Pro-Hockey League Taking the Ice in North Adams

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A new hockey league is being headquartered at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Skating Rink with its first free agent camp this June.

The newly formed North Atlantic Professional Hockey League and the Berkshire Black Bears team (not to be confused with the minor league baseball team of some years back) will be based in North Adams with the Peter W. Foote arena as their home base. Its also the home of the youth hockey team Northern Berkshire Black Bears.

The camp will be held June 26 to June 29 and the cost is $299.  It will be under the direction of Phil DeFranco, assisted by Jerry Deno, formerly of the NEHL, NEPHL and the UHL.

DeFranco is also the president of the new NAPHL and has more than 25 years' experience in ice hockey. Deno, with similar experience, is vice president of operations.

The camp will be run similar to the previous camps, and will include two nights' hotel accommodations and the addition of professional goalie coaches and longer ice times for goalies. Goalies that advance will have a fee for two additional nights. Earlier arrival or single rooms also have an additional fee of $40. Transportation will be provided to and from Albany (N.Y.) International Airport.

A jersey is included and the Freight Yard Pub is offering a discount on meals for players.

Goaltenders will arrive on Wednesday, June 25, and have instruction by former New York Islanders goalie Tom Draper, who will be assisted by Josh Hand, goalie coach for Penn State's D1 program along with John Zdunkiewicz owner and instructor of Ztending goalie schools and former Princeton goalie coach.

The forwards and defensemen will report Friday morning, unless they register to be a shooter on Thursday during the goalie sessions (shooters are limited to 10). All players will be split into four or more teams and will be coached by one of the NAPHL coaches. Games will be played Friday and Saturday evening and Sunday morning, with skills practice and guest instructors in between.

The free agent draft will be held Sunday, June 29, about an hour after the last game. This will be livestreamed on NASN, the North Atlantic Sports Network. All of the games will be broadcast live on the NASN. Not all players will be offered a PTO or contract at the camp.

For more information, contact DeFranco at or call 321-725-7181.

Tags: hockey,   hockey league,   

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