The United States Hockey League (USHL) is the top junior ice hockey league sanctioned by USA Hockey. The USHL has 17 member teams located in the Midwestern United States, consisting of players who are 20 years of age and younger. The USHL is strictly amateur, allowing former players to compete in NCAA college hockey.
The 2018 Clark Cup Championship was won by the Fargo Force, their first league championship. The Waterloo Black Hawks won the Anderson Cup as the 2017–18 regular season champions, their third in franchise history.
|United States Hockey League|
|Current season, competition or edition:|
2018–19 USHL season
|No. of teams||17|
|Most titles||(Clark Cup era) Omaha Lancers (7)|
(overall) Waterloo Black Hawks (9)
The USHL is the country's top sanctioned junior hockey league, classified as Tier I. Like comparable entities such as the Canadian Hockey League (CHL)'s three member leagues, the USHL offers a schedule of high-level, competitive games for top players aged 16 to 20. Unlike the CHL, it does not pay a stipend to its players, who thus retain amateur status and are eligible to play in the NCAA.
Teams are subject to strict roster rules. In 2017–18 they may have no more than four overage skaters (players who have turned 20 in the first year of the season) and are limited to a maximum of five import players, three international players and two Canadian skaters. Starting in 2018–19, non-American goaltenders will count as two import players in a move designed to give more development time to American goalies, who are also exempt from the overage rule.
USHL teams, which are typically located in mid-sized cities (see map of team locations), pay for all uniforms and equipment. Players live with local families, who receive a small stipend for food expenses, and either continue school or work part-time jobs. Due to their schedules, more than 90% of games are on weekends, which many NHL and college scouts attend. Average attendance at regular season games for the 2014–15 season was 2,715 with 1,384,820 fans attending games during the season.
One hockey analyst stated that the USHL's first line players are as good as their counterparts in the CHL—historically an important producer of NHL players—but that the Canadian-based league has better third and fourth lines. In 2006, Trevor Lewis, the 17th pick in the NHL Entry Draft, was the first USHL player to sign an NHL contract immediately after playing in the league..
At the conclusion of the 2014–15 regular season, the USHL has tallied 251 Alumni that have played in the NHL and has 347 current players with NCAA College Commitments. According to the league, approximately 95 percent of its players will eventually land a Division I college scholarship.
The USHL Draft is an annual event conducted in two "phases" during the second week of May. The first phase is an eight-round draft of U-17 players for the upcoming season. The second phase of the draft is open to all players eligible to play junior hockey who are not already protected by a USHL team. The number of players drafted varies, as each team will draft until they have filled the 45 spots available on their roster. Undrafted players are open to try out for any team as a try-out player. Each team must reduce their roster to 23 players for the start of the season, but may carry 18 additional players on an affiliate list.
|Cedar Rapids RoughRiders||1999||Cedar Rapids Ice Arena||4,000||Cedar Rapids, Iowa|
|Central Illinois Flying Aces||2014||Grossinger Motors Arena||7,000||Bloomington, Illinois|
|Chicago Steel||2000||Fox Valley Ice Arena||2,800||Geneva, Illinois|
|Dubuque Fighting Saints||2010||Mystique Ice Center||3,079||Dubuque, Iowa|
|Green Bay Gamblers||1994||Resch Center||8,709||Green Bay, Wisconsin|
|Madison Capitols||2014||Bob Suter's Capitol Ice Arena||1,300||Middleton, Wisconsin|
|Muskegon Lumberjacks||2010||L. C. Walker Arena||5,100||Muskegon, Michigan|
|USA Hockey National Team Development Program||1996||USA Hockey Arena||3,504||Plymouth, Michigan|
