|United States Hockey League|
|No. of teams||17|
|Most recent champion(s)||Sioux Falls Stampede|
|Most championship(s)||(overall) Waterloo Black Hawks (9)|
(Clark Cup era) Omaha Lancers (7)
The United States Hockey League (USHL) is the top junior ice hockey league in the United States. The USHL has 14 member teams located in the midwestern United States, consisting of players who are 20 years of age and younger. The USHL is strictly amateur, allowing former USHL players to compete in NCAA college hockey. The league is based out of Chicago, IL
- See also: List of USHL Seasons.
The USHL is the country's top junior hockey league, classified as Tier I. Like comparable entities such as the Canadian Hockey League (CHL)'s three member leagues, the USHL offers a schedule of high-level, competitive games for top players aged 16 to 20. Unlike the CHL, it does not pay a stipend to its players, who thus retain amateur status and are eligible to play in the NCAA.
USHL teams, which are typically located in mid-sized cities (see map of team locations), pay for all uniforms and equipment. Players live with local families, who receive a small stipend for food expenses, and either continue school or work part-time jobs. Due to their schedules, more than 90% of games are on weekends, which many NHL and college scouts attend. Average attendance at regular season games for the 2014-15 season was 2,715 with 1,384,820 fans attending games during the season. 
One hockey analyst stated that the USHL's first line players are as good as their counterparts in the CHL—historically an important producer of NHL players—but that the Canadian league has better third and fourth lines. In 2006, Trevor Lewis, the 17th pick in the NHL Entry Draft, was the first USHL player to sign an NHL contract immediately after playing in the league.
At the conclusion of the 2014-15 regular season, the USHL has tallied 251 Alumni that have played in the NHL and has 347 current players with NCAA College Commitments.
The USHL Draft is an annual event conducted in two “phases” during the second week of May. The first phase is an eight round draft of U-17 players for the upcoming season. The second phase of the draft is open to all players eligible to play junior hockey who are not already protected by a USHL team. The number of players drafted varies, as each team will draft until they have filled the 45 spots available on their roster. Undrafted players are open to try out for any team as a try-out player. Each team must reduce their roster to 23 players for the start of the season, but may carry 18 additional players on an affiliate list.
United States Hockey League (1961-1979)
The United States Hockey League (USHL) operated as a senior ice hockey league 1961 to 1979.
By the late 1970s, the USHL had fallen on hard times. In the summer of 1977, clubs from the recently folded Midwest Junior Hockey League contacted the USHL. A unique merger was formed, with the three junior teams (Bloomington Junior Stars, Austin Mavericks, St. Paul Vulcans) and three remaining pro teams (Sioux City Musketeers, Waterloo Black Hawks, Green Bay Bobcats) gathered under the USHL banner. League governors decided on a two-division format, with the junior-aged teams in the Midwest Division and the professionals in the U.S. Division. The teams played an interlocking schedule that was, predictably, dominated by the professionals. The USHL's split existence would last just two seasons. The minor-pro wing of the league folded following the 1978-79 season, providing junior hockey operators with the opportunity to redefine the circuit. The 1979-80 season was the league's first as an entirely junior arrangement.
The league's last season as a senior hockey league was 1978-79. During this final season the league comprised seven teams in two conferences. The U.S. Conference (with the Green Bay Bobcats, the Sioux City Musketeers and the Waterloo Black Hawks); while the Midwest Conference (with the Anoka Nordiques, the Austin Mavericks, the Bloomington Junior Stars, and the St. Paul Vulcans. All seven teams were made up with players categorized as "Senior Amateur". Following the 1978-79 season the senior league teams in the U.S. Conference folded and the USHL became an all-junior league the following season.
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- Allen, Kevin. "Youngsters hoping to realize hockey dreams", USA Today, February 6, 2007. Retrieved on March 24, 2012.
- http://ushlstats.stats.pointstreak.com/attendance.html?leagueid=49&seasonid=12983 .
- http://www.ushl.com/page/show/1209183-alumni-in-the-nhl | date=April 11,2015 | Access Date=April 12,2015
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- Selections in the top three rounds of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft
- Louis Leblanc (Omaha Lancers), 18th overall by Montreal Canadiens
- John Moore (Chicago Steel), 21st overall by Columbus Bluejackets
- Alex Chiasson (Des Moines Buccaneers), 38th overall by Dallas Stars
- Philip Samuelsson (Chicago Steel), 61st overall by Pittsburgh Penguins
- Josh Birkholz (Fargo Force), 67th overall by Florida Panthers
- Michael Lee (Fargo Force), 91st overall by Phoenix Coyotes
- Selections in the top three rounds of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft
- John Carlson (Indiana Ice), 27th overall by Washington Capitals
- Patrick Wiercioch (Omaha Lancers), 42nd overall by Ottawa Senators
- Jimmy Hayes (Lincoln Stars), 60th overall by Toronto Maple Leafs
- Steve Quailer (Sioux City Musketeers), 86th overall by Montreal Canadiens
- Scott Winkler (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), 89th overall by Dallas Stars
- Max Nicastro (Chicago Steel), 91st overall by Detroit Red Wings
- Most points in a season – 98 by Green Bay Gamblers in 2011-12 and Dubuque Fighting Saints in 2012-13
- Most wins in a season – 48 by Des Moines Buccaneers in 1998–99 season.
- Most losses in a season – 48 by Omaha Lancers in 1986–87 season.
- Longest winning streak - 19 by Des Moines Buccaneers between November 1, 1998 and January 6, 1999.
- Most points in a season - 135 by Tim Ferguson of Sioux City Musketeers in 1985–86 season.
- Most goals in a season – 67 by Rod Taylor of Sioux City Musketeers in 1985–86 season.
- Most assists in a season - 79 by Tim Ferguson of Sioux City Musketeers in 1985–86 season.
- Most PIMs in a season – 316 by Chad Stauffacher of Green Bay Gamblers in 1996–97 season.
- USHL 2006-07 Media Guide
- USHL website
- Maps to USHL arenas
- Semi-Pro season standings 1947-1960
- Semi-Pro season standings 1961-1979
- Amateur season standings 1979-2007
- USHL Team Logos 1961-1979
- History of former USHL member Green Bay Bobcats
- History of former USHL member Marquette Iron Rangers
- History of former USHL member St. Paul/Twin City Vulcans
- History of former USHL member Rochester Mustangs
- List of USHL (junior league) alumni who are playing in the NHL or currently under NHL contract
|United States Hockey League|
|East Division||Cedar Rapids RoughRiders · Central Illinois Flying Aces · Chicago Steel · Dubuque Fighting Saints · Green Bay Gamblers · Madison Capitols · Muskegon Lumberjacks · US National Team Development Program · Youngstown Phantoms|
|West Division||Des Moines Buccaneers · Fargo Force · Lincoln Stars · Omaha Lancers · Sioux City Musketeers · Sioux Falls Stampede · Tri-City Storm · Waterloo Black Hawks|
|Related articles: Clark Cup · Anderson Cup · Annual awards · NHL alumni · NHL draftees|
|Junior ice hockey leagues in North America|
|Related articles: Hockey Canada • USA Hockey • Amateur Athletic Union • World Junior Championship • IIHF World U18 Championships • World Junior A Challenge • World U-17 Hockey Challenge|