The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced that the 2020-21 regular season, the league’s 46th season, will begin on October 9, 2020. The league features four teams from Minnesota and is committed to playing a full schedule of regular-season games for 2020-21. The North American Hockey Prospect League (NAPHL) will open the season with an event at the NSC Super Rink in Blaine Sept. 17-20.
Earlier in the year, the NAHL held it’s first event in Minnesota since the reopening of ice arenas— a three-day combine at the Super Rink to expose 16U prospects to the junior hockey experience the league maintains.
“We have spent a lot of time discussing return dates and are excited to be moving forward at this time. Our number one priority remains returning to the ice this fall in the safest manner possible for everyone in our hockey community and we believe that October 9th is a good date to achieve that goal,” said NAHL Commissioner and President Mark Frankenfeld. “Between now and the schedule release we will be communicating with the NHL, USA Hockey, and the USHL to develop the most current return to play guidelines as possible.”
The NAHL will continue to work daily with teams to monitor the situation in all 27 NAHL communities, utilizing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and local authorities. The NAHL and its member clubs want to ensure that they are utilizing the latest information available in order to provide the safest environment as possible for all the players, coaches, staff, billet families and fans.
The delayed start means that NAHL events will be affected. The 18th annual NAHL Showcase will take place Dec. 16-19, and the 11th annual NA3HL Showcase will take place Dec. 20-22 at the Super Rink.
One of the things the NAHL does better than any other junior league is seeing their players earn an NCAA opportunity while playing and being showcased in the NAHL. To date, 348 players made NCAA commitments during the 2019-20 season, with 70% of those (246) being NCAA Division I commitments, which is a new single-season record.