|Youngstown Phantoms||2003||Covelli Centre||5,717||Youngstown, Ohio|
|Des Moines Buccaneers||1980||Buccaneer Arena||3,408||Urbandale, Iowa|
|Fargo Force||2008||Scheels Arena||4,000||Fargo, North Dakota|
|Lincoln Stars||1996||Ice Box||5,010||Lincoln, Nebraska|
|Omaha Lancers||1986||Ralston Arena||4,000||Ralston, Nebraska|
|Sioux City Musketeers||1972||Gateway Arena||9,500||Sioux City, Iowa|
|Sioux Falls Stampede||1999||Denny Sanford PREMIER Center||10,678||Sioux Falls, South Dakota|
|Tri-City Storm||2000||Viaero Event Center||4,047||Kearney, Nebraska|
|Waterloo Black Hawks||1962||Young Arena||3,500||Waterloo, Iowa|
|Indiana Ice||2004||Lyceum Pavilion||4,800||Indianapolis|
|Anoka Nordiques||Anoka, Minnesota||1978–79|
|Austin Mavericks||Austin, Minnesota||1977–79|
|Bloomington Junior Stars||Bloomington, Minnesota||1977–79|
|Calumet-Houghton Chiefs||Calumet Township, Michigan||1972–73|
|Central Wisconsin Flyers||Stevens Point, Wisconsin||1974–76|
|Chicago Warriors||Chicago, Illinois||1972–75|
|Copper-Country Chiefs||Calumet, Michigan||1974–76|
|Copper-Country Islanders||Calumet, Michigan||1973–74|
|Des Moines Oak Leafs||Urbandale, Iowa||1968–69|
|Duluth Port Stars||Duluth, Minnesota||1968–69 (Duluth dropped out of league on December 30, 1968)|
|Fox Valley Astros||Dundee, Illinois||1965–66|
|Grand Rapids Blades||Grand Rapids, Michigan||1976–77|
|Grand Rapids Bruins||Grand Rapids, Minnesota||1968–69|
|Green Bay Bobcats||Green Bay, Wisconsin||1961–79|
|Madison Blues||Madison, Wisconsin||1973–74 (transferred to CHL)|
|Marquette Iron Rangers||Marquette, Michigan||1964–76|
|Milwaukee Admirals||Milwaukee, Wisconsin||1973–77 (transferred to IHL)|
|Milwaukee Metros||Milwaukee, Wisconsin||1961–62 (Milwaukee folded Jan 16, 1962, due to financial trouble)|
|Minneapolis Rebels||Minneapolis, Minnesota||1961–62|
|Minnesota Nationals||Saint Paul, Minnesota||1967–68 (U.S. 1968 Olympic team)|
|Rochester Mustangs||Rochester, Minnesota||1961–70|
|Sault Ste. Marie Canadians||Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario||1968–72|
|Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds||Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario||1972–73|
|Sioux City Musketeers||Sioux City, Iowa||1972–79|
|St. Paul Steers||Saint Paul, Minnesota||1962–66|
|Thunder Bay Twins||Thunder Bay, Ontario||1970–75 (transferred to OHA)|
|Traverse City Bays||Traverse City, Michigan||1975–77|
|U.S. Nationals||Saint Paul, Minnesota||1966–67|
|Waterloo Black Hawks||Waterloo, Iowa||1962–69, 1970–79|
|Austin Mavericks||Austin, Minnesota||1977–85|
|Danville Wings||Danville, Illinois||2003–04|
|Dubuque Fighting Saints||Dubuque, Iowa||1980–2001|
|Fargo-Moorhead Bears||Fargo, North Dakota||1995–96|
|Fargo-Moorhead Ice Sharks||Fargo, North Dakota||1996–2000|
|Green Bay Bobcats||Green Bay, Wisconsin||1958–81|
|Hennepin Nordiques||Minneapolis, Minnesota||1979–80|
|Madison/Wisconsin Capitols||Madison, Wisconsin||1984–95|
|Minneapolis Stars||Minneapolis, Minnesota||1977–85|
|North Iowa Huskies||Mason City, Iowa||1983–99|
|Ohio Junior Blue Jackets||Columbus, Ohio||2006–08|
|Rochester Mustangs||Rochester, Minnesota||1985–2002|
|St. Louis Heartland Eagles||Chesterfield, Missouri||2003–04|
|Twin Cities/St. Paul Vulcans||St. Paul/Bloomington, Minnesota||1977–2000|
|Thunder Bay Flyers||Thunder Bay, Ontario||1984–2000|
|Topeka ScareCrows||Topeka, Kansas||2001–03|
|Tulsa Crude||Tulsa, Oklahoma||2001–02|
Precursors to this league were:
The United States Hockey League was established as the American Amateur Hockey League in 1947 and began play for the 1947–48 season. When the league began operations it had five teams in and around the twin cities arena along with a team in Rochester. The league was made up three clubs from St. Paul which were 7-Up, Koppy's and Tally's. Two from Minneapolis Jersey's and Bermans. Along with a team from Rochester called the Rochester Mustangs. After the 1947–48 season the St. Paul Tally's dropped out of the league and left the five remaining members to make up the league for the 1948–49 and 1949–50 seasons. For the 1950–51 season the