New junior hockey team coming to Hawkesbury

Par Antoine Messier
New junior hockey team coming to Hawkesbury
(Photo : Antoine Messier)

The United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) announced the creation of a new junior hockey team based in Hawkesbury as part of the league’s expansion into Canada along with the creation of a division based in Ontario and Quebec.

The Hawkesbury Knights will be under the ownership of Shawn Anderson, alongside the Le Sommet Faucons prep team. This will allow more upwards mobility for the players already in the organization, with the goal of training young players to reach higher levels like the NCAA, Junior A or Junior Major, according to Anderson.

“We’re trying to create sporting opportunities for our kids,” he said. “We’ve already helped a lot of players move up to Junior A.”

Anderson said he launched the new program because he believed the area is missing development opportunities for young hockey players, filling the gap between Les Faucons prep team and Junior A. He explained the level of hockey will be slightly under what the Hawkesbury Hawks and the CCHL have to offer, giving players who don’t make the Junior A team the opportunity to join a serious organization to develop their skills.

The Knights will be recruiting players both locally and internationally but Anderson said his goal is to ensure players from the region get a chance to develop at a high level.

The new team will offer players four practices per week, and a 44-game season from September to March. Playoffs will be played within the division, and the winner will move on to the USPHL national championship.

The USPHL welcomed its first Canadian team in the 2023-2024 season with the addition of the College Universel Gatineau team.

The new division will begin play in the 2024-2025 season, with five teams already announced. Along with the Knights, four more teams will be joining Gatineau in the USPHL Canada division, the Somang Laurentides Lanaudiere (SLL) Hockey, Kingston Wranglers, Montreal BlackVees and College Universel Sherbrooke. More teams are expected to be announced later in the year as negotiations are ongoing with other junior hockey associations throughout Canada.

The USPHL Premier is the third tier of American junior hockey. In 2023-2024, it had 61 teams in the league from Maine to Miami, and Seattle to San Diego.

The USPHL is not affiliated with Hockey Canada.

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