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18U AAA Team

Recent U18 AAA News

Stars Forward Signs with USPHL

By AK 07/20/2017, 10:30pm EDT

McClelland Signs with Rochester Jr Monarchs Premier Team

The Esmark Stars AAA Hockey Club, of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL), are pleased to announce that 18U forward Jacob McClelland has signed a tender agreement with the United States Premier Hockey League's (USPHL) Rochester Monarchs Jr. A club out of Rochester, New York.

McClelland will begin the season with the Monarch's Junior Premier team with an eye on advancing to the Monarch's, and the USPHL's, new NCDC Club (National Collegiate Development Conference)

The 6’0”/165 lbs. native of Canonsburg, PA, finished tied for the lead in scoring for the Stars U18 club during the overall 2016-17 season, registering 59 points (25 goals and 34 assists), including 3 power play goals and 1 shorthanded goal, in 60 games played and included 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) in 22 NAPHL games.

McClelland, 18, who completed his first 18U season with Esmark during the 2016-17 season. skated for the Stars U16 club during the 2015-16 season, recording 41 points (16 goals and 25 assists), including 5 power play goals, in 58 games played

The Pittsburgh-based Esmark Stars AAA Hockey Club, and its predecessor programs Pittsburgh Stars and Pittsburgh Viper Stars, are the oldest Tier I (AAA) program in the Mid-Am District (Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania) of USA Hockey and one of the oldest Tier I (AAA) programs in the nation.

Founded in 1984, for 33 years the Stars program has provided elite amateur ice hockey players the opportunity to be showcased on a local, national and international level.

The USPHL is launching its new 11 team tuition-free league (NCDC) this season.  Each club will also operate a junior team in the USPHL's Premier Division, while several will also field teams in a Junior Elite Division.

The USPHL, and its predecessor league's, were home to several National Hockey League players, including current NHL stars including Jack Eichel, Stanley Cup Champion Ron Hainsey, Ryan Callahan and Charlie Coyle. 

Esmark 18U Forward O'Neal Signs CCHL Tender

By AK 04/14/2017, 3:15pm EDT

Signs with Hawkesbury Hawks

The Esmark Stars AAA Hockey Club, of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL), are pleased to announce that 18U forward Patrick O'Neal has signed a Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) tender agreement with the Hawkesbury Hawks Jr. A Club out of Hawkesbury, Ontario. The Hawks compete in the CCHL's Robinson Division.

The 6’0”/175 lbs. native of Indiana, PA, led Esmark in team NAPHL scoring this season with 22 points (12 goals, 9 assists in 22 regular season games, including 3 power play goals; and 1 assist in three NAPHL playoff games).

He also finished tied for the lead in scoring for the Stars during the overall 2016-17 season, registering 59 points (25 goals and 34 assists), including 3 power play goals and 2 shorthanded goals, in 57 games played.

O'Neal, 18, who completed his first 18U season with Esmark during the 2016-17 season. also appeared in two games with the Johnstown Tomahawks Jr. A NAHL club based out of Johnstown, PA.

"Patrick is built for the junior game,” said Esmark 18U head coach Dave Kosick.  “He is a highly skilled forward with an outstanding shot packaged into a big power forward body ... who wants to succeed.”

A tender is a contract, of sorts, a player signs announcing his intentions to play for that particular CCHL team and that CCHL team only. Once a player signs a tender with an CCHL team, his playing rights belong to that team within the CCHL and he may not be recruited by any other CCHL team. 

The Pittsburgh-based Esmark Stars AAA Hockey Club, and its predecessor programs Pittsburgh Stars and Pittsburgh Viper Stars, are the oldest Tier I (AAA) program in the Mid-Am District (Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania) of USA Hockey and one of the oldest Tier I (AAA) programs in the nation.

For 33 years the Stars program has provided elite amateur ice hockey players the opportunity to be showcased on a local, national and international level.

The CCHL began as a development league founded by the Montreal Canadiens in 1961.  Seeking a place in Ontario for its' prospects, the league was built and used as a prime source until the draft system changed in the late sixties.  By the seventies, CCHL teams were among the best in Canada.  A reemphasis on development took place in the eighties when the league created rules and regulations that ensured younger rosters and an emphasis on development.This philosophy remains today, as the CCHL annually sends a large number of young players to higher levels.

Players from across North America have enjoyed success playing in the Central Canada Hockey League.  Utilizing the league as a stepping stone, each season dozens of players accept Division I and III NCAA hockey scholarships, as well as spots with Canada's U Sports, Canada's governing body for university sports, which is the highest level of play at the Canadian university level.

In addition, young players advance every year to the Ontario Hockey League and most seasons there are selections from the CCHL directly to the National Hockey League.

Centrally located in the Ottawa region, the Hawks play a 62 game league schedule. The CCHL was home to dozens of current NHL stars, including Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Patrick Sharp and Jimmy Howard. 

Watch: NAHL Now Alumni Series with Jacob Hetz

By http://naphl.com/news/story.cfm?id=20755 03/27/2017, 5:15pm EDT

Jacob Hetz spent three years playing in the NAHL and one year in the NAPHL prior to his NCAA commitment and career at Ferris State.In a continuing video series for the 2016-17 season, the North American Hockey League (NAHL) is please to feature their extensive list of alumni in the NHL, NCAA and beyond in a new series entitled the NAHL Now: Alumni Series.

The NAHL Now: Alumni Series will be a regular video segment that highlights an alumni of the NAHL, who are currently playing in the NHL, NCAA or elsewhere as we try and catch up with their current situation, as well as, take a look back during their time playing in the NAHL.

We also try and get some feedback from coaches who constantly scout the league looking for players and who have made a lasting impact on the league

One of the NCAA Division I schools that has several NAHL alumni from season to season are the Ferris State Bulldogs in the WCHA.  Head Coach Bob Daniels is a former NAHL player and former NAHL head coach. The NAHL recently stopped by to visit with some Ferris State players and NAHL alumni, which included former Fairbanks Ice Dogs and NAPHL forward Jacob Hetz.

Hetz has appeared in 53 NCAA games for Ferris State in two seasons and recorded 11 points.

"The game style is unlike anything I have ever seen.  You really have to battle and work hard in the NAHL and that prepares you for the NCAA. The events have scouts everywhere and you never know who is watching. The more you put into your time in the NAHL, the more you are going to get out of it." -Jacob Hetz

Watch: Jacob Hetz interview

A sophomore at Ferris State product of Glenshaw, Pennsylvania, Hetz spent the past three years with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in the North American Hockey League (NAHL). During his three seasons in Alaska, he appeared in 173 games and tallied 119 total points on 58 goals and 61 assists in regular season play. Additionally, he played in 29 playoff games and had 19 points with 11 goals and eight assists.

Hetz had the best season to date of his career in 2014-15 as he tallied 63 points on a career-high 28 goals and 35 assists in 60 contests. He added seven points in six playoff games, including six goals, while ranking among the NAHL’s leading scorers this year.

Prior to playing in the NAHL, Hetz played for the Esmark Stars 18U team in the NAPHL during the 2011-12 season. In 22 games, he registered 28 points. He was tendered by Fairbanks that season and spent the next three years in the NAHL prior to his NCAA advancement. He also appeared in the 2012 NAPHL Top Prospects Tournament