To Whom It May Concern:
Regarding the state of Tier III Junior hockey on the East Coast, I wanted to weigh in and let you know that the
Atlantic Junior Hockey League is not exploring any options outside of Junior hockey, nor are any of the 12 AJHL
Franchise Members. On the contrary, the AJHL just completed its first season as a stand-alone league.
For the first nine years of its existence, the AJHL was underneath the Atlantic Metropolitan Hockey League
umbrella. That organization also oversees the Atlantic Youth Hockey League and the Metropolitan Junior Hockey
League. I have been head coach of the AJHL Walpole Express for the last five seasons and helped the "new" AJHL
separate from the AMHL. This past season was the AJHL’s 10
th Anniversary campaign. It concluded with an
overtime win in Game 3 (the deciding contest) of the finals for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. The exciting
game marked the end of a truly successful season.
Throughout the season, league owners spent considerable time solidifying the foundation of the new entity and
planning for the future. For starters, the league created a full time Director of Hockey Operations position, a job I
am proud to hold. Instead of one person wearing many hats, the league now has focused leadership moving
forward. Jeff Nygaard will remain as AJHL Director of Administration. I will help each team/organization continue
to develop its on- and off-ice operations. I will draw on my background in coaching, player development and
knowledge of USA Hockey to continue to move the AJHL forward, improving the Junior hockey experience for our
The AJHL has also re-committed to offering "true" Junior hockey. The league will remove virtually all equipment
and playing rules that differ from USA Hockey’s Junior rulebook. Additionally, the 12 AJHL organizations will
commit to offering the true Junior experience as a tried-and-true path to college hockey. This re-emphasis on true
Junior hockey is the result of the 12 ownership groups dedicating their efforts to the player experience and the
ultimate goal of advancing players to college hockey.
I realize information may be hard to extract during times like these. However, I want to set the record straight, at
least from the AJHL perspective. We plan to stay on our committed path of providing a nurturing environment
with USA Hockey Junior standards—set forth in the USA Hockey Annual Guide—to provide our athletes the
opportunity to achieve their goals.
Please check out the two-page brochure that follows this letter to learn more about what the AJHL has in store for
2013-14 and beyond.
Director of Hockey Operations