The Tier I Elite Hockey League has recently made some organizational changes that will take effect in the 2019/2020 season. The main changes revolve around focused travel and game count, while minimizing impact on the league’s strength of schedule and improving competition. The Tier 1 Elite league’s goal is to continue as the premier amateur AAA youth hockey league in the country.
Based primarily on feedback from the organizational affiliates, we have adapted our schedule to be able to best meet the needs of our individual clubs and teams at the U18, U16, & U15 levels. Teams in the Tier I Elite league will now have the flexibility to manage their own participation to a greater degree. Our format for the 2019-20 season will be based around a mix of super showcase events with all league affiliates and additional “tournament-styled” showcases that individual teams can elect to participate in.
The season will culminate with our traditional playoff event in Blaine, MN in February. As one of the premier events on the youth hockey calendar, the Blaine Tier 1 Elite League Championship is second to none in placing Tier 1 players in front of NHL, USHL, CHL, NAHL, BCHL and other junior scouts. Evidence of this was Phase 1 of the most recent USHL draft where more than 100 players developed by the T1EHL were selected, featuring the Tier 1 league among the leaders as an annual development pipeline to the top levels of junior hockey.
The new structure of the league includes the departure of some of our affiliates from the East, some of whom will reorganize themselves into a limited local league. We wish them the best in their future endeavors.
The departure of these organizations from our league has caused some misperceptions regarding the future of the T1EHL for the upcoming season. The Tier 1 Elite League remains committed to developing the best young players possible for the 2019- 2020 season and beyond and this reduction of affiliates will allow the league to be more agile and provide the necessary flexibility in schedule that has made the league the most prominent in the country.
The Tier 1 Elite League will continue to provide the highest level of competition in the United States for teams and players from East to West and from North to South. The number of organizations and national scope of the Tier 1 League provides the best youth players national exposure through Showcase formats. We are excited to continue as the national leader of youth ice hockey development.