St. Paul 7-Up and St. Paul Koppy's merged and became St. Paul 7-Up/Koppy's. The Minneapoils Bermans dropped out of the league and new team called the Twin City Fords were added to give the American Amateur Hockey League four teams for 1950–51 season. The Rochester Mustangs were the only club to return for the fifth and final season of the American Amateur Hockey League in 1951–52. Gone were the St. Paul 7-Up/Koppy's, Twin City Fords and the Minneapolis Jerseys. Replaced by the St. Paul Saints, Hibbing Flyers, Minneapolis Millers, Eveleth Rangers and the first club based outside of the state of Minnesota the Sioux City Iowa Sunhawks. Which gave the league six clubs for 1951–52.
The American Amateur Hockey League was renamed the Central Hockey League for the 1952–53 season. Only five of the clubs who had made up the American Amateur Hockey League for 1951-52 season returned. Those clubs were the Rochester Mustangs, St. Paul Saints, Minneapolis Millers, Hibbing Flyers and the now called Eveleth-Virginia Rangers. Gone were the Sioux City Sunhawks.
After a year as the Central Hockey League the league was renamed the Minnesota Hockey League and would be called this for the 1953–54 and 1954–55 seasons. Only two teams who had made up the Central Hockey League returned to make up the Minnesota Hockey League for the 1953–54 season. Those teams were the Rochester Mustangs and the Hibbing Flyers. Gone were the St. Paul Saints. Minneapolis Millers and the Eveleth-Virginia Rangers. The Grand Forks Red Wings were added and gave the league three teams for 1953–54 season. The Rochester Mustangs were the only team to return for the second and final season of the Minnesota Hockey League. Gone were Hibbing and Grand Forks. The league added two teams in Minneapolis called the Culbersons and Bungalows and a team in St. Paul called the Saints to give the league four teams for 1954–55.
After two seasons as the Minnesota Hockey League the league became the United States Central Hockey League and would be called this for five years 1956 to 1960. Only three of the four teams who had made up the Minnesota Hockey League for the 1954–55 season returned. those teams were the Rochester Mustangs along with both Minneapolis clubs the Culbersons and the Bungalows. Gone were the St. Paul Saints who replaced by a team called the St. Paul Peters. These four clubs would make up the USCHL for the 1955–56 and 1956–57 seasons. For the 1957–58 season the St Paul Peters were replaced by a team called St. Paul K.S.T.P. The Rochester Mustangs were the only team to return for the 1958–59 season. Gone were St. Paul K.S.T.P along with both Minneapolis clubs the Culbersons and the Bungalows. The league returned to four teams when it replaced these clubs with the St. Paul Capitols, Minneapolis Millers and the Des Moines Ice Hawks, marking the league's return to Iowa. For the fifth and final season of the USCHL the St Paul Capitols dropped out and the league expanded to five teams and into new territory with a team in Michigan with the addition of the Marquette Sentinels and Wisconsin with the addition of the Green Bay Bobcats.
By the late 1970s, the USHL had fallen on hard times. In the summer of 1977, clubs from the recently folded Midwest Junior Hockey League contacted the USHL. A unique merger was formed, with the three junior teams (Bloomington Junior Stars, Austin Mavericks, St. Paul Vulcans) and three remaining pro teams (Sioux City Musketeers, Waterloo Black Hawks, Green Bay Bobcats) gathered under the USHL banner. League governors decided on a two-division format, with the junior-aged teams in the Midwest Division and the professionals in the U.S. Division. The teams played an interlocking schedule that was, predictably, dominated by the professionals. The USHL's split existence would last just two seasons. The minor-pro wing of the league folded following the 1978–79 season, providing junior hockey operators with the opportunity to redefine the circuit. The 1979–80 season was the league's first as an entirely junior arrangement.
