The Philadelphia area is getting a USA Hockey Tier II Junior A team. The 22-team North American Hockey League yesterday announced the relocation of a Texas franchise, the Rio Grande Killer Bees, to Aston yesterday. The new team has been named the Aston Rebels.
The Rebels will play at the Ice Works arena, of which former Flyer Jim Watson, who played on the Flyers’ two Stanley Cup teams, is part owner.
Local players looking to extend their amateur playing careers will have an opportunity to showcase their talents. Tampa Bay’s head coach, Jon Cooper, got his start in the NAHL after leaving his career as a defense attorney. Eight players who have played in the NAHL were on the final NHL CSS Rankings for the 2015 NHL draft.
The Eastern Hockey League (EHL), which is a step below the NAHL, includes the Philadelphia Revolution in Bucks County, which will be coached by former Flyers captain Keith Primeau in the 2015-16 season.