The extension was approved for three primary reasons. First, with the NCAA Division I recruiting dead period being extended to April 15th, the extension of the season will give NAHL players more time to be scouted and seen by NCAA coaches and scouts. Second, the extension allows players more time to practice, play, and develop due to schedule interruptions caused by Covid-19. Lastly, an extension gives the fans in NAHL communities a chance to support their teams in what will hopefully be a more accommodating climate and atmosphere.
As a result, the ongoing 2020-21 regular season will now end on Sunday, May 16th. The opening round of the 2021 Robertson Cup Playoffs will take place from May 20-30 with the best of 5 Division Semi-Finals.
“This decision was made in the best interest of our players. We wanted all of our teams to have the maximum amount of opportunity to provide NAHL Hockey to as many players as possible in order to develop, play, and be exposed to NCAA and NHL scouts,” said NAHL Commissioner and President Mark Frankenfeld. “This extension allows more time for NCAA coaches to evaluate the players and also allows more time for player development that have been disrupted this season by shutdowns and rescheduling due to schedule interruptions caused by Covid-19.”
The three main NAHL events, which include the NAHL Showcase, NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, and Robertson Cup National Championship are being reviewed to make sure that the league is providing the best exposure possible for players. Dates, location, and format is expected to be announced in the near future.