Previewing the NAPHL: Anaheim Jr. Ducks
August 28, 2014
Over the course of the next two weeks, the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) is proud to feature a new series that will preview each of the 32 teams in the NAPHL for the 2014-15 season. Each day, leading all the way up to the first event of the season at the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, MN, the league will feature a different organization and take a look at both their 18U and 16U teams. There will be a review of last season and a look ahead to this season, which will include an interview with each of the team’s head coaches.
Anaheim Jr. Ducks 16U
The Anaheim Jr. Ducks are becoming one of the top programs in the NAPHL. Since joining the league in 2011 as the Orange County Hockey Club and then a year later rebranded as Anaheim, the Ducks have found themselves consistently ranked near the top of the league standings. The upcoming season is shaping up to be nothing different. This will be 16U head coach Alex Kim’s and all of his players first year competing in the NAPHL and they are looking forward to it.
“We are excited to play in the NAPHL this season. This league is new to our whole team including the coaching staff, so we are excited about the opportunity. With the new additions to the league, I am sure it will make for some really competitive hockey. I've only heard great things about the events and am looking forward to the experience,” said Kim.
This might be coach Kim and his players first year competing in the league, but not his first year with these players. He is returning 16 players from his all 1998 birth year Ducks team that played an independent schedule last season. He is hoping that the success they had last season will carry over to this season.
“We made great strides as a team. Chemistry was vital in our team’s success and our players really were cohesive both on the ice and off the ice, ” said coach Kim.
With all of these returning players coach Kim still feels that his team needs to improve in a few areas to have continued success this upcoming season.
“I believe our team will have to improve on communication and playing well regardless of the opponent. We would like to see our team really focus on the details, execution and consistency throughout the season,” said Kim.
Anaheim Jr. Ducks 18U
Over the past two seasons at the 18U level coach Larry Barron has seen six kids sign NAHL tenders, which is the third most in the entire league. They have also had many more players move on to the junior hockey level. His team also remains a constant near the top of the NAPHL standings. Last season they finished tied for first place in the regular season standings. This season appears to have the potential to be another successful season for the Jr. Ducks.
Coach Barron had this to say about his team, “I want this team to be a team that works hard, plays fast, and stays humble. Our goal as a team is to win the NAPHL championship, but it is a process. We are going to take things day to day, game to game and not get ahead of ourselves”.
The roster is shaping up to be a young one with many new faces on it. Luckily at the forward position they have a few returning players. One of the players returning is the leagues leading goal scorer from a year ago Paul Boutoussov. On the back end they have no returning players in net or on defense, but Barron is pleased with the group he has coming in and eager to work with them.
Barron had this to say about the new additions to his team, “I am very excited for the new players that we have coming in. They are all hard working kids with good attitudes and a team first mentality”.
Barron has also been very impressed this offseason with the changes the league has made and the overall make up of the league. “I think Mark Frankenfeld and his staff have done a great job adding new organizations. The teams that were added this offseason will provide great competition for the league. The NAPHL is a player first league that does an excellent job of getting its players exposure."