New program designed to showcase top Michigan high school players announced

UPDATE (Friday, Aug. 8): The Michigan Hockey Advancement program will now be holding tryouts to select the players for their ‘Top 80 Showcase’ on Aug. 16-17. The tryouts will be open to any high school hockey player interested in trying out for a spot within the 80-player roster. Tryouts will be held at Farmington Hills Ice Arena; more information can be found here.


By @MichaelCaples –

In the coming days, some of the top high school hockey players in Michigan will be receiving invitations to join a prestigious new program.

The Michigan Hockey Advancement program will be inviting 80 players to take part in their inaugural season, which features tournament play and a showcase that will be attended by scouts and coaches for junior and NCAA programs.

“This program is for serious hockey players,” said former Catholic Central and University of Michigan player Brandon Naurato, who is serving as director of hockey operations for the new program. “Players that have passion for the game and live the lifestyle of an elite player on and off the ice. It is our goal to help educate each player on the path to junior and college hockey and everything that the journey entails. It is important that they know how hard it is to be an elite athlete and the mindset it takes to make it to the next level is not a switch that you just turn on. It is a habit that it developed over time. Players that participate in the program will be put into a position to be successful and gain exposure going forward.  At the end of the day, it is up to them how they take advantage of the opportunity.”

The highlighted event for the new MHA is the Top 80 Showcase on Oct. 2-4 at the Arctic Edge in Canton. While the players will train and compete on the ice during the three-day event, they will also experience:

  • Educational Seminars
  • Physical Performance Testing by Barwis Methods
  • Presentations by junior leagues
  • Presentations by College Hockey, Inc.

The players will also participate in other tournaments, broken down below:

U-18 and U-16 Red Team

  • Motor City Cup (Detroit), September 5th, 6th & 7th
  • Top 80 Showcase (Detroit), October 2nd, 3rd & 4th
  • New England All Star Weekend, November 8th & 9th

U-18 Blue Team        

  • New England Fall Prep Showcase, August 29th to September 1st
  • Top 80 Showcase (Detroit), October 2nd & 3rd
  • Warrior Invitational (Detroit), October 17th, 18th & 19th

The goal, according to the program’s announcement, is to give the players exposure and opportunities to continue towards higher levels of hockey, while having only weekend time commitments.

“I feel this is another important step for high school hockey in Michigan to gain additional exposure for our players,” said Houghton High School head coach Cory Markham in a press release. “High school hockey has been growing in our state and events like this will really help our players in their quest to move up the hockey chain into higher levels of competition. The real nice part of the Michigan Top 80 Showcase is that players from all over the state will be able to take part. They will not have to be part of a league and will be able to display their talent on a weekend format which will help to keep costs down. Overall, I am very encouraged with this concept and think it will be a big plus for the exposure of high school hockey players in Michigan.”

The MHA will be working with Total Package Hockey for their on and off-ice training, which recently opened up a new Michigan headquarters in Canton. Rick Stahl will be serving as director of the new MHA program, and he said he’s excited to be working with the TPH staff for the new venture.

“Our partnership with TPH is one of the reasons we project a successful program from the start,” Stahl said in the release. “They can provide us with many services and assist us in presenting a positive and professional image to our market.  TPH has an extensive history managing hockey programs and making them positive and productive experiences for the players.”

For more information about the Michigan Hockey Advancement program, visit the official site here