Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League: Season begins this weekend with multi-state showcase

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League: Season begins this weekend with multi-state showcase

The Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League, the USA’s largest multi-affiliate league, will begin its fifth season with a huge league showcase this coming weekend. The showcase will encompass three geographic areas and utilize 23 different rinks.

All of the fun begins on Friday, Aug. 26, and continues through Sunday, Aug. 28. Schedules can be found online at EJEPL.com.

In the Philadelphia area, the 9-14U divisions will use the The Pond in Delaware, and the following Pennsylvania rinks – Aston IceWorks, Revolution Ice Gardens, Oaks Center Ice and Power Play Rink in Exton. In New Jersey, the Igloo Ice Center and Hollydell Arena will be utilized.

Up to Connecticut, the 15U are using SoNo Ice House, Terry Connors Rink and Darien Ice Rink. The 16U and 18U Divisions are playing in the Northford Pavilion, Milford Pavilion, Hamden Hockey House and Newington Arena.

Almost 500 league games will be played, and all will count as league games in the standings.

The EJEPL is a supplemental league of between 16-20 games for boys and 10-14 games for split-season and girls divisions.

The 300-team league will play almost 4,000 games in its fifth season. Teams from Florida, California, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and Virginia will compete this season.

Boys compete in the 9U to 14U youth levels, and the Midget 15, 16 and 18U levels play a 20-game season.

The girls compete in 12, 14 and 16/19U levels. Split-season teams compete in the 16 and 18U levels.

The season will also include all-stars at the Platinum and Diamond Levels. The all-star jamborees will be held at SoNo Ice House (Connecticut) for the 12U through 14U levels; at Abe Stark Rink at Coney Island (New York) for the 10U and 11U levels; and at Connecticut College for the 15, 16 and 18U levels. Many scouts attend the midget-level games.

The playoffs will be held the first two weeks of February, so the EJEPL does not interfere with other leagues’ playoffs.

The League is broken down into four competitive levels: Platinum (16U and 18U only), for the top elite teams; Diamond (9U-18U), for very good teams; Futures Gold (10-16U) for average to good teams; and Futures Silver (10-14U) for average to below-average teams.

This formula allows teams to have competitive games. The showcase formula is also designed to benefit equal competition. All levels play in showcases.

At the 9-15U levels, the results of the first showcase are used to match teams in the second showcase. For example, 5-0 teams will play 5-0 teams, and 0-5 teams will be matched against 1-4 and 0-5 teams. Last year, 68 percent of the games in the second showcase were decided by one or two goals.

In the Girls Conference, Director Christian Hubert has brought in many new teams to create a 24-team conference. Levels include 12-14-16/19U conferences. The girls playoffs will be at the end of January in Danbury, Conn.

An all-star team will be selected and will participate in spring tournaments representing the EJEPL.

The staff in the EJEPL works very hard to bring a professional atmosphere to the entire operation. Commissioner Henry Lazar, Vice Commissioner Larry Nastasi, Administrative Assistant/Dean of Discipline Steve Kauffman, League Secretary Carol Oldmixon, Special Projects Kathy Hurley, Director of Split-Season Brandon Johnson, Girls Director Christian Hubert, Director of Social Media Frank O’Connor, Director of Player Development Dave Starman and Referee in Chief Geno Binda have made the EJEPL a huge success.

Please review the website at EJEPL.com to view all the site’s features. Past champions, alumni, stats, league map, the college process, neews articles, and much more are just a few of the highlights of the website, which gets 1,000-3,000 hits a day.

The league is also planning to take a 14U and 16U group to Europe in the spring of 2017. The teams will either play in Italy or Sweden/Finland. Hockey and sightseeing will be part of the experience. The EJEPL is also looking into many other projects including mites, summer camps and other great projects.

The EJEPL again sends its sincerest sympathies to the family of Jim Prior, who passed away recently. Our 12U Diamond level was named after Prior in 2014. Prior was a great hockey guy and will be missed by all who knew him.


Read past EJEPL articles in our archives:

New organizations join from far and wide for exciting fifth season

EJEPL prepares for momentous fifth year, Hockey America tournament

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League: New organizations join from far and wide for exciting fifth season

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League: New organizations join from far and wide for exciting fifth season

The Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League, the United States’ largest and fastest-growing multi-affiliate youth league will be entering its fifth big season in 2016-17. The EJEPL is geared as a supplemental league to work in conjunction with an organization’s local league to produce an exciting full schedule.

