By Alex Kyrias, NAHL
The NAHL Showcase Tournament, presented by Combat Hockey begins in less than two weeks. This season marks the ninth anniversary for the NAHL Showcase, which will be held from Sept. 14-18, 2011 at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minnesota. All 28 NAHL teams will play four regular-season games at the Showcase, which has evolved into one of hockey's most prestigious and well-attended events of the entire season. Traditionally, the NAHL Showcase Tournament attracts over 10,000 people in overall attendance, including more than 200 college and professional scouts.
The event will also feature 44 teams from the Tier I North American Prospects Hockey League (PHL), eight teams from the Tier III junior North American 3 Hockey League (3HL) and eight additional teams from the Upper Midwest High School Elite League, who will complete the five-day, 90-team showcase event.
“It is a great way to begin the season,” said NAHL commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. “Each year the event gets bigger and becomes more competitive. All the teams from all the leagues are playing games that count in the regular season standings, which is why the games are so competitive and a big reason why it draws such rave reviews from the scouts and fans in attendance.”
For scouting purposes, the event is a can't-miss for every NCAA program and NHL team as they get their first look at some of the best and brightest hockey talent North America has to offer. “It’s a great opportunity for these young men to showcase their talents in front of scouts from all across the country,” said Tony Gasparini, an amateur scout for the Los Angeles Kings, of last year’s event. “Having an event like this at this time of year allows every team to get a first look and feel for the league and the players, which is beneficial for everybody.”
The Schwan Super Rink is the largest ice arena of its kind in the world. The state-of-the-art facility, a $21 million project totaling over 300,000 square feet, features eight sheets of ice under one roof. With all its varied amenities and services, the Schwan Super Rink is absolutely unique in the world of ice sport facilities. The superb efforts of the Super Rink staff, along with those of Visit Minneapolis North, the tournament’s hotel partner, play a vital role in making the event come together with precision.
“We would be unable to put on an event of this size and magnitude without those individuals who work at the Schwan Super Rink and Visit Minneapolis North,” said Frankenfeld. “They are able to accommodate all the visiting teams, players and fans and tirelessly dedicate themselves to ensure that everyone coming to town for the Showcase Tournament has a memorable experience.”
For more details on the Combat Hockey/NAHL Showcase Tournament, including ticket, hotel, rental car, scouting and schedule information, visit NAHLShowcase.com.