- Created: 11 May 2016
The Eugene Generals are extremely proud to announce the team's entry into the USPHL, the United States Premier Hockey League.
The Generals, along with three other former Northern Pacific Hockey League (NPHL) teams - the Seattle Ravens, Tri-City Outlaws, and West Sound Warriors - will be competing in the newly created USPHL Pacific Division of the USP3 League beginning in the upcoming 2016-17 season.
Founded in 2012, the United States Premier Hockey League (junior) currently includes a total of thirty (30) teams spanning eleven (11) states. Those thirty teams together make up three separate USPHL tiers - Premier, Elite, and USP3 - that compete amongst one another individually.
The Generals will play a total of 44 games comprising of Pacific Division opponensts and of two major exposure showcase events. One will be the USPHLWinter Showcase (Marlborough, MA) and the other the USPHL Midwest Showcase (Chicago, IL). There, the Generals will compete against teams from the USP3's East, Midwest and North Divisions with exposure to countless NCAA DI, DIII, Tier II, Tier I, and NHL scouts.
"After being a part of a more geographically isolated and regional league for the past eleven years," says Head Coach Justin Kern, "joining the USPHL gives us a unique opportunity to continue to play within our geographic footprint while also having the ability to travel back East to gain much more exposure for our players. We have always believed that the more practice you can get, the better that you become, so playing with a smaller amount of travel always meant we get at least four practices a week and a lot of puck touches. Now with the added showcases in our schedule, our organization now has a chance to take our players right to college, Tier II, and Tier I scouts without really losing any practice time."
As the Generals enter the USPHL, they bring with them a long history of success both on and off of the ice.
In just a few short years, the USPHL has quickly staked its claim on the Junior Hockey scene as the nation's preeminent Tier III league, boasting an impressive list of alumni that includes the past two Hobey Baker Award Winners - Jack Eichel (2015) and Jimmy Vesey (2016) - while also garnering over 500 college commitments over the past two seasons alone.
"The trend is towards national georgraphically wide leagues. Joining the USPHL gives us both the strong, competitive nature of a national league while also keeping hockey oppotunties for the vast majority of players by emphasizing regional play," remarked Generals GM Flint Doungchak. "I'm most excited about our players getting on the ground exposure in the heartland of hockey - the East and Midwest. This will give players even better opportunity to develop. It will add to our ability to advance players into College. It will ultimately result in an superior product for our community. For the Generals, this puts up us against the very best Junior hockey in the country at our level. Looking forward to the opportunity and the challenge."
"As a team from out west, we'll have a lot to prove," Head Coach Justin Kern says excitedly. "I want players who are willing to meet the challenge head on, and we're hoping that this move will translate into the a new level of hockey that Eugene hasn't seen before."
Stay tuned in the coming days at www.EugeneGenerals.com and follow the Generals on social media for more information about the Generals' transition in to the USPHL and what to expect for the upcoming 2016-17 season.