This is the 2016-17 North American 3 Atlantic Hockey League season. This is the league's first season under this name and its' 51st season overall dating back to its founding at the Metropolitan Junior Hockey League in 1966. This will apparently be the league's only season under this name as all but one of the teams have been added to the Eastern Hockey League for the 2017-18 season. The only team not joining the EHL, the Exton Bulls appears to be discontinuing their junior team after just one season.
The re-branding of the league occurred when after the league completed its 2015-16 season. The Eastern Hockey League announced on March 1, 2016 that the Elite Division was being reorganized as the 19U Elite Division. The Elite Division will focus upon development of players for higher levels of play. As part of this reorganization the league is adding seven teams from the Metropolitan Junior Hockey League (New Jersey Rockets, New York Applecore, Brewster Bulldogs, Connecticut Nighthawks, Hartford Jr. Wolfpack, Philadelphia Jr. Flyers, and Philadelphia Revolution, and the Lehigh Valley Jr. Rebels. As a result of this reorganization the membership of the MJHL was decimated.
On March 29, 2016 the league announced that its operations had been acquired by the Tier-II North American Hockey League and that the league would be renamed North American 3 Atlantic Hockey League (NA3AHL) for the 2016-17 season. This was done in a similar manner to when the Northern States Hockey League was absorbed by the NAHL and ran as the North American 3 Eastern Hockey League for a couple of seasons before being absorbed into the North American 3 Hockey League for the 2016-17 season.
Prior to the season the previous Metropolitan Junior Hockey League website listed seven members plus two uncommitted teams (New Jersey Colonials and North Jersey Avalanche) and one team pending USA Hockey approval (New Jersey Junior Titans) were listed as being a member but none of these teams come to fruition in the league.
On July 1, 2016 the league added the Exton Bulls organization who has only previously been involved in youth hockey.
On February 17, 2017 the Eastern Hockey League issued a release and announced the addition of eleven new members for the 2017-18 season. Six of the seven current members of the North American 3 Atlantic Hockey League (Central Penn Panthers, Jersey Wildcats, Long Island Royals, Metro Fighting Moose, New Jersey Renegades, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights) were announced as part of the expansion. This would only leave the Exton Bulls as not joining the EHL for 2017-18.
On April 14, 2017 the West Michigan Wolves announced they were moving their operations to the Lansing, Michigan suburb of Dimondale. The team will play out of the Summit at the Capital Centre, which was home to the former Capital Centre Pride of the North American Hockey League. The team were also renamed the Lansing Wolves.
|Long Island Royals||34||32||2||0||234||87||64||.941|
|Metro Fighting Moose||35||17||15||3||151||126||37||.529|
|New Jersey Renegades||36||14||21||1||128||172||29||.403|
|Central Penn Panthers||36||9||24||3||95||173||21||.292|
note: Long Island had games cancelled on 1/7 (Metro) and 2/18 (Exton). Neither of these games were rescheduled.
Alll seven teams qualify with the first place team earning a bye to the semifinal round.
- Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights defeated Exton Bulls 2 games to none
- Metro Fighting Moose defeated Central Penn Panthers 2 games to none
- Jersey Wildcats defeated New Jersey Renegades 2 games to none
- Long Island Royals defeated Jersey Wildcats 2 games to none
- Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights defeated Metro Fighting Moose 2 games to none