Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League: Tight races emerge with playoffs just over a month away

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League: Tight races emerge with playoffs just over a month away

The Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League wishes all a Happy New Year for 2016.

Many of the EJEPL Division races are very tight as the KRACH (“Ken’s Ratings for American College Hockey”) system ratings show.

With the playoffs a month away, every game is critical and many games have huge playoff implications. Here are the top contenders for the EJEPL playoffs.

10U Herb Brooks Diamond Conference: Delco, the Long Island Gulls, Red Bank Generals, York and the New Hampshire Monarchs look like they are playoff-bound.

10U Alex Ovechkin Futures Conference: The Long Island Rebels, NYC Cyclones, Palmyra Black Knights, Quakers Hockey and Long Beach Lightning look tough heading down the stretch.

11U Mark Bavis/Garnet Bailey Conference: The Monarchs, Red Bank Generals, Hollydell Hurricanes, Long Island Edge and Long Island Gulls are the top contenders.

12U Diamond Jim Prior Conference: The Red Bank Generals, Delco Phantoms, Hatfield Ice Dogs, East Haven Yellowjackets and Maine Moose are poised to advance.

12U Sidney Crosby Futures Conference: Red Bank, Long Beach, the NYC Cyclones, Kinnelon Colts and York Devils all seem ready for the playoffs.

13U Dan Esdale Diamond Conference: The Pitt Selects, Red Bank, Monarchs, CP Dynamo, Connecticut Chiefs and New Jersey Freeze are the top five.

14U Phil Coleman Diamond Conference: Howard, Rhode Island Hitmen, Hollydell Hurricanes, Connecticut Chiefs, CP Dynamo, Palmyra, New England Jr. Hurricanes and Red Bank are poised for the stretch run.

14U Futures Tyler Johnson Conference: Frederick Freeze, Long Island Edge, Kinnelon Colts, Pitt Selects, East Haven and Igloo are battling for the playoff spots.

15U Bob Johnson Conference: The California Wildcats, Delaware Ducks, York Devils, Northern Cyclones and Long Island Edge are the top five.

16U Gary Dineen Conference D-1: The Northern Cyclones, N.H. Monarchs, Igloo Jaguars, Boston Bandits, Maryland Selects and Philadelphia Revolution are the teams to beat.

16U Gary Dineen Conference D-2: Maine, Toms River, Delaware, the Lehigh Phantoms, Hollydell and Red Bank have good KRACH Ratings

18U Paul Gilmartin Diamond 1 Conference: The New Hampshire Monarchs, Revolution, Boston Rangers, Northern Cyclones, Pitt Selects and Boston Bandits are right there.

18U Paul Gilmartin Diamond 2 Conference: Delaware, GNY Stars, Gulf Coast Flames, Bridgton Academy, York and the Hatfield Selects rate as the teams to beat.

Here is how things look in the Girls Conferences:

14U: The Lady Islanders, Connecticut Ice Cats and CP Dynamo are neck and neck for playoff spots.

16/19: The Northwood School and Troy-Albany are the top two teams, with the Lady Islanders, Lady Bulldogs and New Jersey Rockets are only a total of (6) Krach points apart.

Showcase showdown: In January, two league showcases, the All-Star games and the girls playoffs take place.

Jan. 8-10 features the last of the three 15U showcases hosted by the Igloo Jaguars at Mount Laurel, N.J. The Boston Bandits will be hosting the Bandits Shootout Jan. 15-18 at the Bridgewater Ice Arena in Bridgewater, Mass.

Included will be games in the 18U Diamond, 16U Diamond, and 16U Futures.

The All-Star games will be held Jan. 18 and Jan. 24. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 18, will see the 10-11U Diamond all-star games at Coney Island, N.Y., and the 12-13-14U Diamond all-star games at the SoNo Ice House in Norwalk, Conn.

On Sunday, Jan. 24, the 16-18 games will be held at Brown University.

Please consult the EJEPL website for the details. Jan. 31 will be the date for the girls playoffs in Danbury, Conn.