The league's last season as a senior hockey league was 1978–79. During this final season the league comprised seven teams in two conferences. The U.S. Conference (with the Green Bay Bobcats, the Sioux City Musketeers and the Waterloo Black Hawks); while the Midwest Conference (with the Anoka Nordiques, the Austin Mavericks, the Bloomington Junior Stars and the St. Paul Vulcans). All seven teams were made up with players categorized as "Senior Amateur". Following the 1978–79 season the senior league teams in the U.S. Conference folded and the USHL became an all-junior league the following season.
Semi-Pro Season Champions
Anderson Cup Champions
Clark Cup Champions
The 2010–11 USHL season is the 31st season of the United States Hockey League as an all-junior league. The regular season began on October 1, 2010 and concluded on April 9, 2011 with the regular season champion winning the Anderson Cup. The 2010-11 season was the first to include the Dubuque Fighting Saints and Muskegon Lumberjacks, both of whom were resurrected franchises of the same name (USHL and IHL respectively)
The Clark Cup playoffs featured the top six teams from each conference competing for the league title. The increase to twelve teams resulted from the addition of four teams in two years.2013–14 USHL season
The 2013–14 USHL season is the 34th season of the United States Hockey League as an all-junior league. The regular season ran from September 20, 2013 to April 5, 2014. The regular season champion Waterloo Black Hawks were awarded the Anderson Cup. The playoff champion Indiana Ice captured the Clark Cup.Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders are a Tier I junior ice hockey team playing in the United States Hockey League (USHL). Before moving to Cedar Rapids in 1999, the team was based in Mason City, where they were known as the North Iowa Huskies.
The RoughRiders' home ice is the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena also known as The Stable.Central Illinois Flying Aces
The Central Illinois Flying Aces are a Tier I junior hockey team that plays as a member of the United States Hockey League. Based in Bloomington, Illinois, the Flying Aces play their home games at the Grossinger Motors Arena, located in downtown Bloomington.Chicago Steel
The Chicago Steel are members of the United States Hockey League, joining the league in 2000. The Steel have played their home games at Fox Valley Ice Arena in Geneva, Illinois, since 2015; previously, the team played at Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville, Illinois, from 2000 to 2015.Des Moines Buccaneers
The Des Moines Buccaneers are a Tier I junior ice hockey team in the United States Hockey League (USHL). The team has played in the Western Conference since the 2009–10 season.Fargo Force
The Fargo Force is a Tier I junior ice hockey team in the Western Conference of the United States Hockey League (USHL).Green Bay Gamblers
The Green Bay Gamblers are a Tier I junior ice hockey team in the Eastern Conference of the United States Hockey League (USHL). They play in Green Bay, Wisconsin, at the Resch Center.Indiana Ice
The Indiana Ice is a dormant Tier I junior ice hockey team and member club of the United States Hockey League (USHL) that was formed in 2004 when the Danville Wings were purchased and moved from their location in Danville, Illinois, to Indianapolis, Indiana. The Ice captured the regular season division titles in the 2007–08 and 2013–14 seasons and won the 2009 and 2014 Clark Cup titles. The USHL has placed the team in a "dormancy status" since the 2014–15 season while the organization focuses on development of a new facility and permanent home, the Lyceum Pavilion, in the Indianapolis area. During this time, the Indiana Ice organization has remained a member club in the USHL, with membership on its board and full rights to participate in the business and operations of the league. From 2012 to 2014, the Ice split their home games between the Bankers Life Fieldhouse and the Pan American Arena. Before the 2012–13 season, the Ice played their home games at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum. The Ice played in the Eastern Conference/Division of the United States Hockey League.Lincoln Stars
The Lincoln Stars are a Tier I junior ice hockey team playing in the United States Hockey League (USHL). The Stars' home ice is the Ice Box on the former Nebraska State Fair grounds and adjacent to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.List of USHL Champions
The United States Hockey League began in 1961 as a semi-professional ice hockey league. Starting with the 1979–80 season, the league became a strictly Amateur league, and began awarding its champion the Clark Cup Trophy. All champions of the USHL are highlighted in this page.Madison Capitols
The Madison Capitols are a Tier I junior ice hockey team that plays in the Eastern Conference of the United States Hockey League. Founded in 2014, the team plays its home games at Bob Suter's Capitol Ice Arena in Middleton, Wisconsin.Muskegon Lumberjacks
The Muskegon Lumberjacks are a Tier I junior ice hockey team in the Eastern Conference of the United States Hockey League. They play in Muskegon, Michigan, at L. C. Walker Arena. The Lumberjacks replaced the International Hockey League franchise (IHL) of the same name, which relocated to Evansville, Indiana, at the end of the 2009–10 IHL season.Omaha Lancers
The Omaha Lancers are a Tier I junior ice hockey team and are members of the Western Conference of the United States Hockey League (USHL). Founded in 1986, the Lancers play at the Ralston Arena in Ralston, Nebraska.
