(Albuquerque, NM) Friday, March 4, 2022- The New Mexico Ice Wolves® today announced that the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) has approved a membership for a new NA3HL team to begin play in Albuquerque, NM in the 2022-23 ice hockey season.
The new NA3HL NM Ice Wolves will play in the NA3HL’s South Division in 2022-23 and will play out of the Outpost Ice Arenas where the NAHL New Mexico Ice Wolves play. The NA3HL is one of two USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier III Junior leagues and serves as one of the top high level developmental leagues in the country by providing the best coaching, exposure and developmental vehicles available for student-athletes in its classification.
“This is an exciting step for the NA3HL as we feel the Ice Wolves organization will help the new team thrive and grow under the established and visionary leadership of Stan Hubbard. In a very short period of time, he has been able to turn the NAHL’s Ice Wolves into one of the premier teams in the NAHL, and with the type of opportunity that the NA3HL provides, we feel like the team is in great hands for next season and beyond. In addition, several of the youth Ice Wolves teams have taken part in NAPHL events, so this now completes the full ladder of development of the organization, which is something that enables our member teams’ players and coaches to grow from the grass roots level to the NCAA and beyond,” said NA3HL Commissioner Blake MacNicol.
Hubbard is no stranger to the NAHL family of leagues. He is the Owner and Governor of the NAHL’s New Mexico Ice Wolves, who have been a part of the NAHL since the 2019-20 season. The New Mexico Ice Wolves are currently in 1st place in the NAHL’s South Division and lead the league with a record of 32-12-3. The team was named the NAHL’s Organization of the Year during their expansion season in 2019-20.
“The New Mexico Ice Wolves entry into the NAHL has been instrumental in helping us build a growing youth hockey program with more opportunities and solid development at every level in Albuquerque and throughout the state,” said Stan Hubbard, owner of the New Mexico Ice Wolves and Outpost Ice Arenas. “The addition of an NA3HL team to the mix will provide new opportunities for our homegrown higher end players that strive to play in the NAHL and ultimately NCAA college hockey and beyond. The ladder of development that the NAHL has created really works and we are proud to be an even bigger part of this incredible family of hockey leagues.”
The NA3HL team will play at the Outpost Ice Arenas where the NAHL New Mexico Ice Wolves now play and will share all facilities, including the team’s world class Hockey Speed Gym that was created by USA Hockey legend Jack Blatherwick and unique training rinks that combine to provide players on both teams, and the local youth teams, some of the best ice hockey training, development tools and facilities anywhere. The NM Ice Wolves will bring more families into their very successful host family program to be able to welcome more players to the community. For families interested in learning more about becoming a host family contact Jerry Handcock at firstname.lastname@example.org. Existing arena and team staff will handle most of the new NA3HL responsibilities, including marketing, ticket sales, travel, partnerships and more. The organization expects to name a new head coach of the new NA3HL New Mexico Ice Wolves team soon.
About NA3HL Nearing the end of its 12th season in 2021-22, the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL), one of two USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier III Junior leagues, serves as one of the top training grounds in the country by providing the best coaching, exposure and developmental vehicles available for student-athletes in its classification. No other league of its kind has had more movement and advanced more players onto play in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) than the NA3HL. Thanks to additional and enhanced initiatives that were put in place this season in cooperation with the NAHL, more players from the NA3HL play, practice, and earn NCAA Division I scholarships with the NAHL than any other league. This past season not only did 35 NA3HL players sign tenders to play in the NAHL for the 2021-22 season, but 21 more players were selected in the 2021 NAHL Draft. The NA3HL also continues to make its mark and is one of the leaders in junior hockey with the advancement of players onto the NCAA. The NA3HL had over 120+ college commitments in 2021, with almost 70% of those being NCAA commitments. In addition, over 300 former NA3HL players are currently playing in the NCAA, and 13% of NCAA Division III freshmen this season previously played in the NA3HL.