The top four teams in each age group will play a Frozen Four format. The Diamond Playoffs will be all held on the Feb. 5-7 weekend in Albany, N.Y., as well as in New Hampshire and New Jersey. Click the playoff button on the EJEPL.COM home page.

The Futures and MADD playoffs will be held over the Feb. 12-14 weekend in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Plans are being formulated for the new 9-year-old Squirt Minor division, and to reconfigure the Futures Division into Gold and Silver for better competitive balance.

The EJEPL girls divisions will be adding a 10U and 12U conference, to join the present 14U and 16/19U levels.

Plans are being finalized for a Midget challenge series against a Canadian league.

Have a Happy New Year from all of us at the EJEPL.

 

Read past EJEPL articles in our archives:

Our November 2015 cover feature, “The Future Is Now!”

Hatfield Ice Dogs on map with 6-0 start in 18U Diamond Division

Event-heavy schedule will highlight Year 4

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League: Hatfield Ice Dogs on map with 6-0 start in 18U Diamond Division

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League: Hatfield Ice Dogs on map with 6-0 start in 18U Diamond Division

By Joshua Boyd

After this year, it’s highly likely no one will forget the name the Hatfield Ice Dogs.

In the highly competitive world of 18U hockey, the Ice Dogs are creating a fine niche as a winning team in an Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League whose profile rises higher every year.Hatfield Ice Dogs,Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League,EJEPL,Ken Doak,USA Junior Hockey

The Ice Dogs’ own profile is rising within the EJEPL thanks to a 6-0 start out of the gate.

The Ice Dogs joined up with the EJEPL after making a run for the Tier-2 18U National Championships last year.

“We wanted to step up the competition. We’ve been doing very well at the Tier-2 level, and we cross over and play Tier-1 around [Pennsylvania]. Tier-2 just wasn’t the competition we were looking for any more, so this move made sense,” said general manager and 18U head coach Ken Doak.

There are 18 total teams under the Ice Dogs name, but they currently only place their 12U and 18U teams in the EJEPL. Doak attributes the 18U squad’s success to their closeness after playing together throughout the summer.

“We got this team together in May, starting with the EJEPL Showcase in Aston [Pa.], and we ended up winning the championship,” said Doak. “We just kept them on the ice al summer and kept their nose to the grindstone. They’ve stayed healthy, and that’s huge.”

Defense and goaltending have also been key to the Ice Dogs’ early success.

“I have a very strong defensive corps and two really good goalies,” said Doak. “I can take a lead into the third period ice cut and then shut a team down. They can’t even get through us.”

He’s really excited about Chris Fiorillo and Kenny Doak in the net. They’ve responded well to the faster pace of competition in the EJEPL, Coach Doak said.

On the defense, Doak believes Zach Aubry could be a potential USHL prospect, and he’s looking to get Aubrey in front of scouts from the country’s Tier-1 junior league.

“He’s 17, but he can rush the puck up and then get back and still have no one beat him,” said Doak. “He’s just so fast and he’s doing really well for me.”

Dave Andrews is another high-flying ’98 for the Ice Dogs. Doak says he is another potential USHL prospect.

“He can skate as fast as any forward on my team. He’s awesome at the point and on the power play,” Doak said.

Ryan Trefz is another defenseman who is “hard to get around in the zone.”

Up front, Taylor Smith (six goals, 14 points in six games) and Luke Zacny (four goals, 12 points in six games) have been real sparkplugs up front.

“They have a natural knack for putting the puck in the net,” said Doak. “The puck seems to come to them. The biggest thing is they see the ice very well, and they have great speed.”

At the Silver Stick Tournament in Philadelphia, the Ice Dogs saw “five or six players approached by junior coaches.”

“Most of the players want to play college hockey, whether that’s NCAA Division 3 or 1 or some might end up playing club hockey at the colleges they pick,” added Doak.

This could be the start of something beautiful for some select Ice Dogs, and if they make it to their hoped-for school and pull on a jersey, they could say it all started in the EJEPL.

