California Rubber

California’s and Nevada’s Authoritative Voice of Hockey

Jr. Reign AAA, AA teams joining prestigious NAPHL for upcoming 2021-22 season


The future keeps getting brighter for the Jr. Reign as the Southern California-based USA Hockey Model Association has a lot to look forward to with the upcoming 2021-22 season.

Recently, the Jr. Reign announced that its AAA (Tier I) and AA (Tier II) levels have been invited to compete in the prestigious NAPHL (North American Prospects Hockey League).

Celebrating its 12th anniversary season in 2020-21, the NAPHL is made up of three divisions: Tier I, Showcase (Tier II), and Prep (High School).

“The NAPHL has established itself as one of the premier grounds for development and exposure,” Jr. Reign president Ben Frank said. “The success of teams on the national stage as well as the success of NAPHL players at the next levels of hockey, is further proof that the NAPHL is redefining exposure and has elevated itself to one of the premier training grounds for development and opportunity.”

jrreign_naphlThe NAPHL has enjoyed a record-breaking amount of advancement in recent seasons, which is highlighted by a large amount of advancement of players to the North American Hockey League (NAHL). No other USA Hockey Midget Tier I league has had more players play in the NAHL over the course of the last two seasons than the NAPHL.

A total of 49 players from the NAPHL were tendered to play in the NAHL for the 2019-20 season and this past season, that number was surpassed. This past season, 120 NAPHL players played in the NAHL.

The Jr. Reign will have the 12U AA, 14U AA, 16U AA and 18U AA compete in the Showcase division. The 14U AAA, 15O AAA, 16U AAA and 18U AAA teams will be competing in the Tier I Elite NAPHL division.

In addition to joining the NAPHL, the Jr. Reign organization has been awarded 14U AAA, 15O AAA, 16U AAA and 18U AAA status by CAHA.

“It’s a testament to all of the hard work of our players and dedicated families to the program that allows us to provide AAA hockey,” said Tomas Kapusta, Jr. Reign high performance director.

“The Jr. Reign model from 8U to 18U AAA outlines the path families can take to achieve the highest performance and development for their child,” added Jr. Reign director of player development Darren Berezowski.

With teams ranging from 6U to 18U at the B, BB, A, AA and AAA levels, the Jr. Reign is the official youth hockey club of the AHL’s Ontario Reign, the top affiliate of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings.

The Jr. Reign join the San Jose Jr. Sharks, Los Angeles Jr. Kings and Anaheim Jr. Ducks as the only four clubs to be awarded all national-bound levels of Tier I hockey, the highest level of youth hockey competition in the country.

jrreign_AAAEach club that is awarded AAA hockey goes through an extensive application process that ensures each club has a pyramid of support and development programs underneath the AAA program in order to field the top levels of play and help their players advance further beyond youth hockey.

“It is critical that we build not only the elite pathways for players to pursue their highest potential, but also even more importantly, strive to grow the game and opportunities at the grassroots level in working with the LA Kings, Ontario Reign, CAHA, SCAHA, and our rink partners hand in hand,” said Frank.

“We are so proud to offer the highest level of youth hockey to our players,” noted Paul Esdale, Jr. Reign chief of hockey operations. “We are able to offer a pathway through every level of youth hockey from the young beginner to the advanced elite player while ensuring that we focus on putting the player in the right game and practice environments to maximize their skill development, experience and opportunities to learn life lessons.”

Jr. Reign tryouts and off-season development program registration is launching soon for the Riverside, Carlsbad, and Paramount locations. Players interested in next season’s teams are encouraged to apply at so they can work on their skills with Jr. Reign coaches and prepare for tryouts upcoming in June.

— Matt Mackinder

(April 29, 2021)

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