“Teams all have a local league they play in and the EJEPL does not interfere at all in that relationship,” said Vice Commissioner Larry Nastasi.

The EJEPL playoffs end well before the local leagues’ playoffs begin and teams can concentrate on their march to the Nationals. Three EJEPL teams won their respective Nationals last year with other teams also doing well at the Nationals.

Many EJEPL organizations won league and state championships also, crediting the ability to play exciting competition out of their local leagues. Teams from Florida play teams from Maine and teams from Buffalo play teams from Delaware.

This variety of competition has excited parents in 15 states and at least six USA Hockey Districts.

“Every team looks to fill the open weekends and the EJEPL fills the voids with playoffs, all-stars and new competition added in,” stated Howard Huskies President Bob Buonato. “Before the EJEPL, we had huge problems finding legit exhibition competition and then many of the games wound up being canceled for petty reasons.

“The EJEPL is totally non-political and fair to all teams and run honestly,” said Maine Moose Owner Ben Gray. “In today’s hockey world, that is reason enough to join a league.”

The Maine Moose were one of the three National Champions at the 14U level, along with the Southern Connecticut Stars and Delaware Ducks at the 18U level.

The teams play a 16-game EJEPL schedule from 9U through 14U and a 20-game schedule in the 15-16U and 18U Midget levels.

The major year teams are divided into three levels of competitive balance with the Diamond, Futures Gold and Futures Silver.

In the Midget levels, a new Platinum level for AAA and top teams, followed by a Diamond level and Futures level allows for careful placement of teams.

The EJEPL also has a Split-Season level for prep and high school players who want to finish in the fall. This level has 16 and 18 divisions and plays a 10-game schedule with playoffs at the end of October.

The EJEPL also has a growing girls league with 12U, 14U and 16/19U levels. EJEPL Girls Director Chris Hubert now has 25 total girls teams. They play a varied schedule based on the amount of teams and the league has showcases, all-stars and playoffs at the end of January.

The EJEPL will also unveil a new product this season with the start of a House League Plus program. Pilot conferences in Pennsylvania and metropolitan New York will allow a rink owner with a house league to put all-star teams together to play local rinks and meet once a year with the other conference to play in tournament play and playoffs at the end of the season.

The MADD Conference will have teams at the 10-12 and 14U levels and interchangeable rosters. They will play approximately 10 games and playoffs.

The EJEPL has two youth showcases in August and October, both of which the entire league attend.

“The players only miss maybe one day of school the entire season,” said Commissioner Henry Lazar. “We do not want the EJEPL to burden players in their school work. The Midgets play in various showcases, which are in New Hampshire, Boston, Connecticut, Philadelphia and Buffalo.”

There are many new organizations in the EJEPL this season. The Ashburn (Va.) Xtreme has Midget teams entered. The Buffalo Stars have entered in the 16U level. Also entered in the Midget level are the Charlotte (N.C.) Jr. Checkers.

Connecticut’s Greater New Haven Warriors are entered in many youth levels. The Hartford (Conn.) Jr. Wolf Pack are also entered in the youth levels.

The Nassau County Lions (N.Y.) are entered at the youth and Midget levels. The New England Predators (Mass.) will play at the youth level.

The New Hampshire Avalanche and New Hampshire Ice Cats will both play in the Midget levels. The New Jersey Bandits and New Jersey Stars will compete in Midgets and youth, respectively. The North Shore Coyotes (Mass.) will play at the youth level.

The Ottawa (Ontario) Sharpshooters will play at the Midget levels and the Portland (Maine) Jr. Pirates will play at the 15U level.

The Rhode Island Jr. Blues will play youth and split-season. The Stamford (Conn.) Sharks will play at the 12U level. The EJEPL also welcomes the Valley Forge (Pa.) Selects and the Walpole (Mass.) Express.

Returning to the EJEPL are the New Jersey Titans at the youth levels, and the San Diego Gulls at the 16U level.

The new 9U level is named after longtime college and junior coach Jim Salfi, who sent hundreds of players on to college and pro careers. Salfi is retired now and lives in the Albany, N.Y., area.

The EJEPL thanks Jim Salfi for his many years of hockey service.

Please visit the EJEPL.com website for all the league news, stats and standings of all the conferences. The league will field approximately 300 teams in 73 organizations in 14 states and Canada.

Expansion information is available on the website.


Read past Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League:

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League prepares for momentous fifth year, Hockey America tournament

Tight races emerge with playoffs just over a month away

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

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League prepares for momentous fifth year, Hockey America tournament

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League prepares for momentous fifth year, Hockey America tournament

After a very successful fourth year, which saw over 250 teams compete in 22 conferences from 10U to 18U to girls divisions, the Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League is planning on its fifth season to be the best yet.