The Lancers have claimed a league-record seven Clark Cup championships as playoff champions, five Anderson Cup titles as regular season champions, and two USA Hockey national championships. In addition, the Lancers have aided in the development of hundreds of NCAA Division I hockey players, National Hockey League (NHL) draft picks, and dozens of NHL players.Sioux City Musketeers
The Sioux City Musketeers is a Tier I junior ice hockey team playing in the Western Conference of the United States Hockey League (USHL). The Musketeers' home ice is Tyson Events Center.USA Hockey National Team Development Program
The National Team Development Program (NTDP) was started in 1996 by USA Hockey as a way to identify elite ice hockey players under the age of 18, and centralize their training. There are two teams in the program: under-17 and under-18. Both teams teams are based in Plymouth, Michigan. The stated goal of the NTDP is "to prepare student-athletes under the age of 18 for participation on the U.S. National Teams and success in their future hockey careers. Its efforts focus not only on high-caliber participation on the ice, but creating well-rounded individuals off the ice." While enrolled in the NTDP, players stay with billet families.
From its founding until 2014–15, the program was based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, playing games at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. However, following that season, the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL relocated, freeing up the what was then known as the Compuware Arena. USA Hockey purchased the facility from Peter Karmanos, renamed it the USA Hockey Arena and moved the NTDP to Plymouth.The under-17 and under-18 teams play games domestically against opponents in the United States Hockey League (under-17 and under-18 teams) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (under-18 team), as well as three international tournaments for each team plus occasional friendlies. The NTDP teams previously competed in the North American Hockey League until 2009.United States Hockey League (1945–1951)
The United States Hockey League was a minor professional ice hockey league that operated from 1945 to 1951. It was a post-World War II revival of the American Hockey Association, which shut down in the fall of 1942 . The league playoff champion was awarded the Paul W. Loudon Trophy while the regular season champions were awarded the Directors' Cup.
Going into the league meetings in June 1951, there were rumors that half of the teams in the league were ready to pull out of the USHL. League vice-president, Harry Fowler of the Omaha Knights, said that a group in Wichita, Kansas was expected to apply for membership, and Sioux City, Iowa had also been mentioned as a potential addition to the league. The league ended up folding.Waterloo Black Hawks
The Waterloo Black Hawks are a Tier I junior ice hockey team playing in the Western Conference of the United States Hockey League (USHL) under president, general manager, and head coach P.K. O'Handley. The Black Hawks' home ice is the Young Arena in Waterloo, Iowa.Youngstown Phantoms
The Youngstown Phantoms are a Tier I junior ice hockey team that plays in the Eastern Conference of the United States Hockey League (USHL). The team plays home games at the 5,200-seat Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio. The team was co-owned by Bruce J. Zoldan, founder and CEO of fireworks brand Phantom Fireworks, hence the team's name. and Troy Loney (who played 12 years in the NHL, primarily for the Pittsburgh Penguins) along with his wife Aafke Loney. In the summer of 2018, the Loney's sold their interests to the Black Bear Sports Group led by CEO Murry Gunty.
United States Hockey League
Junior ice hockey leagues in North America
|Canadian Hockey League|
|United Hockey Union|