The Chicago Blackhawks and Northern Illinois Hockey League (NIHL) today announced a partnership that will ensure that the two groups will continue to support youth hockey in the greater Chicago area. The NIHL is the largest youth hockey league in Illinois.
The Northern Illinois Hockey League will enter its 49th season of play in 2017-18 with nearly 350 youth hockey teams from over 40 local clubs and upwards of 5,000 players ages 7 to 19 participating. The league continues to grow year after year and its Youth and Girls divisions offer players in our area the opportunity to develop their hockey skills as they advance toward possible play at the college level and beyond.
The Chicago Blackhawks and NIHL will support each other by working together on their common objective of bringing greater appreciation of ice hockey and more participation in hockey to more and more children in our area. Additionally, the Blackhawks Community Ice Arena, scheduled to open in December just south of the United Center, will be USA Hockey sanctioned and play host numerous NIHL events including mite tournaments and jamborees.
Chicago Blackhawks players Ryan Hartman, Vinnie Hinostroza and Tommy Wingels and former Blackhawks player and current broadcaster Eddie Olczyk, played on NIHL teams prior to their NHL careers..
For the duration of the partnership, the Chicago Blackhawks will be the primary sponsor of the NIHL's regular season, its Presidents Cup and its end-of-season tournament and championship games.
In the upcoming months, updates on specific programs and promotions that grow from the Northern Illinois Hockey League/Chicago Blackhawks partnership will be provided. For more information on the NIHL please visit www.nihl.info.