Eastern Hockey League (2013–)
|No. of teams||17 — Premier
15 — Elite
|Premier — New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (2015–16)
19U Elite — Philadelphia Revolution (2016–17)
The Eastern Hockey League (EHL) is an American Tier III Junior ice hockey league with 18 teams in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States. The EHL was officially announced on June 6, 2013 after the Atlantic Junior Hockey League welcomed six new members from the old Eastern Junior Hockey League and the AJHL re-branded itself under the EHL banner
The league prepares high school and college aged players for college and professional hockey. The league has hundreds of alumni that have gone on to play for NCAA colleges, various professional leagues, the CHL, and in Europe.
The Atlantic Junior Hockey League (AJHL or AtJHL) was part of the Atlantic Metropolitan Hockey League organization and was formed in 2003 with a stated goal to "meet the needs of the junior hockey community and the players it serves in the Eastern United States". The AJHL played its first season in 2003–04 with six teams that had previously played in the Junior B Metropolitan Junior Hockey League. On May 30, 2012 the AJHL announced that after nine years of being a part of the Atlantic Metropolitan Hockey League, the 12 AJHL ownership groups successfully became a stand-alone entity. After the split, the AJHL was managed and governed solely by the league owners.
In 2013, Tier III junior hockey leagues underwent a large reorganization that led to the dissolution of the Eastern Junior Hockey League and six of their former members joining the AJHL. Prior to the 2013–14 season, the AJHL re-branded to become the Eastern Hockey League (EHL). The six members who came from the EJHL were the Boston Bandits, Connecticut Oilers, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, New York Apple Core, Philadelphia Revolution, and the Valley Jr. Warriors.
In December 2014, the EHL announced the Connecticut Nighthawks as an expansion franchise to start in the 2015–16. They also announced the formation of the EHL-Elite Division and that eight teams would participate in the first season composed of the former Junior B teams for EHL organizations. The formation of the Elite Division led to the previous Junior A members to be placed in the EHL-Premier Division. In May 2015, the North American Hockey League, a Tier II league, announced that the New Jersey Junior Titans and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights had been approved to elevate their organizations. After their promotion, the two EHL franchises went dormant.
In March 2016, the EHL announced that it was changing the name of the Elite Division to 19U Elite Division for the 2016–17 season and doubling in size by adding eight more teams, mostly the prospect teams from the Premier Division's South Conference teams. However, the 19U Elite Connecticut Nighthawks team were dropped from the schedule prior to their first season.
In December 2016, it was announced that six organizations (the Boston Bandits, Connecticut Nighthawks, Hartford Jr. Wolfpack, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, New Jersey Rockets, and the Northern Cyclones) would be leaving the EHL for the 2017–18 season for the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL). The Bandits, Rockets, and Cyclones had already been announced as adding free-to-play teams in the USPHL's National Collegiate Development Conference (NCDC) for the 2017–18 season. All six organizations will add their Premier and Elite teams to the USPHL's Premier and Elite Divisions.
In February 2017, the EHL announced that they would expand to make up for the teams lost to the NCDC. The first team announced was New Hampshire Avalanche, an organization that previously only had youth teams. Next, it was announced the league would be adding the teams from the North American 3 Atlantic Hockey League (the former Metropolitan Junior Hockey League). The six teams from the NA3AHL were the Central Penn Panthers, Jersey Wildcats, Long Island Royals, Metro Fighting Moose, New Jersey Renegades, and the return of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. The league also listed the New Jersey 87's and Cape Cod-based Total Athletics. The one-year dormant New York Bobcats are also expected to return. The Connecticut Oilers relocated from Norwalk to Hamden following the announcement that the ownership of the USHL's Cedar Rapids RoughRiders added a team called the Connecticut RoughRiders that will play out of the Oilers' former arena in Norwalk.
In March 2017, the EHL announced their new divisional structure for the 2017–18 season with 16 teams in the Premier and 17 in the Elite.
