Junior hockey league team moving to Eagle River
For the Star Journal
Eagle River is the new home of a North American Hockey League team. Copper Island Hockey Club LLC has purchased the NAHL membership of the Minnesota Magicians and will relocate them to Eagle River. The as of yet unnamed team will play home games at The Dome, the Eagle River Sports Arena, beginning in 2022-23.
The NAHL is the only USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier II Junior league. The 29-team league has been around for 47 years. According to the organization, in the past five years, more than 1,500 NAHL players have made NCAA commitments and 30 more with NAHL ties have been selected in the NHL Draft. In addition, 32% of all freshmen that played NCAA Division I hockey this past season, played in the NAHL. So far during the current 2021-22 season, 208 players have made NCAA commitments.
The Eagle River team will be part of the league’s Midwest Division, which consists of the Anchorage Wolverines of Alaska, Chippewa Steel of Chippewa Falls, Fairbanks Ice Dogs of Alaska, Janesville Jets in Janesville, Kenai River Brown Bears of Alaska, the Minnesota Wilderness of Cloquet, the Springfield Jr. Blues of Illinois and the Eagle River team.
The Copper Island Hockey Club group released a statement regarding the new NAHL team:
“We are extremely excited to bring NAHL hockey to Eagle River and look forward to enhancing an already amazing community that is rich in hockey history and deserves to be the home of an NAHL team they can call their own. We will view this venture as a success by the positive impact we have on Eagle River and surrounding North Central Wisconsin and Upper Peninsula of Michigan communities and the influence this experience has on players, coaches, managers, business staff, billet families, and young players who will come together as one to be a part of our team.”
The Copper Island Hockey Club L.L.C. is a special purpose entity formed by Mike Kocourek of Eagle River, Jason King of Boyne City, Mich., John Rockwell of Kent, Wash., and David Rowe of Dollar Bay. Mich. to acquire a Junior A hockey team. Their mission is to help hockey players and coaches realize their full potential and advance in their careers.
TEAM NAMING and MASCOT CONTEST
The Copper Island Hockey Club invites suggestions for a name for the team and suggestions for a team mascot. The individuals who submit a team name and mascot concept that is ultimately adopted by the club will win two tickets to the team’s home opener in September of 2022. Submit suggestions to: [email protected].
UPCOMING FUTURES AND PRE-DRAFT CAMPS
The Copper Island Hockey Club will hold pre-draft camps in Minocqua April 9-10 and Grand Rapids, Mich. April 30-May 1, for 2007 and 2008 birth year hockey players. They will hold pre-draft camps for 2006 thru 2002 birth year players in Richfield, Minn. June 3-5 and Detroit, Mich. June 10-12. The main tryout camp will be announced at a later date. For more information on these camps, contact [email protected].