The Flyers are preparing to welcome the Liberty Bell Games back to the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone at Voorhees from June 8-10. In just three years, the Liberty Bell Games have grown to become the premier youth hockey showcase in the Philadelphia region.
Take one look at the list of attending scouts – 11 NHL teams, 24 NCAA teams, 14 prep schools, and various OHL, USHL, and EJHL representatives – and it’s easy to figure out why so many players from the Philadelphia region want to participate in this tournament. But only the best of the best are selected.
“We had 219 players apply for 90 spots” said Liberty Bell Games President/CEO Lew Mongelluzzo. “The selection process was made up of Director of Scouting Bill Underwood and a consortium of coaches and scouts from the Atlantic District.”
The 2012 Liberty Bell Games will feature five teams consisting of 18 players each. Eligibility is limited to players born in 1995, 1996, and 1997. Each team will play four games during the weekend. All games are open to the public, and admission is free.
If the past three years are any indication, there should be no shortage of high-end talent on display in 2012. More than 40 Liberty Bell Games alumni have moved on to play NCAA Division I, US junior, and/or Canadian junior hockey. And according to Mongelluzzo, 11 LBG players are on this year’s watch list for the NHL Central Scouting Bureau.
Two Liberty Bell Games alumni were selected in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft – John Gaudreau (currently a freshman with NCAA Champion Boston College) was the 104th selection by the Calgary Flames, and Troy Vance (now with the QMJHL Victoriaville Tigres) was the 135th selection by the Dallas Stars.
The youth hockey talent coming out of the Philadelphia region continues to improve, and the number of area players at the NCAA, major junior, and professional levels is higher than ever. With the addition of Penn State Division I men’s and women’s hockey programs in the fall of 2012, and the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four taking place at the Wells Fargo Center, hockey interest and participation levels should continue to flourish well into the future. The Liberty Bell Games are an important part of that growth, as they continue to provide opportunities for skilled local players to receive the recognition they deserve.