Minnesota Hockey has announced that the Minnesota High School Prep Development League will officially become the CCM High Performance 16U Youth Tier 1 Fall League beginning this September. The Prep Development League has been in operation since 2006, and has been the primary hockey development league for high school boys who are not playing in the Upper Midwest High School Elite League. The Prep Development League was authorized as Minnesota Hockey’s 16U Youth Tier 1 league since the framework for Tier 1 was adopted by the Minnesota Hockey Board of Directors in 2015.
The CCM High Performance Tier 1 16U classification will adopt the same framework of the 14U and 15 Youth Leagues that have been in operation since August of 2016. This allows players the opportunity who have played in the Tier 1 Leagues as 14 and 15 year olds to have continuity and largely play with many of their same teammates from previous seasons. Teams will be formed by geographical areas based on districts where their high school is located.
“Under the fantastic leadership of Charlie Graves, the Prep Development League was a phenomenal option for high end hockey players to train and compete in the fall prior to the High School hockey season,” said Minnesota Hockey High Performance Director, Mike MacMillan. “We are thrilled to continue to provide this option under the Minnesota Hockey Tier 1 umbrella and will rely heavily on Charlie for his expertise.”
The 16U League is expected to have seven teams competing, with game weekends beginning the weekend of August 18-19 at the Eagan Civic Center. There will be eight regular season weekends, with games primarily played in Eagan or Dakotah Arena in Prior Lake. The League playoffs will be held October 28-29 at a to be determined site. The Minnesota District Playoff to determine the team that will represent Minnesota at the USA Hockey National Championships in April, 2019 will be held in early November at the Super Rink in Blaine.
Registration for the Tier 1 16U Youth League will open April 23 following the conclusion of the CCM High Performance Spring Festivals on April 22. The tryout process will begin August 2, following the announcement of the High School Elite League rosters.
Minnesota Hockey’s Tier 1 structure was adopted in 2015 to enhance Minnesota’s community-based association and high school model by bringing together the most talented 14, 15, 16 and 18 year olds from all over Minnesota for high-quality training, player development and highly competitive League play and providing a path to compete in the USA Hockey Tier 1 National Championships. The League schedule is designed to allow participants to play for their association or high school team.
The Upper Midwest High School Elite League will continue to be the authorized Tier 1 Leagues for the Youth 18U and Girls 16U and 19U classifications. Further information on those Leagues can be found here.