This is the 2016-17 North American Hockey League season. This is the league's 33rd season under this name and its 42nd dating back to its founding as the Great Lakes Junior Hockey League in 1975 when the Michigan Junior Hockey League and the Wolverine Junior A Hockey League merged. On June 30th the league released the regular season schedule. Each of the league's 24 teams will play a 60 game schedule. The regular season will start on September 9, 2016 and will end on April 9, 2017.
Annual NAHL Showcase TournamentEdit
Top Prospects TournamentEdit
Robertson Cup ChampionshipEdit
The league championship will be held May 11-14, 2017 at a neutral location to be announced later.
On October 22, 2015 a press conference was held in Shreveport, Louisiana to announce the addition of the Shreveport Mudbugs. The previous Mudbugs teams was founded in 1997 and played in the Central Hockey League until folding in 2011. The Hirsch Coliseum is undergoing a $1.5 million upgrade and will once again have an ice surface. The new team will commence play with the start of the 2016-17 season.
In April of 2016 the league announced the addition of the Northeast Generals who will be based out of the New England Sports Village in Attleboro, Massachusetts, a suburb between Boston and Providence. The team will start the season at the organiztion's home for the 2015-16 season, the Canton Sportsplex in Canton, Massachusetts as the NESV is under construction in the summer of 2016. The team had originally stated they would hoping to play a few games in Boston at Matthews Arena and Walter Brown Arena but when the schedule was released they were not listed a sites for any of their games. The team was forced to move several of its games to Rodman Arena in Walpole, Massachusetts when the NESV was not ready for use.
Posted reports indicate that the Kenai River Brown Bears will be either folding or moving to Wausau, Wisconsin for the 2017-18 season, which had followed reports of the team possibly folding after this season being posted as the economy of the state of Alaska had put the state's 2 NCAA programs at the risk of being ended and the Alaska Aces of the ECHL lead to the announced folding at the end of the 2016-17 hockey season. The team had filed the paperwork for dormancy after the 2016-17 season ended. The team apparently put together a fund raising effort which raised $300,000 and netted 300 season ticket applications out of their 500 ticket goal. The team received approval for reactivation at a conference call meeting held on April 18, 2017. Along with the renewal of the Kenai River franchise interest has been heating up on the Anchorage market as well since the announced folding of the ECHL team as it would make the other two Alaska teams more viable.
In May as part of the release of the divisional alignments and showcase events for the 2017-18 season it was announced that the Wichita Falls Wildcats had requested and received inactive status for the 2017-18 season.
The 2016-17 season has 24 teams playing in 4 divisions:
|Fairbanks Ice Dogs||60||33||24||2||1||185||165||69|
|Coulee Region Chill||60||31||27||2||0||220||220||64|
|Springfield Jr. Blues||60||27||28||4||1||174||189||59|
|Kenai River Brown Bears||60||12||46||2||0||121||233||26|
|New Jersey Titans||60||34||22||1||3||228||198||72|
|Lone Star Brahmas||60||44||14||2||0||190||135||90|
|Corpus Christi IceRays||60||32||19||4||5||183||155||73|
|Wichita Falls Wildcats||60||29||24||6||2||187||203||65|
Robertson Cup PlayoffsEdit
The top four teams in each division qualify for the playoffs. Each of the four division champions will meet at the Essentia Health Duluth Heritage Center in Duluth, Minnesota from May 11th to 14th. The teams will be seeded 1-4 based on regular season standings and paired off 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3 in best of three semifinal series with the two series winners meeting in a single game championship.
Central Division SemifinalsEdit
- Aberdeen Wings defeated Minot Minotauros 3 games to 1
- Minnesota Wilderness defeated Brookings Blizzard 3 games to 2
East Division SemifinalsEdit
- Aston Rebels defeated Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights 3 games to none
- New Jersey Titans defeated Johnstown Tomahawks 3 games to none
Midwest Division SemifinalsEdit
- Janesville Jets defeated Coulee Region Chill 3 games to none
- Fairbanks Ice Dogs defeated Minnesota Magicians 3 games to none
South Division SemifinalsEdit
- Lone Star Brahmas defeated Wichita Falls Wildcats 3 games to 1
- Corpus Christi IceRays defeated Shreveport Mudbugs 3 games to none
Central Division FinalEdit
East Division FinalEdit
Midwest Division FinalEdit
South Division FinalEdit
Robertson Cup SemifinalsEdit
- Aston Rebels defeated Aberdeen Wings 2 games to 1
- Lone Star Brahmas defeated Janesville Jets 2 games to none