For this fall the Elite Development League will serve as the MN Hockey Tier 1 U-16 league and with that the following changes to the league structure will be put into place. The league will have six teams at the Tier 1 U-16 level. These teams will consist of junior, sophomore and freshman players with 1999, 2000 and 2001 birth dates. Teams will play 22 – 24 games in the fall in order to be eligible for participation in the Tier 1 spring playoffs and players on each team must play in a minimum of 10 games to be eligible for the playoff roster. The playoff structure for spring 2016 has not been finalized at this time but it is expected that the playoffs will be held the week after the HS State Tournament. The winner of the playoffs becomes the Minnesota entrant in the USA Hockey National Tournament.
The league will also have three U-18 teams for players with birth dates of 1998 – 2000. These three teams will not be at the Tier 1 level but will play games as part of the normal league schedule. These teams will play 20 – 22 games during the fall season.
Tryouts for all of the MNEPDL teams will be held Aug 7 – 9. At the conclusion of the tryout sessions the team group will make cuts to a total of approximately 30 players per team. The following weekend (Aug 15 – 16) will be the league preseason training weekend and team rosters will be finalized at the end of the weekend. League rosters will consist of 20 rostered players and 5 alternates. Based on past seasons alternates can expect to play in 60 – 70% of the teams games. The league game season will begin starting August 20th. The league will not conduct any games during Labor Day weekend and MEA weekend this year. The league season will conclude the weekend of Oct 31 – Nov 1.
Tryout registration information will be sent to players in June with a registration deadline of July 15th. High School Coaches have submitted player nominations and we have received player info from the HP-15, HP-16 & HP-17 programs.
Tryouts for the MN Elite Prep Development League will be held August 7 - 9. Metro area tryouts will be held at the Eagan Civic Arena beginning Friday Aug 7th. Location for the North team tryout will be finalized soon.
Player nominations from High School coaches are being accepted at this time. Information on the tryouts will be sent to players beginning in early June with registration ending July 15th.
Minnesota Tier 1 Hockey Update
Minnesota Hockey Seeking Tier 1 Committee Chair
Following a resolution passed by the Minnesota Hockey Board of Directors to adopt a framework and definition of Tier 1 hockey in Minnesota in January, a Minnesota Hockey committee will be established to oversee the Minnesota Tier 1 offering.
The committee chair is an appointed position and expected to be in place by the end of May, with the rest of the committee in place in time for Minnesota Hockey’s Board of Directors meeting on June 28. The responsibilities of the chair are outlined in the attached position description. Individuals interested in chairing the Tier 1 committee should indicate their interest to Minnesota Hockey President, Dave Margenau along with submitting a short resume of qualifications by May 29, 2015.
Tier 1 hockey in Minnesota will be limited to the following age classifications for which USA Hockey conducts National Championships: 14U Youth/Girls, 16U Youth/Girls, 18U Youth and 19U Girls. The teams will compete in late summer and fall, prior to the start of the Minnesota Hockey and Minnesota State High School League seasons, after which the players would return to their associations or high school teams. The framework has been endorsed by USA Hockey’s Youth Council.
Minnesota Hockey has engaged in discussions with the leadership of the Upper Midwest Elite League, the Prep Development League and the Girls Premier Prep League in which the Minnesota Hockey Tier 1 teams will participate. It is the intent that those Leagues would be responsible for Tier 1 league operations at the Girls 19U, Youth 18U, Girls 16U and Youth 16U levels. These offerings will be available beginning this summer as they have in past years. Players interested in participating should contact these leagues directly.
For the 2015-16 season the Youth 16U and 18U league winners in the fall will advance to the USA Hockey Minnesota District playoffs in the spring upon the conclusion of the high school season to advance to the USA Hockey National Championship. The Girls 16U and 19U league playoff winners will advance directly to the USA Hockey 2016 National Championship to be held in Blaine. For the 2016-17 season the USA Hockey Minnesota District playoffs to advance to the National Championship will be conducted in the fall.
The 14U Youth/Girls offerings will not be in place until next season. The goal of the committee will be to have the complete Tier 1 offering in place for the 2016-17 season.
Further details regarding teams, scheduling and organization will be announced at a later date.
Director, MN Elite Prep Development League