The North American Hockey League (NAHL) regular season is just over a month away and August is shaping up to be a very busy month for NAHL teams.
The NAHL, which will celebrate its 37th season of hockey in 2012-13, is the only USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier II Junior league boasting 24 teams in 12 states from across the United States. The league prides itself on the social maturity and skill development of student-athletes ages 16-20 with aspirations of advancing to collegiate and/or professional hockey.
During the 2011-12 season, over 180 NAHL players made commitments to NCAA schools. The NAHL also had two players (Anthony Stolarz/Corpus Christi and Connor Hellebuyck/Odessa) selected in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Famous alumni of the NAHL include: Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller and Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane.
See a list of 2011-12 college commitments here
In late July and early August the majority of NAHL teams will be holding their final tryout camps as they make their roster decisions for the 2012-13 season. The regular season begins on Saturday, September 8th with the Johnstown Tomahawks traveling to face the Port Huron Fighting Falcons in a weekend series prior to the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, MN. Each NAHL team will play 60 regular season games, followed by the Robertson Cup Playoffs, which will begin in April of 2013.
This season will include the 10th annual NAHL Showcase from September 12-15 at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, MN. All 24 NAHL teams will play four regular-season games at the Showcase, which has evolved into one of hockey's most prestigious and well-attended events of the entire season.
The next big event will be the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament from February 18th – 20th, 2013 in Troy, Michigan and will coincide with the 3HL Showcase and PHL Championship Tournament Series.
Last season, the Amarillo Bulls won the NAHL’s regular season title, while the Texas Tornado captured their fifth Robertson Cup Championship, signifying the NAHL and USA Hockey Tier II Junior National Champion.
Beginning on August 15th the NAHL will debut their series: NAHL 24 in 24. NAHL 24 in 24 is a series written exclusively for nahl.com that will go in depth and preview all 24 NAHL teams as they prepare for the 2012-13 season. Features include interviews with all 24 head coaches along with a look at each team’s roster. NAHL 24 in 24 will also take a look back at the 2011-12 season, how each team fared and how they feel they can improve for the 2012-13 season.