Cleveland Barons U-18 Midget Majors: My Site News

Tier 1 Elite Hockey League represented well at the USHL Drafts

The Tier I Elite League boasts the highest percentage of players drafted in the May 19 USHL Draft with a quarter of their talent picked up. The league also came in on top in the USHL Futures draft with 42 out of 90 kids taken.

The skills of the players in the league have reached a capacity higher than Minnesota High School Hockey – who came in second with 16% of their players drafted – which can only mean more growth for the Tier I Elite League.

“When people are deciding what clubs to play for this is huge because you always want to market and promote yourself especially if you have this kind of representation that we had in the USHL draft,” Colorado Thunderbirds Head Coach Angelo Ricci said – this is the most players the Thunderbirds have in the history of the program drafted with nine.

The Tier I Elite League is always garnering scouts’ attention from the USHL, NCAA, OHL and more but an extra spark may have occurred this past season when all four National Champions, U12 through U18, hailed from the league.

“I think it’s a combination of a few things but most importantly the competitive value throughout the whole league helps our success,” Ricci said. “The guys from the USHL evaluating the talent in our league see the best players on the best teams playing against each other and that’s how you can evaluate who can really emerge and play at the next level.”

Tier I Elite Hockey continues fine-tuning the league to maintain a top notch program. The board of directors meets every year evaluating what to keep and what to alter. This coming year there will be a few small modifications in the league schedule to benefit the players.

“(The board of directors) have done a good job of adjusting our showcases from five games to four games with there being so many injuries last year,” Ricci said “So things like that they’ve improved and I think we’re going to have a more competitive weekend of games because at this level if you’re playing five games in less than 60 hours it can be hard on these kids so they’ve knocked it down to four games and I think you’re going to see better results and maybe not as many injuries.

All the more reasons to expect the Tier I Elite Hockey League to continue in its prominence of seeing players move onto the next level of hockey.