Henry Lazar

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: 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

Eastern Elite Prospects League: Parity early in season on both U16, U18 sides

Eastern Elite Prospects League: Parity early in season on both U16, U18 sides

In early Eastern Elite Prospects League action, at the 16U level, the Connecticut Oilers, Greater New York Stars and Philadelphia Revolution were leading the way after the first couple of weeks.

For the Oilers, Brian Silard had nine points, with Declyn Thornton and Max Fuld close behind with six points each. In goal for the Oilers, Donny Battimelli led the stingy Oilers.

For the upstart GNY Stars, Ethan Cohen, Dan Edmonds and Dean Owen each have two goals each for the 2-0 Stars from Brooklyn.

For the Revolution, Andrew Bean had two goals in the first two games to pace Philly.

On the 18U circuit, the Rhode Island Hitmen were off to a quick 5-1 start.

Eric Pesola’s five goals and five assists for 10 points led the Hitmen offense. Steve Schmitt has been tough to beat in goal early this year, with a .925 save percentage.

For Ken Hoey’s Long Island Royals squad, Matt O’Shaughnessy led a strong offense with six goals and five assists for 11 points. Joe Bonsignore is a close second with nine points.

The 4-1 Royals are averaging more than five goals per game on offense. For the 3-1 Richmond Generals, on offense, Tyler Jahn and Jack Zielinski were leaders.

The 2-0 Cyclones were right in the early mix with Ed Ziegenfuss at the forefront of the offense with six points.

Many of the teams were set to begin their full EJEPL schedules after this group, as the New Hampshire Monarchs, Philadelphia Little Flyers, Jaguars, New York Apple Core, Boston Bandits, Connecticut Chiefs and CP Dynamo will all become major factors in the competition.

“Many of the games played so far have been close and pretty exciting,” said commissioner Henry Lazar. “The league is finalizing its plan for its All-Star Jamboree, which will be hosted by the Boston Bandits in January. Initial responses by junior and college scouts have been very positive through September.”

Lazar also announced that the league will announce academic help solutions for struggling students as grades are a major priority moving forward.

For more information regarding the EEPL, please go to the web site at EEPL.com. The team’s directory of teams and contacts will appear in each issue of the USA Junior Hockey Magazine.

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League: Midget circuit excited for big sophomore season

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League: Midget circuit excited for big sophomore season

The much-anticipated 2013-4 second season of the Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League begins next week with the Brewster Labor Day showcase over the Aug. 29 to Sept. 1 weekend.

Many of the League teams in the two Midget Divisions will be in attendance.

The EJEPL will feature an 18U Division of 11 teams and a 16U Division with 15 teams. The 20-game league schedule features showcases in Brewster, N.Y., Philadelphia, Pa., Howell, N.J., Hudson, N.H., Bridgewater, Mass., and southern New Jersey.

Junior and college scouts have been very enthusiastic about coming to these events. The 26-team league, up from 11 in the inaugural season promises to showcase many of the top 15-to 18-year olds on the East Coast. The complete league schedule is on the website ejepl.com and rosters of all the teams will be complete on the site effective Aug. 28.

“Many of the teams claim they are ready to lead the way,” said commissioner Henry Lazar.

In the 16U division, the New York Apple Core, Boston Bandits, Connecticut Oilers, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, Long Island Royals and Philadelphia Little Flyers are all talking up their teams.

In the 18U division the Monarchs and CP Dynamo may be the favorites.

The all-star event will be hosted by the Boston Bandits over Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday weekend, and the playoffs will again be hosted by the Monarchs.

There have already been inquiries for 2014-15 for expansion franchises and the league will be looking into Fast Hockey and other media extras moving forward. There are tournament-bound teams at each level and with the strong 16U teams in the League, it is possible to have a couple of representatives at the Nationals.

“The owners and coaches have been very cooperative and the ‘family of teams’ is being cultivated nicely,” said Lazar.

The all-star event will include a college seminar and college coaches will be invited to speak to the players and their families.

The League teams include the Apple Core, New Jersey Titans, Monarchs, Little Flyers, Greater New York Stars, Connecticut Oilers, Connecticut Chiefs, Boston Bandits, CP Dynamo, Northern Cyclones, Frederick Freeze, Richmond Generals, Philadelphia Revolution, Rhode Island Hitmen, Royals, Freeport Arrows and Igloo Jaguars.

The league has teams in seven states: New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Virginia and Rhode Island.

“Good luck to all the teams as the season is just about to begin,” added Lazar, in late August.


Read past EJEPL stories in our archives:

Hitmen crowned regular season champs; Maksymum Hockey wins playoffs

All-Stars announced for first-year league

Parity is key word for new circuit

New York Apple Core: Santini drafted by New Jersey in second round

New York Apple Core: Santini drafted by New Jersey in second round

Congratulations are in order for Steven Santini as his hard work has paid off big time.

The former New York Apple Core player became the New Jersey Devils’ first pick (42nd) overall in Sunday’s NHL draft at the Prudential Center.

“Almost 75 friends and family gathered at the draft to see the reward for all the hard work,” said proud grandfather Bob Santini.

Steven played for the Apple Core in 2010-11 as he made the 130-mile round trip to Long Beach while a sophomore in high school. After his year at the Core, Steven was selected for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program, for which he starred for two years.

Steven will attend Boston College as a true freshman this fall and will play for head coach Jerry York. All of Steven’s family was there as well as many friends of the family and many staff from Brewster Ice Arena, the family business.

The family is extremely happy that Steven will be playing locally so the entire family can go to Devils games.

Father Steve Santini Sr. works for the New York Rangers as an off-ice official, as well as running the Brewster Ice Arena.

“The Devils just picked up a quick 200-300 new fans,” stated his mother Sandy. Uncle Dave Santini, who runs the Pro Shop at the Brewster Ice Arena, will be stocking New Jersey Devils jerseys, T-shirts, hats and clothing.

Steven will now take a little time off as he relaxes after a demanding testing and interview period leading up to the draft before resuming training and preparing for BC.

“Having been lucky enough to have coached Steven for a year, I saw immediately that he had the maturity, even at 15 to get to the show,” said Apple Core GM Henry Lazar. “He handled every on-and off-ice situation professionally and even though already committed to BC, he never wore any of their hats, shirts, or discussed the BC commitment around the older players, some five years older than Steven.

“That showed maturity beyond his years,” added Lazar.

Steven’s father Steve Sr. played for the University of Maine and coached Steven up through the ranks and taught his son all that was needed.

There is a certain way to handle yourself and play the game the right way and that’s what the Devils see in their first draft pick. All his friends at the Core wish Steven only the best and will be rooting for him … even when the Devils play the Rangers and Islanders.