direction of super-regional leagues.

When it does, the parents here will be making the same choice they are making in Detroit, Chicago, Philly, NY and other cities. There are local leagues in all those cities, too. So, do I want to stay local and have my kid play "Tier 2 or "Tier 3" or travel and play against top competition every week? Same model is used in Canada, BTW.

What we lack here are the truly elite options at the youth level. We rely upon the occasional dominant MMF/SSK team, or the BJB Brick team. And they end up traveling just as much if not more to find competition.

And look at the results - couple of kids on that 2000 MMF team that won the Q are now in the USHL at age 16. Couple of kids on that 1997 SSK team were 1st round NHL draft picks.

Coincidence? Nope.

Re: Best leagues in the country

Chicago Mission 06 team is playing SSK, VJW, BJE, and AVP for four games Friday through Sunday. No clue how they are, but should be intersting to see what happens, and how these teams all pan out this season.

Re: Best leagues in the country

All youth parents should be very interested in the results. Will show a lot about local hockey. The fact that it is two EHF teams and two E9 teams makes it even more intriguing. Of course, one series doesn't prove anything, and if CM is playing four games and the others one, that can be a factor.

Re: Best leagues in the country

CM will run the table on the Mass. teams. Jr. Eagles the only team that can possibly beat CM.

Re: Best leagues in the country

The Chicago Mission 06 team is VERY WEAK by their standards. Team Illinois 06 will be the #1 team in the country by year end, Fury and CYA will do fine this year in their own right. But Mission... they will finish 4th out of 4 in Chicago. With that said, the 06 birth year is an anomaly for the Mission program. Every other birth year at Mission is very strong... except for 06.

Re: Best leagues in the country

That depends, if you are talking Mite, Squirt, Pee Wee then there are a lot of leagues far and away better than e9/Fed, including other AA leagues. LCAHL in Michigan, CSDHL in the MidWest, MHL in Minnesota just to name a few.

What Mass has going for it is the total amount of youth hockey players... Mass gets more kids into College and Pros than any other state not named MN because of the volume of skaters. But as far as leagues, other states/regions have better overall teams/leagues due to the concentration of elite players on a relatively small amount of teams and singular leagues that encompass the entire state.

There are too many leagues here in NE so the teams themselves (while having a handful of elite players per roster) are overwhelmingly compromised of kids that would be AA/A players anywhere else in the country.


Once you get to the older age groups and Jrs. it evens-out. The amount of skaters participating drops dramatically and Mass teams are right there with the best in the country.

Re: Best leagues in the country

Mass 4th in NHL players last season according to http://www.quanthockey.com/nhl/state-totals/nhl-players-2015-16-stats.html

Re: Best leagues in the country

Yes, this number fluctuates.. but I also said College, Jrs., and Preps. Plus historically Mass is behind only Canada and and MN when it comes to the pros.

Re: Best leagues in the country

For youth its HPHL then Fed. e9 not even in the mix. USPHL is Tier 2 at youth, complete joke.

For HS kids its Tier 1 by far. Fed is a joke above Bantam Minor.

Re: Best leagues in the country

Not always a joke @ Midgets....usually yes, not always.

Re: Best leagues in the country

Always