May 14, 2019
Guilford, Conn., - If you think USHL scouts aren't paying attention to prospects within East Coast Elite League (ECEL), better think again.
It was a big week for ECEL players: USHL teams selected a record SEVEN (7) ECEL players during the two-day USHL Phase I & II Draft on May 6 and 7, 2019.
Fact is, more and more USHL general managers and scouts are excited about the growth of the East Coast Elite League (ECEL) and the top level players that are developing within the league. There are several players within the league that will take their next step in the United States Hockey League (USHL) to mature both mentally and physically before making the jump to player Division I NCAA hockey.
"There are a lot of talented players in the East Coast Elite League, but the big knock has always been that teams don't know if there's good enough competition in the league," Commissioner Peter Alden added. "The ECEL is on the rise, and a lot of people are beginning to realize it now. There are plenty of leagues throughout the country that can produce a lot of good players but it’s great that scouts from every level are starting to draft and commit our players."
Phase I of the Draft is ten rounds of “Futures” age players only, which are U-17 players for next year’s season. (2003 birth year players only for the 2019 Draft). This phase of the draft gives teams a chance to draft these younger players who may not necessarily be ready for the league that following season. This gives the players that have been drafted an opportunity to grow and develop while their respective USHL team still owns their rights as a player.
Phase II of the Draft is open to players of all ages eligible to play junior hockey and are not currently protected by another USHL team. Teams will fill their roster to a total of 45 players on this date; this includes players that were previously on a team’s Affiliate List. The total number of players that a team will draft will vary depending on the number of Affiliate players a team may have. All veteran roster players are automatically protected by their current team until July 10.
The USHL teams will have their training camps/tryouts in June and July. Teams will typically have 60-80 players at their training camps. By July 10th, teams must be down to a 30-man protected and 18-man affiliate list. Undrafted players have the opportunity to go to any team’s camp and make the team as a tryout player.
Here's a breakdown of the top players chosen in the 2019 USHL Draft. Each player is preceded by his draft number.
To learn more about the ECEL, please email Palden5@gmail.com