United States Premier Hockey League

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United States Premier Hockey League
Sport Ice Hockey
Founded 2012
CEO Richard Gallant
No. of teams 61 organizations
Country  United States
Most recent champion(s) Jersey Hitmen (Premier)
Hampton Roads Whalers (Elite)
Dells Ducks (USP3/Midwest)
Official website USPHL.com

The United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) is an American ice hockey league. Founded in 2012, the USPHL has grown to over 60 organizations from across the United States fielding teams in Premier, Elite, USP3, 18U, 16U, 16U Futures, and High Performance Youth divisions.

USA Hockey classifies the Premier, Elite, and USP3 Divisions as Tier III junior hockey leagues. 18U, 16U and 16U Futures divisions are Tier I youth hockey divisions. All divisions are sanctioned by USA Hockey.[1]


The league was originally founded with three divisions (Premier, 18U and 16U), but on June 6, 2013, it was announced that the USPHL would absorb the Empire Junior Hockey League (becoming the Empire Division) and the newly formed Eastern Elite Hockey League (becoming the Elite Division). With the additions, the USPHL added 16 organizations to the original 15.

On March 7, 2014, the USPHL announced the formation of the 16U Futures (16UF) Division.[2] The division is guided for players who aspire to play midget hockey, but are not yet ready for the 16U Division. Eight organizations field teams in the 16UF Division for the 2014-15 season.

During the 2014 off-season the USPHL lost the New York Applecore (Empire), but added the Providence Capitals (Elite & 16U), Jersey Shore Whalers (Empire), and the Richmond Generals (Elite, Empire) organizations to increase the total number of organizations to 35 headed into the 2014–15 season.

The USPHL announced on December 18, 2014 the formation of a Midwest Division to begin in the 2015–16 season by adding several teams from the Minnesota Junior Hockey League.[3] By the end of the season, the Midwest Division would add all but one active MnJHL team causing the MnJHL to disband for the following season. On March 10, 2015, the USPHL also added the entire Midwest Junior Hockey League to its new Midwest Division for the 2015–16 season.[4] USPHL Midwest became the fourth Tier III division under the USPHL umbrella.

The changes for the 2015–16 continued into April when the New York Aviators announced their decision to leave the USPHL and join the NA3EHL. The USPHL promptly re-assigned the Aviator franchise to Rye, New York and was renamed to the New York Dragons.[5] In early April 2015, the Empire Division would expand to Daytona, Florida with the Daytona Racers. Also in April, it was announced the Empire Division would be renamed as the USP3 Division. In late April 2015, the Charlotte Rush was announced as an expansion franchise by adding two teams, one in the Elite Division and one in the USP3. The Wooster Oilers from the former MnJHL decided against fielding two Tier III teams and dropped their membership in the USPHL Midwest and would only play in the North American 3 Hockey League. Initially announced with 22 member teams, the new Midwest Division saw a number of teams cease operations prior to the 2015–16 season including the Indiana Attack, Ironwood Fighting Yoopers, Minnesota Owls, Soo Firehawks, and St. Louis Storm due to lack of players. The Midwest Division did not have its own championship playoffs, but instead the top two teams in each conference from the Midwest and USP3 Divisions played for a single championship.

On January 14, 2016, the league announced the formation of a High Performance Youth Division for the upcoming 2016–17 season. The new division will add 14 and under (Bantams), 12 and under (Peewees), along with 10 and under (Squirts) to the USPHL umbrella. Charter members of the High Performance Youth Division will include the New Jersey Rockets, Hartford Junior Wolfpack, Jersey Hitmen, and P.A.L. Jr. Islanders. In late April, the USPHL announced that the Elite and USP3 Divisions were expanding by splitting the teams from the one-year-old Midwest Division into the Elite and USP3 platforms.[6] More changes came on May 20, 2016, when the USPHL added the four remaining teams from the former Northern Pacific Hockey League to the USP3 as a Pacific Division.[7]

Member teams

The USPHL consists of Premier, Elite, USP3, 18U, 16U, 16U Futures, and High Performance Youth divisions with organizations located on the East Coast, Midwest, and Pacific Northwest United States.

