CHICAGO - With the 2017 NHL Draft as a backdrop, three of the most significant organizations on the hockey landscape in the United States announced a multi-year partnership geared toward maximizing developmental and business opportunities throughout the country.
Bill Daly, deputy commissioner of the NHL, joined senior leadership from USA Hockey and the United States Hockey League in announcing a long-term agreement that will provide financial support and other resources in furthering development of players, coaches and officials participating in the nation's top level of junior hockey - a primary springboard to NCAA Division I and professional ice hockey. The agreement establishes cooperation in the following areas: both on-ice and off-ice player development, coaching, officiating, playing rule development, and cross-promotion, in addition to marketing, communications and community engagement.
"We depend on amateur hockey organizations all over the world to develop the players, coaches and officials that aspire to matriculate to the NHL," said Daly. "The USHL has consistently demonstrated an ability to produce outstanding talent. Going forward, it is our continued intent to focus resources on the USHL's developmental efforts."
Sanctioned by USA Hockey, the national governing body of ice hockey in America, the USHL is the nation's only Tier 1 junior hockey league.
"The USHL's ongoing commitment to development has been a key contributor to the continued elevation of our sport." said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey. "Together with the NHL, we're extremely pleased to escalate our efforts in support of the league."
Support from the NHL and USA Hockey will complement the ongoing investment made by the ownership of the 16 USHL member clubs.
"The developmental partnership with the NHL and USA Hockey will support the efforts of league shareholders to operate one of the top junior hockey leagues in the world," said Bob Fallen, USHL president and commissioner. "We are excited about the opportunities created by working closely with the NHL and USA Hockey."