Eastern Junior Hockey League Featured in Recent USA Hockey Magazine
For years, the Valley Jr Warriors Junior A Program has enjoyed
strong competition while competing in the Eastern Junior Hockey League
(EJHL). Over the years, the Warriors have not only provided its players
with high level hockey, but the program has consistently placed players
in the top Division I, II and II schools in the country.
Many of those student-athletes have used their VJW experience to make a positive impact on and off the ice.
Mark Roebothan (UMass-Lowell), David Strathman (Northeastern
University), Mark Pandolfo (UMass Lowell) and Joe Cucci (Merrimack
College) are just a sample of the outstanding talent that has come from
The national hockey world is recognizing the strength of the EJHL and
teams like the Warriors. In the most recent issue of USA Hockey
Magazine, the EJHL is heralded as one of the top junior hockey leagues
in the country.
Tom Kader (shown above) - a North Reading product who competed at Tabor Academy last season - is enjoying is first year with the Warriors.
Here are excerpts from that article - entitled "You Can Get There From Here: When It Comes To Developing College Talent, The ‘EJ’ May Be Junior Hockey’s Best-Kept Secre" - which appeared in the most recent issue of USA Hockey Magazine. ... Some of the most talented players from throughout New England don’t have to go far to find top-notch Junior hockey competition. ...
The EJHL is now a 14-team league spread throughout New England and
stretching as far west as Syracuse, N.Y., and as far south as Washington, D.C. Because the Northeast is overrun with NHL, AHL,
college, prep and community alternatives, the only people attending
Junior hockey games are players’ friends and relatives. Most
importantly, the stands generally include a handful of college coaches
from some of New England’s most prestigious schools.
“The kids that are moving on from these various Junior leagues are
putting in a monumental amount of effort. The commitment is a lot of
work, and it’s not for everybody,” said former NHLer Bob Corkum, who
regularly scouts EJHL games as an assistant coach for the University of
Maine. “A lot of young players think they want it, and then they find out
what it’s all about. The Junior level has a way of sorting all that
This season 12 players from the Eastern Junior Hockey League broke in with Div. I college teams. ...
Selling the parents without that kind of experience in Junior hockey
is challenging... But their job is also to evaluate and help find EJ players the proper college fit. ...
Many hockey parents... perceive the Junior
model as hockey first and hockey only, but in 2008 alone the EJ placed
93 players on college teams.The days of a Shawn McEachern jumping from Matignon Catholic
straight to BU, the U.S. Olympic Team and the Pittsburgh Penguins are
over. Now an assistant coach at UMass Lowell, McEachern said more has
changed for young hockey players besides the hockey.
“It’s different now because kids are skating year round,” he said. “I played baseball, soccer. I skied, too, when I was a kid.” ...