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: