Chowder Cup Begins 32th Season of Summer Tournaments
This year, the New England Pro-Am Hockey League will host it’s 32th Senior Chowder Cup Tournament. This tournament has grown considerably since its’ inception in 1984 and is now considered emblematic of Junior Supremacy after the regular seasons are completed. Approximately 100 teams are expected to participate in the 2015 Event.
Since 2004, Mike O’Connell Sr., President of the New England Hockey League, has taken this tournament from less than 24 teams to what it is today. He has been ably assisted by his son, Mike O’Connell Jr., Vice-President and Director of Hockey Operations, in bringing teams from all parts of the United States, Canada, as well as many foreign countries to the Tournament. It is now fully scouted by mot of the Division 1 and Division 3 College Coaches in the United States, as well as many Junior League and National Hockey League Scouts. Jamie Mullen, Senior Administrator, is the third person, and important cog, in Media Development as well as coordinating all Rosters through Leaguestat, an arm of Newssport Media, the Pro-Am’s Web Site. Jamie also assists with the day to day operation of the New England Pro-Am Hockey League.
In 1988 the Pro-Am was the first amateur organization to bring the National Junior Team from the former Soviet Union to the city of Quincy. This was a momentous occasion, as the Soviets had never gone anywhere in the United States but straight to Lake Placid. In 1989, the Pro-Am Hockey League hosted the United States Junior National Team at Boston University in a "Friendly Games Series" against the Soviet Junior National Team before the start of the World Junior Tournament at Lake Placid. The Soviets also played a second friendly game versus an All-Star team from the Pro-Am League. With this background, the Pro-Am was chosen to host the 1990 World Select 16 Tournament in Boston featuring teams from Russia, Finland, Canada, and our own United States Team. They are still the only amateur organization in Boston ever selected to host a sanctioned World Tournament.
In 1989, the Pro-Am began the its’ first Pre-Draft Showcase for players that are annually eligible for the NHL Entry Draft. It is now a highly successful annual event held here in Boston each May. As for the Chowder Cup Tournaments, there is a progression for the highly skilled players to eventually reach the prestigious Senior Chowder Cup. There are now over 50 teams who compete each July in the Mini-Chowder Cup for 13 & 14 year olds, the 96 team Junior Chowder Cup for 15 & 16 year olds, as well as the Midget Fall Classic held each October on Columbus Day Weekend.