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Wednesday, January 21, 2015
The Cornerstone CFCU Arena parking lot will be full again this weekend as the arena hosts the National Junior Prospects Hockey League Eastern Conference Showcase. (ENP FILE PHOTO)


Fresh off a successful weekend hosting the NA3EHL 2K15 Showcase Tournament, Cornerstone CFCU Arena is preparing to host the National Junior Prospects Hockey League (NJPHL) Eastern Conference Showcase this weekend.

The showcase, to be held on Friday and Saturday at Cornerstone and Dwyer Ice Arena on the Campus of Niagara University, will feature about 250 Midget Major (U18) and Midget Minor (U16) players from 13 teams across the northeast.

NJPHL Director Bob Black, a SUNY Geneseo alumni, said he's excited about a return to Western New York. "I have a comfort zone (with Western New York) as well as knowing what's around there and what it offers."

"Western New York makes sense for a number of reasons," Black said. "There's just a plethora of Division I and Division III institutions around there as well as ACHA (American Collegiate Hockey Association)." While players are in the area, they're encouraged to visit local colleges — especially those with hockey programs.

The mission of the NJPHL is to provide exposure to all Midget-aged hockey players to Junior A, NCAA College Division I & III, and professional scouts at its showcase events. The facilities will provide the scouting staff with player information to evaluate the talent level of student-athletes and give them the opportunity to market their respective programs. Scouts are welcome to food and soft drinks in the NJPHL VIP Room all weekend.

Black said that aside from scouts from outside the league, the league itself is filled with scouts — in the form of coaches. Many of the league coaches have ties to college and professional hockey programs, making the showcases — the league has five per year — crucial to players being seen and moving up.

About two-thirds of the showcase games will be played in Lockport, Black said, with the other third being played at Dwyer Arena.

"The addition of the Cornerstone Ice Arena to the city of Lockport and to Niagara County provides a new state of the art ice facility for teams to utilize in this area," said John Percy, president & CEO, NTCC. "This will increase the number of out of town teams playing at Cornerstone, which increases visitation to the County and provides an opportunity for us to showcase all that Niagara County has to offer."

NTCC will be hosting a coach’s welcome lunch on Friday, along with providing an information table with volunteer greeters at the Cornerstone Ice Arena to assist attendees with things to do in the area and restaurant recommendations.

Teams competing at the U16 Midget Minor or U18 Midget Major level in the 2014-2015 National Junior Prospects Hockey League include:

  • Washington Jr. Capitals
  • Summit X-Treme
  • Pittsburgh Predators
  • Blyth Academy
  • Buffalo Stars
  • Pittsburgh Jr. Vengeance
  • Southern Tier Express
  • North Broward Prep
  • Wheatfield Blades
  • Belle Tire Selects
  • Oakland Grizzlies

Visit the NJPHL website at for more information.

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