Western States Hockey League
|No. of teams||28|
|Most recent champion(s)||El Paso Rhinos (2013-14)|
|Most titles||Phoenix Polar Bears (7)|
Year one consisted of six teams, spanning Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah, with all member clubs playing a 30-game schedule. The Anaheim Jr. Ducks won the first-ever Thorne Cup Championship that year and is the only franchise from the inaugural season still in existence, now operating as the Long Beach Bombers.
Current Commissioner Ron White took over operation of the WSHL in 1995 and continued to expand it over time, eventually getting it to where it is today, 28 teams stretching across 14 states, making it the second largest junior hockey league in North America.
The WSHL has had numerous teams attend and win the USA Hockey National Championship over the years and most recently, the El Paso Rhinos were crowned the United Hockey Union National Champions in 2014.
Whether it comprised as few as six or as many as 28 member clubs, the WSHL’s overwhelming goal has always been centered on developing hockey players, both on the ice and off, and helping them reach their goals through the sport they love. The WSHL has had great success in moving players on to the college hockey ranks through the “Western States Shootout”, an annual all-league showcase held every December in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event averages in excess of 80 scouts in attendance, all of whom are looking to bolster their roster for the following season.
The 2014-2015 regular season will feature 28 teams competing across four divisions, all playing a 46-game regular season schedule, which mimics what players would experience at the collegiate level. Hockey politics in Texas extended into the legal realm and appears to have resulted in the Polar Ice House closing its doors. This facility was the home arena of the Dallas Ice Jets and was expected to share it with the expansion Texas Attack. With the loss of their ice rink both teams had to bow out of the 2014-15 season. There has been no announcement if teams are folding permanently or are looking for options to return next season.
|Season||Thorne Cup champion||Runner-up||National Tournament result|
|1994-95||Anaheim Jr. Ducks|
|1995-96||Anaheim Jr. Ducks|
|1999-00||Ventura Mariners||Junior B National Champions|
|2001-02||Phoenix Polar Bears||Junior B National runner-up|
|2002-03||Phoenix Polar Bears||Junior B National Champion|
|2003-04||Phoenix Polar Bears|
|2004-05||Phoenix Polar Bears|
|2005-06||Fort Worth Texans|
|2006-07||Phoenix Polar Bears||El Paso Rhinos|
|2007-08||El Paso Rhinos||Phoenix Polar Bears|
|2008-09||Phoenix Polar Bears|
|2009-10||Phoenix Polar Bears|
|2010-11||Idaho Jr. Steelheads|
|2011-12||Idaho Jr. Steelheads||Dallas Ice Jets|
|2012-13||Idaho Jr. Steelheads||Bay Area Seals||UHU National Champion|
|2013-14||El Paso Rhinos||Idaho Jr. Steelheads||UHU National Champion|
Teams that have played in the WSHL include:
- Don Thorne - Chairman of the Board
- Ron White - Commissioner/President
- Bob Armando - Deputy Commissioner/Vice President
- Laura Ellis - Secretary
- Brent Maranto - Director of Communications
- Arthur Kitano - Director of Officials
- "Gamesheet". WSHL. 5 April 2012.
- "Gamesheet". WSHL. 31 March 2013.
- "Gamesheet". WSHL. 6 April 2014.
- "El Paso Rhinos Win 2014 UHU National Championship". Junior Hockey News. 21 April 2014.
- "WSHL History". WSHL.