The EJEPL will add a 9-year-old birth year division, which will be named after longtime junior and college coach Jim Salfi.

Other proactive adjustments will include a new Futures level alignment with a Gold and Silver level. This will ensure teams can be placed in the proper competitive level.

The MADD (Mid-Atlantic Development Division) level will now be a limited travel two-or three-conference set-up with divisions in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and in the metropolitan New York area.

The MADD level will play a 10-game schedule with one tournament and Frozen Four format playoffs.

The EJEPL will again have many showcases and special events. The all-stars will again be at Brown University for the 16/18U; Norwalk, Conn.’s SoNo Ice House for the 12-13-14U; and Coney Island for the 10-11-15U conferences.

Playoffs will again be the first two weekends in February at various venues. The teams will again play 16 games for 9 to 14U conferences, and 20 games for the 15-16-18 conferences.

The split season will be divided into two levels of play for competitive balance. They will play a 10-game season.

The girls will also play a 10-game schedule with playoffs at the end of January. All in all, the EJEPL will be a great supplemental league adding to teams’ local league schedules to create a full September to March season, with diverse competition for all teams involved.

The EJEPL follows all USA Hockey rules and fully agrees with the ADM model of development. Director of Player Development Dave Starman will work with league teams on proper practice techniques and the organizations’ direction toward instruction for the players.

The EJEPL wants to thank its Staff and Directors, beginning with thanking Larry Nastasi (Vice Commissioner) for his tireless efforts on the website and assisting Commissioner Henry Lazar in all aspects of running the EJEPL.

The league also wants to thank Dean Of Discipline Jon Sandos for his expertise in doling out fair justice to players and supervising many of the special events for the league.

Thanks also go to Secretary Carol Oldmixon and Director of Social Media Frank O’Connor.

Also due thanks is Girls Director Christian Hubert. The EJEPL will be adding few more staff members to better serve the teams.

Girls director Christian Hubert has released the schedule for the girls’ All-Star games. They will participate in the Shamrock Elite Tournament in Boston between April 29-May 1. The team will practice at the Boch Ice Center and then the 14U and 16/19U all-stars will play in the tournament. Good luck to the girls.

The EJEPL annual meeting is Monday, April 25, at the Stamford (Conn.) Marriott. Agendas and further information will be sent to all members in early April.
Hockey America Tournament to be held May 6-8HockeyAmerica

The EJEPL is proud to host the second annual EJEPL/Hockey America Tournament May 6-8 at the Ice Works in Aston, Pa. It will be a fun and competitive weekend for the teams at the 10-12-14-16-18U levels.

The Hockey America Championship Tournament brings top teams to the Mid-Atlantic region for a great weekend of intense competition.
The EJEPL, which covers 18 states, is excited about this championship tournament. Each team is guaranteed three games, with a maximum of five games. Winning teams from each level will receive a championship banner.

The EJEPL will invite all the college, prep school and junior scouts on the East Coast for the various divisions of play.

Teams that travel the farthest will have a travel-friendly schedule. The schedule-maker will accommodate out-of-town teams and special scheduling requests.

There will be round-robin play within the four-team divisions with the top two teams from each division advancing to the playoffs on Sunday morning.

Games for the 10U, 12U, and 14U divisions will be three (15-minute) periods. Games for the 16U and 18U will be two (25-minute) halves. Playoffs will be (30-minute) mini-games.

In case of overtime in the preliminaries, a three-man shootout will decide the game with the loser getting one point. In case of overtime during the playoffs, there will be a 5-minute 4v4. If still tied, then there will be a 5-minute 3v3 overtime. The final tiebreaker will be a three-man shootout.

The official tournament website is www.EJEPL.com/HockeyAmericaTourn. All tournament information will be available on the site, including all logistical info, including schedules and results of all games.

The tournament costs are $1,395 per team for 10U, 12U and 14U; and $1,595 per team for 16U and 18U.

If your team needs hotel rooms, Lisa Shaw in the Ice Works office can be reached at 610-497-2200. She has blocked off rooms in area hotels for the tournament.

To contact the tournament directors, reach out to Henry Lazar (718-332-4555), John Giacobbo (215-901-0440) or Larry Nastasi (516-582-4251).

Read past EJEPL articles in our archives:

Tight races emerge with playoffs just over a month away


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

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

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