Events designed to showcase and educate young players
The United States Hockey League announced the dates for the three 2015 USHL Player Combines – first created in 2010 to annually showcase young players to League scouts and decision-makers and to educate players about opportunities in the nation’s top junior hockey league.
The Combine for 1999 birth year players will be held April 23-26, while the 1997 & 1998 birth years will participate April 30-May 3 at the Arctic Ice Arena in Orland Park, Illinois. Additionally, a third Combine will be held this summer for 2000 & 2001 birth year players on July 28-31.
The spring events are an important element for USHL clubs to finalize preparations for the USHL Draft – the key point of entry for players into USA Hockey’s only Tier 1 junior league. Players in the 1999 Combine are eligible for the single-aged Phase One of the 2015 USHL Draft held on May 4th. Those players, plus those from the 1997 & 1998 Combine, are eligible for multi-age group Phase Two of the 2015 USHL Draft which will be held on May 5th. Additionally, players in the 1995 & 1996 age groups are Phase Two USHL Draft-eligible.
A number of players participating in the Combines each spring annually go on to be selected in the USHL draft process. Waterloo Black Hawks defenseman Alec McCrea, Sioux Falls Stampede goaltender Stefanos Lekkas, and Fargo Force forward Mason Morelli are among multiple players that participated in USHL Player Combines prior to their selections in the USHL Draft.
“The Combines are a platform for USHL coaches and scouting staffs to evaluate players in specific age groups competing against one another,” said Doug Christiansen, USHL Director of Player Development. “We expect a high level of young talent from all over North America and around the world coming to Chicago for the opportunity to make an impression for the USHL Draft.”
Completing the trio of 2015 Players Combines is the 2000 & 2001 birth year event held this summer as players ascend on the Arctic Ice Arena, July 28-31. While these players are not eligible to compete during the 2015-16 USHL season based on age restrictions, the Combine provides a unique opportunity to gain exposure and to experience what it takes to pursue the USHL development path. Elements such as nutrition and off-ice training are part of the curriculum for the event.
All Player Combines are invitation only for participants. To be considered for selection, players should complete the online questionnaire HERE.
The Player Combines are now part of the newly-created USHL Development Series that will feature showcase and educational events for elite young talent. All events follow the theme “Make the Educated Decision”, extolling the virtues of understanding the options available to young players. Dates and locations for USHL Development Series events will be announced throughout the year.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 13th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2014-15. A record 35 players were chosen in the 2014 NHL Draft and more than 300 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.