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|United States Premier Hockey League (Premier Division)|
|No. of teams||12|
|Most recent champion(s)||New Jersey Hitmen|
|Most championship(s)||New Jersey Hitmen (2)|
The United States Premier Hockey League-Premier Division (USPHL-Premier) is an American Junior ice hockey league. Founded in 2012, the USPHL has grown to 58 organizations from across the United States fielding teams in Premier, Elite, Mid-West, USP3HL, U18, U16 and U16 Development divisions. The Empire Division was re-named the USP3 division for the 2015–16 season.
The formation of the United States Premier Hockey League was caused by a lack of stability of the existing leagues in the northeastern section of the United States and the Tier level system of USA Hockey in general. All but one of the nine teams came from the Eastern Junior Hockey League. The one addition franchise was the Stamford, Connecticut based CT Yankees.
The nine teams thta would make up the membership for the 2013-14 season was composed of the Boston Junior Bruins (Marlboro MA) (from EJHL), Islanders Hockey Club (North Andover MA) (from EJHL), Jersey Hitmen (Wayne NJ) (from EJHL), South Shore Kings (Foxboro MA) (from EJHL), Philadelphia Flyers Elite (new team from Philadelphia Flyers junior program), Bay State Breakers (Kingston MA) (from EJHL), Portland Junior Pirates (Saco ME) (from EJHL), CT Yankees (Stamford CT) (new franchise), PAL Junior Islanders (Suffolk NY) (from EJHL)
The Boston Jr. Bruins would represent the league at the 2014 USA Hockey Tier III Junior National Championship and would win the National championship while going undefeated in 5 games outscoring opponents by margin of 33 to 5. The Premier Division champion New Jersey Hitmen would not participate in the 2015 USA Hockey Tier III Junior National Championship.
The CT Yankees announced on April 1, 2014 that the organization will be renamed the Connectcut Junior Rangers as part of a new relationship with the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League.
The Premier division will add the Rochester Jr. Americans and the Springfield Jr. Pics for the 2014-15 season.
In early March 2015 the Syracuse Stars organization acquired the rights to a Premier Division team from the Bay State Breakers.
The league announced May 7, 2015 that Okanagan Hockey Stars from Austria would join the league for the 2015-16 season playing a full schedule and particpating in all league events. The team will be based out of Foxboro Sports Center in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
The USPHL announced on December 18, 2014 the formation of a Mid-West Division to begin in the 2015-16 season by adding several teams from the Minnesota Junior Hockey League. By the end of the season, the Mid-West Division would add all but one active MnJHL team causing the MnJHL to disband for the following season. On March 10, 2014, the USPHL also added the entire Midwest Junior Hockey League to its new Mid-West Division for the 2015-16 season. USPHL Mid-West will mark the fourth Tier III division under the USPHL umbrella.
In March of 2016 the league announced that the Rochester Jr. Americans and the Portland Junior Pirates will not be a part of the Premier League for the 2016-17 season.
The league has been reported to be making the effort to have the status of the Premier division elevated to either Tier-I or Tier-II with USA Hockey over the next few seasons. This would put the league on level with the United States Hockey League (Tier-I) or North American Hockey League (Tier-II). A major sticking point with an elevation in status could be the arenas that the teams play in. USA Hockey has standards regarding capacity of arenas and facilities in those arenas at the higher Tier-I and Tier-II levels. Some of the teams may be forced to expand their current arenas or relocate to NCAA Division I or III arenas near them to meet these standards. A proposal was presented to USA Hockey by the USPHL at the early 2016 meeting to either waive or lower some of the standards for Tier-I and Tier-II but the measures were defeated.
|Bay State Breakers||Kingston, Massachusetts||
(2013-2015) Premier League franchise rights sold to Syracuse Stars; still have teams in Elite, USP3, U18, U16, U16F divisions
|Connecticut Yankees||Stamford, Connecticut||(2013-2014) renamed Connecticut Jr Rangers|
|Portland Jr. Pirates||Saco, Maine||(2013-2016) league annouced in March of 2016 team would not return|
|Rochester Jr. Americans||Rochester, New York||(2015-2016) league annouced in March of 2016 team would not return|
|2013–14||Boston Jr. Bruins|
|2014–15||New Jersey Hitmen|
|2015–16||New Jersey Hitmen|
- 2013-14 USPHL Premier Season
- 2014-15 USPHL-Premier Season
- 2015-16 USPHL-Premier Season
- 2016-17 USPHL-Premier Season
- ↑ USA Hockey agrees to sanction USPHL, major eastern mergers (6 May 2013).
- ↑ Minnesota Junior Hockey League gets a shakeup (18 December 2014).
- ↑ Midwest Junior Hockey League Joins USPHL Mid-West Junior Hockey Division. USPHL (March 10, 2015).