Team Location Premier Elite USP3 18U 16U 16U Futures Youth
Adirondack Jr. Wings Troy, New York Yes
Alpena Flyers Alpena, Michigan Yes
Atlanta Junior Knights Marietta, Georgia Yes Yes Yes
Bay State Breakers Kingston, Massachusetts Yes Yes Yes
Blaine Energy Blaine, Minnesota Yes
Boston Junior Bruins Marlborough, Massachusetts Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Carolina Eagles Wake Forest, North Carolina Yes Yes Yes1
Charlotte Rush Indian Trail, North Carolina Yes Yes
Chicago Cougars Chicago, Illinois Yes
Connecticut Jr. Rangers Stamford, Connecticut Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
CP Dynamo Clifton Park, New York Yes Yes Yes
Daytona Racers Daytona, Florida Yes
Decatur Blaze Decatur, Illinois Yes
Dells Ducks Lake Delton, Wisconsin Yes
Detroit Fighting Irish Brownstown, Michigan Yes
Eugene Generals Eugene, Oregon Yes
Florida Eels Fort Myers, Florida Yes Yes Yes
Florida Jr. Everblades Estero, Florida Yes Yes
Forest Lake Lakers Forest Lake, Minnesota Yes
Frederick Freeze Frederick, Maryland Yes
Hampton Roads Whalers Chesapeake, Virginia Yes Yes Yes
Hartford Jr. Wolfpack Cromwell, Connecticut Yes Yes
Hatfield Ice Hatfield, Pennsylvania Yes
Illiana Blackbirds Dyer, Indiana Yes
Ironwood Fighting Yoopers Ironwood, Michigan Yes
Islanders Hockey Club Tyngsborough, Massachusetts Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Jersey Hitmen Wayne, New Jersey Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Jersey Shore Whalers Brick, New Jersey Yes Yes Yes
Kalkaska Rhinos Kalkaska, Michigan Yes
Marquette Royales Marquette, Michigan Yes
Michigan Wild Farmington Hills, Michigan Yes
Motor City Hawks Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan Yes
New Jersey Rockets Berkeley Heights, New Jersey Yes Yes
New York Aviators Brooklyn, New York Yes Yes
Okanagan European Eagles Foxborough, Massachusetts Yes
P.A.L. Jr. Islanders Hauppauge, New York Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Palm Beach Hawks Lake Worth, Florida Yes Yes
Philadelphia Flyers Junior Hockey Club Voorhees, New Jersey Yes
Portland Jr. Pirates Saco, Maine Yes Yes
Potomac Patriots Woodbridge, Virginia Yes Yes Yes Yes
Richmond Generals Richmond, Virginia Yes Yes Yes
Rochester Monarchs Rochester, New York Yes Yes Yes
SCV Magicians Hudson, Wisconsin Yes
Seattle Ravens Kent, Washington Yes
Selects Academy South Kent, Connecticut Yes Yes
Skipjacks Hockey York, Pennsylvania Yes Yes Yes
South Shore Kings Foxboro, Massachusetts Yes Yes Yes Yes
Springfield Pics West Springfield, Massachusetts Yes Yes Yes Yes
Steele County Blades Owatonna, Minnesota Yes
Syracuse Stars Cicero, New York Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tampa Bay Juniors Tampa, Florida Yes Yes
Traverse City Hounds Traverse City, Michigan Yes
Tri-City Ice Hawks Bay City, Michigan Yes
Tri-City Outlaws Kennewick, Washington Yes
West Sound Warriors Bremerton, Washington Yes
Westchester Express Westchester, New York Yes
Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin Yes

1Competing as Team Carolina.


Year Premier Division Elite Division USP3 18U Division 16U Division 16U Futures Division
2013–14 Boston Jr. Bruins Springfield Jr. Pics Florida Jr. Blades Selects Academy Selects Academy
2014–15 Jersey Hitmen Boston Jr. Bruins New York Aviators Jersey Hitmen Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights Team Carolina
2015–16 Jersey Hitmen Hampton Roads Whalers Dells Ducks* Selects Academy Selects Academy Potomac Patriots[8]
*2016 Championship series was held between the new Midwest Division and the re-branded USP3 Division (formerly named Empire Division) for a single champion won by the Midwest's Dells Ducks