 

Read past Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League articles in our archive:

Event-heavy schedule will highlight Year 4

Boston Bandits sweep 16U, 18U divisions for twin titles

League announces 2014-15 All-Star teams

 

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League: Event-heavy schedule will highlight Year 4

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League: Event-heavy schedule will highlight Year 4

The Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League will feature an event-heavy schedule in 2015-16, its fourth year.

The season will include around 2,000 league games in regular season play and a 27-event schedule. Commissioner Henry Lazar and his staff have decided on 27 events to maximize exposure and competition that is different from a team’s local league.

The EJEPL will be home to 68 organizations, with 250 teams in 15 states. The event list includes playoffs at all levels, all-star jamborees and organization-hosted showcase events for all levels.

The new division set-up includes Diamond Level 1 for top teams, Diamond Level 2 for above average teams, Futures for average teams and either Futures 2 or MADD for weaker teams.

The levels of competition are critical for the teams to enjoy competition at their own realistic level. The 2015-16 season will begin with huge showcases in both Philadelphia, Pa., and Brewster, N.Y., on the Aug. 28-30 weekend.

The Philly 10-11-12-13-14U showcase will be run on 12 rinks at Aston, Pa., The Pond in Delaware, the Igloo Ice Center in Mt. Laurel, N.J., Hollydell Rink in Sewell, N.J., Revolution Ice Gardens in Warwick, Pa., and Old York Road Rink.

The teams will play four league games each in the 140-team event. The Brewster Bulldogs will host their showcase at the Brewster Ice Arena and the Danbury (Conn.) Arena. There will be many playoff venues and three all-star jamboree venues, including Brown University for the 15-16-18U Diamond levels.

“This is a very ambitious schedule of events, complete with EJEPL supervisors at each event,” said vice commissioner Larry Nastasi.

The league is currently working on the Girls Conference (12U, 14U and 16/19U) and the 16U and 18U split-season divisions. Webmaster Nastasi is working hard on the website EJEPL.com, with an expected July 1 completion date. Included on the improved site will be all the divisions 21 in all, an online store and college information for student-athletes and parents, as well as many other features.

The EJEPL is looking into a broader competition plan for 2016-17 which would include a Canadian and European team “Super Showcase Jamboree” and a “Full Season” (35-game) option for Independent USA Hockey youth and midget programs. EJEPL officials will be meeting with foreign league officials shortly.

The Brown University All-Star 15-16U and 18U Jamboree, scheduled for Jan. 24, 2016, will again include Division 1 college coaches’ seminars before their games.

The fully USA Hockey-sanctioned EJEPL also follow all adult screening policies and safe Sport adult requirements. The EJEPL is proud to work with 68 organizations in 15 states with 250 teams.

Organizations in North Carolina, Texas, Utah, Michigan and Illinois have already inquired about 2016-17. The entire EJEPL staff will be working extremely hard on the “professional” aspect of the entire operation.

The EJEPL prides itself on a non-political and 100 percent fair and honest operation. The EJEPL will remain “First Class” from top to bottom. The EJEPL app is available for free from Apple’s App Store. Just click the logo on the home page of the EJEPL website.

Future plans also call for the EJEPL “Family College Advisory” service, which will begin in 2016-17. The EJEPL staff will advise on the college process, including transcripts, college visits, the Clearinghouse, Academic Index for Ivy League schools, financial aid aspects, the right “fit”, resumes, contact letters, DVD’s, how to interview, and many more aspects, all at a very reasonable price.

 

Read past EJEPL articles in our archives:

Boston Bandits sweep 16U, 18U divisions for twin titles

League announces 2014-15 All-Star teams

Connecticut Oilers 18U squad looking slick early on

Boston Bandits: Organization celebrates 18U, 16U championships

Boston Bandits: Organization celebrates 18U, 16U championships

The Boston Bandits finished in first place in the Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League’s 18U division, so they were already the favorite heading into the playoffs.

Never being wont to disappoint anyone (except their opponents), the Bandits finished the EJEPL 18U playoffs the same way – champions.
On the same Feb. 6-8 weekend, the Bandits’ 16U team, which finished third in the North and West conference of that EJEPL division, also hoisted the league championship.