Announced 2017–18 additions
- Connecticut RoughRiders (Norwalk, Connecticut) – Premier Division expansion team
- Central Penn Panthers (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) – Elite Division team joining from North American 3 Atlantic Hockey League
- Jersey Wildcats (Randolph, New Jersey) – Elite Division team joining from North American 3 Atlantic Hockey League
- Lehigh Valley Jr. Rebels (Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania) – Elite Division team joining from North American 3 Atlantic Hockey League
- Long Island Royals (Dix Halls, New York) – Elite Division team joining from North American 3 Atlantic Hockey League
- Metro Fighting Moose (Brooklyn, New York) – Elite Division team joining from North American 3 Atlantic Hockey League
- New Hampshire Avalanche (Hooksett, New Hampshire) – Premier Division expansion team
- New Jersey 87's (Middletown, New Jersey) – Elite Division expansion team
- New Jersey Renegades (Flemington, New Jersey) – Elite Division team joining from North American 3 Atlantic Hockey League
- New York Bobcats (Kings Park, New York) – Premier Division team expected to return from a one-year hiatus
- Total Athletics Seahawks (Hyannis, Massachusetts) – Elite Division expansion team
- Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (Pittston, Pennsylvania) – Premier and Elite Division teams are re-joining the EHL after the organization left in 2015.
- Binghamton Jr. Senators — AJHL, 2006–10. Relocated and became Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights.
- Boston Bulldogs — AJHL, 2004–12. Relocated and became Boston Junior Rangers.
- Hudson Valley Eagles — AJHL, 2005–07.
- Laconia Leafs — AJHL, 2005–13. Renamed New Hampshire Lakers but went dormant for 2013–14 season. Relocated to Waterville Valley, New Hampshire in 2014 and returned as the New England Wolves.
- New Jersey Junior Titans — Charter member of AJHL, 2003–04. AJHL team dormant from 2004 to 2012. Returned from 2012 to 2015. EHL team went dormant again in 2015 after organization joined the NAHL.
- New York Bobcats — Charter member of AJHL, 2003–04. Was not listed for the 2016–17 season.
- North Jersey Avalanche — Charter member of AJHL, 2003–04. Returned to only fielding a team in the Metropolitan Junior Hockey League in 2004.
- Portland Jr. Pirates — AJHL, 2004–12. Jr. Pirates organization purchased an Eastern Junior Hockey League franchise and joined the EJHL.
- Washington Jr. Nationals — Charter member of AJHL, 2003–14. Relocated and became Vermont Lumberjacks.
- Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights — AJHL/EHL 2010–15. EHL team went dormant in 2015 after organization joined the NAHL.
|Season||Regular season||Playoff||National Tournament result|
|2003–04||Hartford Jr. Wolfpack||Washington Jr. Nationals|
|2004–05||Boston Bulldogs||Boston Bulldogs|
|2005–06||New York Bobcats||New York Bobcats|
|2006–07||New York Bobcats||New York Bobcats||New York Bobcats lost Semifinal game vs. New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL)
Northern Cyclones lost Semifinal game vs. Bay State Breakers (EJHL)
|2007–08||New Jersey Rockets
Portland Jr. Pirates
|Northern Cyclones||Northern Cyclones lost Semifinal game vs. New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL)
New Jersey Rockets eliminated in Round Robin
|2008–09||Northern Cyclones||Northern Cyclones||Northern Cyclones and New York Bobcats eliminated in Round Robin|
|2009–10||Northern Cyclones||Walpole Express||Walpole Express and New York Bobcats eliminated in Round Robin|
|2010–11||Walpole Express||Walpole Express||Walpole Express lost Semifinal game vs. Helena Bighorns (NorPac)
Northern Cyclones eliminated in Round Robin
|2011–12||Walpole Express||Walpole Express||No representatives sent to nationals|
|2012–13||Northern Cyclones||Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights||No representatives sent to nationals|
|2013–14||New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs||Northern Cyclones||Northern Cyclones lost Semifinal game vs. North Iowa Bulls (NA3HL)
New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs eliminated in Round Robin
|2014–15||Philadelphia Little Flyers||Vacant
Connecticut Oilers wins vacated
|Northern Cyclones lost Div. 1 Championship game vs. North Iowa Bulls (NA3HL)|
|2015–16||Philadelphia Little Flyers||New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs||Tier III National Tournament not held in 2016|
|2016–17||Philadelphia Little Flyers||In progress||Tier III National Tournament not held in 2017|
|Season||Regular season||Playoff||National Tournament result|
|2015–16||New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs||Boston Jr. Rangers||Tier III National Tournament not held in 2016|
|2016–17||Vermont Lumberjacks||Philadelphia Revolution||Tier III National Tournament not held in 2017|
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