On December 6th, the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League was given Tier-3 Junior A status, by the USA Hockey JR Council to begin play in October 2015. The RMJHL added it's 6th team, the Breckenridge Bucks to round out it's requirement. The Bucks join the Aspen Leafs, Colorado Rampage, Colorado Thunderbirds, Grand Junction Coyotes and the Pikes Peak Miners as the original six members.
So you could say that the battle line has been draw in this league and it just so happens, to be a line formed by nature. 3 teams to the East and 3 teams to the West of the Continental Divide, round out the foot print for the RMJHL. Oh and did I mention that the league Champion is given a playoff birth to the National Championship. This is exciting news for JR hockey and Colorado. Shaun Hatheway acting President of RMJHL and Aspen Junior Hockey Director says "Our members are very grateful for the opportunity and certainly excited to excel on a National Junior Hockey stage. A sensible footprint of USAH sanctioned JR teams throughout Colorado is an amazing opportunity for our players and fans."
With the WSHL already having a footprint in Colorado, this is a long time coming in Shaun Hatheway's mind as well as the other directors involved. "We truly believe in and support the process and American Development Model that USAH has developed and are extremely excited to be a part of the RMJHL," says RMJHL Vice President and T-Birds Director Angelo Ricci. WSHL has 3 Colorado teams right now within it's league, the Colorado Evolution in Denver, the Colorado JR Eagles from Fort Collins and the WSHL RoughRiders out of Superior Colorado. JR hockey in Colorado just became a little more crowded.
However, with each of the 6 teams in the RMJHL already having strong Youth Hockey programs and a couple programs holding National Championship titles, scouting and player retention with in this league should not become an issue. These programs will only benefit from being able to offer a total USAH youth hockey format, from 8 years old through 20U. It will be exciting to see this league take flight come October 2015 and even before that, once prospect camps start to form. You can check out the RMJHL at rmjhl.co, I will follow this league with any news and updates. Because, in 295 days 19 hours and 32 minutes, all the talk will be over and the puck will drop in the RMJHL.
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