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League,EJEPL,Boston Bandits,Mark Jones,Scott Drevitch,Logan Drevitch,Justin Bofshever,USA Junior Hockey

The Boston Bandits 18U team celebrates its EJEPL 2014-15 championship.

For the 18U team, which had a 43-14-7 record that included EJEPL, East Coast Elite League and non-league games, it was a true culmination.

Head coach Scott Drevitch, who led the Bandits to a Metropolitan Junior League championship in 2014, had four players join him on the 18U squad this year. These players were, all ’96’s, Cody Braga (Middleboro, Mass.), Derek Clancy (Freetown, Mass.), Mike Taormina (Plymouth, Mass.) and Erik Hajdu (Kosice, Slovakia).

“These four players brought with them a championship attitude from last year and that just carried over to the other team members this year,” said Drevitch, who will coach the 18U team again next year, as well as the Bandits’ new EHL Elite team. “The team worked really hard and all the players developed and improved their game. They got rewarded for their hard work.”

Looking at all 62 games, the clear offensive leader was Merrimack College recruit Logan Drevitch, a ’98 from Middleboro, Mass. He put up 51 goals and 104 points.

Other offensive leaders were Latvian Eduards Tralmaks (77 points), Taormina (70), Hajdu (63) and Braga (59).

“I felt we were a good puck possession team,” said Drevitch. “The players really bought into the systems, which helped produce another successful season. Helping players advance and winning championships, I cannot ask for anything else.”

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League,EJEPL,Boston Bandits,Mark Jones,Scott Drevitch,Logan Drevitch,Justin Bofshever,USA Junior Hockey

The Boston Bandits 16U team celebrates with its EJEPL championship banner in Clifton Park, N.Y.

At the 16U level, the team was buoyed to a 14-6 record in the EJEPL by Cooper Jones, who scored 37 points in 19 games to place fourth in the league. Justin Bofshever placed just outside of the top 10 at 32 points in 19 games.

“It was great,” said coach Mark Jones. “We were the sixth seed going in, we got into a tough bracket in the round robin. We won the first game in OT, the second in the third period and the third game with three seconds left. Then we rolled in the semis and finals.

“The first game was the most disciplined game we played all year, and I thought we had something special then,” Jones added.

In the playoffs though, the Bandits exploded offensively. Bofshever had 20 points in his five games. Chad Merrell played in five games and had 11 points, and Jones and Tyler Viera both finished with eight points to give the Bandits all four of the top four scoring positions in the league.

Bofshever had games of four and five points, as well as one seven-point game against the Greater New York Stars.

“He just went off the hook,” said Jones. “They wanted us to pick an MVP if we won the final. It was between him and some other guys. Then he scored five in the final.”

Norman Blake led the way in goal for most of the playoffs, going 4-0 and registering a goals against average of 1.71 and a save percentage of .947. He shut out the Maryland Selects, making 26 saves for the championship-clinching 6-0 victory.

“The three kids who carried us were Bofshever, Blake and Cooper Jones,” added Coach Jones.

Bandits welcome back Pothier: The Boston Bandits are excited that former NHL player Brian Pothier will return as the Director of Skills and Skating.

Pothier will join Todd Stirling, Scott Drevitch, Cullen Lundholm and Robbie Donahue in a star-studded cast of professional skill and skating instructors.

EHL, MET updates: The Eastern Hockey League team finished the season with an 18-20-2-4 record to earn a playoff spot. However, they were eliminated in the first round by the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights, two games to one.

The team had several commitments in February – Nick Pezza to Johnson and Wales, Brandon Seal to Salem (Mass.) State University, Matt Michalke to Babson College and Jordan Court to UMass-Dartmouth.

In the Bandits’ final season in the MET, the team finished 8-30-0-5. They missed the MET playoffs, which took the top 16 teams.

 

Tryouts for EHL teams (including new Elite team) and 18U:

Wednesday, April 7, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 8, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 25, 4 p.m.

Sunday, April 26, 9 a.m.

 

Tryout for 16U team:

Saturday, April 25, 6:30 p.m.

