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Massachusetts Hockey Partners on Pilot Project to Expand Development Opportunities

By Harry Thompson, 05/14/24, 2:00PM EDT


DUXBURY , M.A. - USA Hockey’s four northeastern Districts – Atlantic Hockey, Massachusetts, New England and New York – are teaming up to launch a pilot program that will create an Eastern Regional Player Development Camp designed to provide more development opportunities for boys at the 15-year-old level.

The camp will be open to players who participated at District tryout camps (registration is now closed) but were not selected to attend the USA Hockey Boys National 15 Player Development Camp. 

CLICK HERE to view the Boys 2009 Final 40. 

Each year approximately 20 players from each of USA Hockey’s Districts, in addition to a number of at-large players, are selected to attend a National Player Development Camp following District tryouts. The newly formed regional camp would provide development opportunities for an additional 18 players in each of the four Districts.

Representatives will evaluate the success of the Boys’ 15-year-old pilot program and will look to add a Girls’ camp at some point in the future.

The camp is the culmination of months of discussions among the various District representatives, including Joe Eppolito (New York), John Dinorcia (Atlantic), Tom Regan (New England) and Steve Rizzo (Massachusetts), on how to create more opportunities for players at a pivotal age in their hockey development.

“We are thrilled to introduce the Eastern Regional Player Development Camp, representing our commitment to nurturing talent and fostering a culture of excellence within our District,” said New York State Amateur Hockey Association President Eric Guzdek. 

“The success of this camp will pave the way for selected players to showcase their skills in a regional camp. This invaluable experience will elevate their game and open doors to future opportunities in their hockey careers.”

The first camp is slated to take place Aug. 1-4 at the Nexus Center in Utica, N.Y., with future camps rotating among the four Districts. Camp director duties will be divided up among four directors that will be assigned by each District.

Under the proposal, players would arrive on Aug. 1 and attend an introductory meeting, followed by skating in a pair of joint practices on Aug. 2. Each team would play a pair of games on Aug. 3 and one more on Aug. 4. There would also be several off-ice classroom sessions focusing on subjects such as strength and conditioning, nutrition and college opportunities.

Plans are in the works to invite representatives from college programs to discuss opportunities and requirements to play at a Div. I, Div. III and college club program. 

Players would be responsible for their own transportation, lodging and meal arrangements, with assistance from the camp organizers.

The camp would also provide educational opportunities for local coaches and officials to hone their skills in an atmosphere focused on development.