Wilderness Youth Teams Get Back on Ice With NAPHL Event
The NAPHL's fall league gives U18 and U16 players the chance to practice, develop and compete before their high school seasons.
DULUTH, Minn. – The Minnesota Wilderness are part of the North American Prospects Hockey League’s new fall league.
The wilderness U18 is in its second year while this is the first year for the U16s.
The Heritage Center hosted the first of three events this year for the NAPHL’s fall league, giving U18 and U16 teams the chance to practice, develop and compete before their high school seasons.
“It’s a good opportunity for the kids around here to be able to continue to grow and continue to try to build them into our organization, let alone other organizations being able to grab them, but the development is the big part of it,” Wilderness U18 coach Kevin Smalley said.
This is the first time the NAPHL has held an event in Duluth, and everyone within the Wilderness is excited to have hockey back in the Northland.
“It was important for us to bring back hockey back here to Duluth. We started practices about two weeks ago for both these groups, some really fantastic young players, really high-character kids and we’re just excited to get started again and have hockey going back in Duluth,” Wilderness head coach Jon Vaillancourt said.
The fall league will have two more events this year, with the next on starting on Sept. 17 in Blaine, Minnesota.