 

Coaching directory: 

EHL Premier Coach: Todd Stirling

508-279-0600, x303, tstirling@bostonbandits.com

 

EHL Elite Coach: Scott Drevitch

774-688-1447, drevitch@aol.com

 

18U EJEPL/ECEL Coach: Scott Drevitch

774-688-1447, drevitch@aol.com

 

16U EJEPL/ECEL Coach: Mark Jones

508-265-5492, jonescz@comcast.net

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League: Boston Bandits sweep 16U, 18U divisions for twin titles

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League: Boston Bandits sweep 16U, 18U divisions for twin titles

The Boston Bandits’ bus with both Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League™ championship teams aboard had a fun-filled trip back to Boston from Albany, N.Y., in the snow on Feb. 8 with two very happy teams and their coaches whooping it up.

The Bandits’ 16U team entered the playoffs as the sixth seed of eight teams and was in a very difficult group of teams.

“Coach Mark Jones does a great job, so it was no surprise how well the 16U Bandits played,” said commissioner Henry Lazar.

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League,EJEPL,Boston Bandits,Mark Jones,Scott Drevitch,Logan Drevitch,Justin Bofshever,USA Junior Hockey

The Boston Bandits 16U team celebrates with its EJEPL championship banner in Clifton Park, N.Y.

In the 16U round robin, the Phil Coleman bracket consisted of the Maryland Selects, Richmond Generals, Red Bank Generals and GNY Stars. Maryland and GNY came out of that bracket to face the Bandits and Northern Cyclones from the Gary Dineen bracket. That bracket also included the New York Apple Core and CP Dynamo.

The Bandits beat the Cyclones with three seconds remaining in the game, on a goal by Justin Bofshever.

After easily getting past the GNY Stars, the Bandits faced the Maryland Selects, who won a tough game 3-2 over the Cyclones.

“Maryland coach Bud Buonato did a great job coaching his players and getting them to play very disciplined hockey,” said vice commissioner Larry Nastasi. “The Cyclones’ Frank O’Connor is an excellent coach, and his day will come.”

The Bandits shut out Maryland in the final, 6-0, and Bofshever was named MVP for the 16U playoffs, scoring 20 points in five games.

The 18U Bandits team, however, was the favorite and dominated all weekend. Coach Scott Drevitch’s team went 5-0, easily winning the Championship. The Bandits 18U team is loaded with outstanding players and was the No. 1 seed in the Jim Prior bracket with the CP Dynamo, Northwood School and Cleveland Lumberjacks. The Bandits went 3-0 and Northwood went 2-1 to advance.

The Northwood School, coached by Lem Randall, kept getting better all year and was one of the teams that could have knocked off the Bandits.

The Cyclones 18U team went 3-0 in the round robin, beating out the San Diego Gulls, Igloo Jaguars and Connecticut Oilers in the Dan Esdale bracket.

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League,EJEPL,Boston Bandits,Mark Jones,Scott Drevitch,Logan Drevitch,Justin Bofshever,USA Junior Hockey

The Boston Bandits 18U team celebrates its EJEPL 2014-15 championship.

In the semifinals, the Bandits beat the Oilers 3-2 and Northwood beat the Cyclones, 4-1.

After defeating Northwood 3-1 in the round robin, the Bandits beat Northwood 6-0 in the championship final. Merrimack College commit Logan Drevitch was named MVP for scoring seven goals and adding an assist for eight points.

Bandits general manager Todd Stirling said the twin banners will hang in the lobby of Bridgewater (Mass.) Ice Arena for all to see.

The EJEPL thanks all the volunteers at Clifton Park and CP Dynamo for their work at the 16U/18U playoffs.

The playoffs were hosted by the CP Dynamo and owner Scott Babrow. It snowed all weekend, but nothing the City of Albany or the rink couldn’t handle.

The 12U-13-14U playoffs will be held Feb. 20-22 in Aston, Pa., home of the Philly Little Flyers.

 

 

 

Read past Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League™ articles in our archives:

League announces 2014-15 All-Star teams

Connecticut Oilers 18U squad looking slick early on

Girls divisions set for three age groups