COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Hockey announced today an addition to its slate of 2017 and 2018 Youth Tier I National Championship Tournaments. The new event – a single birth-year USA Hockey National Championship for 15-year-olds – was recommended by USA Hockey's Youth Council, approved by its Board of Directors and will be conducted as a two-year pilot tournament with potential to become a permanent part of the Youth Tier I Nationals in 2019.
USA Hockey and the Arizona Amateur Hockey Association will host the inaugural Youth Tier I National Championship for 15-year-olds in Scottsdale, Arizona, from April 6-10, 2017. Tier I teams comprised entirely of players born in 2001 will be eligible to compete.
“Age 15 is a pivotal point in a hockey player’s long-term development,” said Kevin McLaughlin, USA Hockey’s senior director of hockey development. “They’re segueing between true youth hockey and the next level of competitive development, so by offering a single birth-year Tier I national tournament for 15-year-olds, USA Hockey is putting those players in the best possible position to make that transition successfully.”
NOTES: USA Hockey has crowned the national amateur hockey champions in America for nearly 80 years ... To date, 36 states have produced USA Hockey national champions, led by Michigan, Massachusetts and Minnesota.