By The Associated PressA group of top-tier college hockey players, led by former Michigan star Josh Gorges, are seeking to bring the 2019 Junior Hockey Championship to the U.S. by partnering with the NCAA.
The effort, called the Junior Hockey Players Association (JHA), is one of the first steps in a national push to expand junior hockey to all states and territories.
The JHA is the nation’s oldest association of high school and collegiate hockey players.
The group’s bid is a major departure from previous efforts to bring professional junior hockey back to North America.
The Hockey Hall of Fame and the International Ice Hockey Federation were among the last major U.K. and Canadian professional teams to return to the game in the early 1990s.
Last year, the Canadian National Junior Hockey League was forced to scrap a tournament because of a lack of support.
The International Ice Ice Hockey Association was also forced to withdraw from its annual Junior Challenge tournament in 2019 due to a lack a stable infrastructure.
The U.N. Development Program, a program that provides aid to children in developing countries, is expected to provide support for the U-19 World Championships, the most prestigious international event for the next generation of players.
The program’s executive director, Paul Haggerty, said Thursday he believes the JHA’s bid would be the first major professional tournament in North America to be hosted by the program.
“It’s a really good opportunity to show that we can grow and reach new audiences in North American,” Haggert said.
“It’s really exciting.”
The JHA and the IOC are planning a three-day event on Jan. 19-22 that will showcase the sport, including the players and coaches.
The tournament is expected with the help of the Uprising Foundation, a charity that works to promote youth hockey in developing nations.
It’s expected to generate $25 million for the organization and $2.5 million to the JHL.
The goal of the tournament is to help bring the game back to the United States.
“I don’t think anybody wants to see a world championship of junior hockey,” said David Womack, the executive director of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill IceCaps, which will host the event.
“I think it would be great if the world got to see how we can do it here.”
A handful of other top players have expressed interest in competing.
In recent weeks, several North American junior teams, including those in the U.-18 and junior divisions, have sent their rosters to compete in the tournament.
The 2018-19 season saw the development of the game at the youth level, with some teams bringing their young players to the Winter Classic.
The game has become a global phenomenon, with more than 50 countries playing it.
It also has become an increasingly popular spectator sport.
The JHL has long been a major player in the development and marketing of hockey in North and South America.
In addition to the IceCamps and other junior leagues, the association sponsors the Winter Olympics, the Pan Am Games, the World Junior Hockey Championships, and the World Cup of Hockey.