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Daily Dish: Five Most Influential in North American Junior Hockey Junior Hockey News

Published: Tuesday, 19 Mar 2019  
By: Stephen Heisler,

This countdown is not based on anything but perception, ambition, reputation, and the proven ability to push an agenda.

#5, Donna Kaufman, USA Hockey - It was not too long ago when Dave Tyler filled the Junior Council chairman's position from his throne in Waterloo, Iowa. Tyler ruled the level of play with an iron fist that has sorely been missed. A few steps later, John Vanbiesbrouck's term is highlighted by the absolute dismantling of the level of play. Can Kaufman bring the level of play back together again or will she go down in history as the last chapter of the the council? 

#4, Richard Gallant, United States Premier Hockey League- We have to be really careful here. Maybe I can say this without another threatening letter from the law firm of Cole Schotz, Gallant has mastered the art of making sure all the legal loop holes are closed. Organizations that might be rethinking the move to the USPHL need to take a good look at the contracts. 

#3, David Branch, Canadian Hockey League- The CHL president and Ontario Hockey League Commissioner shares more than a name with a certain mixed martial arts fighter; both are known for their tenacious abilities to shut down opponents with iron clad power. I'm thinking the hockey Branch should step aside and make a run at Justin Trudeau's job. 

#2, Tom Garrity, United States Hockey League- Under Garrity's leadership, the USHL has separated itself from the pack of competitors as the leader in the world of elite hockey developers. The USHL commissioner's unique leadership abilities have brought tremendous stability to the league and the owners could not be happier.

#1, Mark Frankenfeld, North American Hockey League- While Kaufman may be holding onto the chair of USA Hockey's Junior Council, Frankenfeld is the king because he's holding the most cards. The reality is the fact that nobody does it better. Since taking over in 2007, the NAHL commissioner has built a juggernaut out of a struggling brand.  I'm looking forward to the next chapter when Frankenfeld closes the book on the USPHL.  

Author: Stephen Heisler from
Stephen Heisler has spent a lifetime in the game of hockey. Stephen is also working with individual teams, coaches, and players as a director with Victorious Hockey Company. Stephen, his wife Deysi, and four children reside in Orlando, Florida.

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