Former teams

  • Adirondack Jr. Wings— (2013–15, Empire Division) Team ceased operations prior to 2015–16 season; continues to field youth teams.[9]
  • Bay State Breakers— (2013–15, Premier Division) Premier franchise sold to the Syracuse Stars organization; continues to field their Elite Division and youth teams.[10]
  • Brewster Bulldogs— (2013–15, Empire Division) Formerly in the Empire Junior Hockey League; continues to field their Metropolitan Junior Hockey League team.
  • Florida Bulldogs— (2013–15, Elite Division) Formerly called the Space Coast Jr. Hurricanes when the organization joined from the Eastern Elite Hockey League and for the 2013–14 USPHL season; merged with the Roswell Bulldogs organization in April 2014 and played under that name for the 2014–15 season; renamed Florida Bulldogs prior to the 2015–16 season but ceased operation due to lack of players after one game, an 8-2 loss to the Palm Beach Hawks.[11]
  • Indiana Attack— Announced team for 2015–16 season in the Midwest Division; formerly the Fort Wayne Federals of the Minnesota Junior Hockey League; canceled their opening night game against the Alpena Flyers one day before it was scheduled and ceased operations.[12]
  • Ironwood Fighting Yoopers— Announced team for 2015–16 season in the Midwest Division; formerly in the Minnesota Junior Hockey League; took leave of absence prior to first season. The team has been announced to return as part of the USP3 in 2016–17.
  • Jersey Wildcats— (2013–15, Empire Division) formerly in the Empire Junior Hockey League; continues to field their Metropolitan Junior Hockey League team.
  • Minnesota Owls— Announced team for 2015–16 season in the Midwest Division; formerly in the Minnesota Junior Hockey League; took leave of absence prior to first season.[13]
  • New York Apple Core— (2013–14, Empire Division) Formerly in the Empire Junior Hockey League; continues to field their Eastern Hockey League and Metropolitan Junior Hockey League teams.
  • New York Aviators— (2013–15, Empire Division) The organization decided to play in the North American 3 Eastern Hockey League and the Empire franchise was reassigned to the New York Dragons. The Aviators returned to the USPHL with an Elite Division and youth teams in 2016. The former NA3EHL team became the Long Island Sharks in the North American 3 Hockey League.
  • New York Dragons– Announced team for the 2015–16 season in the USP3 Division with the franchise rights from the previous New York Aviators but appears to have dropped from the division prior to the season.
  • Portland Jr. Pirates— (2013–16, Premier Division)
  • Providence Capitals— (2014–16, Elite/18U/16U Divisions)
  • Rochester Jr. Americans— (2013–16, Premier/Elite/18U Divisions) Replaced by the Rochester Monarchs organization.
  • Team Comcast— (2014–15, 18U/16U Divisions) Youth teams associated with the Philadelphia Flyers Junior Hockey Club.
  • Soo Firehawks— Announced team for 2015–16 season in the Midwest Division; formerly in the Midwest Junior Hockey League; ceased operations prior to first season.[14]
  • St. Louis Storm— Announced team for 2015–16 season in the Midwest Division; formerly the St. Louis Frontenacs of the Minnesota Junior Hockey League; ceased operations prior to first season.[15]


  1. "USA Hockey agrees to sanction USPHL, major eastern mergers". Junior Hockey News. 6 May 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "USPHL announces 16U Futures Division". Adirondack Junior Wings. 7 March 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Minnesota Junior Hockey League gets a shakeup". Post Bulletin. 18 December 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Midwest Junior Hockey League Joins USPHL Mid-West Junior Hockey Division". USPHL. 10 March 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/weekly-sports-league-and-franchise-report/n-4960768
  6. "USPHL Expands Elite and USP3 Divisions for 2016-17 Season". USPHL. April 28, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "West Coast Teams Join Nation's Top College Development League (USPHL)". USPHL. May 20, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Week Twenty-Five – Seven Things to Know". USPHL. February 16, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "THE DEATH POOL – SPECIAL REPORT – ADIRONDACK JR RED WINGS SHUT DOWN EMPIRE TEAM". The Junior Hockey News. August 27, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Okanagan Hockey Club Europe to play USPHL Premier". USPHL. May 7, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "THE DEATH POOL – SPECIAL REPORT – FLORIDA BULLDOGS HAVE BEEN PUT TO SLEEP". The Junior Hockey News. September 22, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "THE DEATH POOL – SPECIAL REPORT – INDIANA ATTACK TAKE BULLET TO THE HEAD". The Junior Hockey News. September 10, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "THE DEATH POOL – SPECIAL REPORT – MINNESOTA OWLS GO DARK PLAN TO COME BACK NEXT YEAR". The Junior Hockey News. August 25, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Soo Firehawks Cease Operations". Soo Firehawks. August 20, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "THE DEATH POOL – SPECIAL REPORT – ST. LOUIS STORM FRIED BY LIGHTNING STRIKE". The Junior Hockey News. August 21, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links