April 8, 2016
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced that its Board of Governors has approved the activation of the Shreveport (Louisiana) Mudbugs membership, who will begin play during the 2016-17 season as a part of the NAHL’s South Division.
Tommy Scott of Encompass Sports Management owns the Mudbugs.  Scott, who was the owner of the Mudbugs when it ceased operations in the ‘AA’ professional Central Hockey League in 2011, has signed a 12-year lease (plus a pair of five-year options) with the State Fair of Louisiana for use of the Hirsch Coliseum. The team will be the first to call the state of Louisiana home in the 40-year history of the NAHL.
The Shreveport Mudbugs will begin play in the fall of 2016 and operations are getting underway, including season ticket sales. Scott Muscutt, an original Mudbug player and longtime head coach of the professional team, will move into the role of General Manager and Director of Operations with the NAHL team. “This is a quality of life WIN for everyone in this area. As a hockey guy I am excited, as a parent I am ecstatic! This is the best thing to happen to hockey in the area in 10 years,” Muscutt said. A search for a head coach is currently underway.
“Shreveport is a great fit for the NAHL,” said Mark Frankenfeld, Commissioner and President of the NAHL. “They fit into the Southern footprint and the markets fits the fabric of a NAHL community-based model. They have a great tradition of success both on and off the ice and I am excited to see how they perform in the years to come.”
The Hirsch Coliseum will not only house the Mudbugs, but youth hockey programs in the area as well. To get ready for the Mudbugs playing in the NAHL, the Hirsch Coliseum underwent a $1.5 million upgrade. With the renovations to the Hirsch, the seating capacity was trimmed from 7,000 to about 4,000 and the Mudbugs have a personal season license (PSL) option, ice-level suites and season tickets as cheap at $10 per game. In addition to the suites, renovations to the Hirsch now include new bathrooms, revamped concessions and new seats.
From 1997 to 2001, the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs were members of the Western Professional Hockey League, until a 2001 merger between the WPHL with the Central Hockey League. From 2001-2011, the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs played in the CHL. In their final year of operation back during the 2010-11 season, the team won the CHL Championship.

A total of 18 TPH (Total Package Hockey)-trained players were drafted to the Ontario Hockey League on April 9, including nine who attend the TPH Center of Excellence.

Leading the way were TPH CoE student-athletes Blade Jenkins and Bode Wilde, who were drafted in the first and second round, respectively.

“Congratulations to the players, parents and staff at the TPH Academy on being selected in the OHL Priority Selection Draft,” said OHL Senior Director of Hockey Development & Special Events Joe Birch. “The environment created at the program provides players an excellent opportunity to develop as elite student-athletes and prepares players for the next level. We anticipate to see many more players drafted out of this program in years to come.”

Both Jenkins and Wilde were selected by the Saginaw Spirit. Jenkins, a Michigan commit and Compuware U16 standout, went No. 4 overall while the Harvard commit and Chicago Mission U16 star, Wilde, went at No. 35.

TPH CoE students Caleb Everett (Saginaw Spirit) and Drew DeRidder (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) were taken in the sixth round. Two rounds later, recent Denver commit Will MacKinnon was drafted by the Guelph Storm.

A trio of CoE student-athletes and Little Caesars U16 players in Xan Gurney (Barrie Colts), Christian Krygier (London Knights) and Cole Krygier (London Knights) were drafted in rounds nine and 10. Chase Pletzke was selected in the 14th round by the Spirit.

Additionally, nine other TPH-trained athletes, including players from the TPH OHL Cup team, TPH Thunder AAA team, and TPH MHA Top 80 program, were selected in the draft.

The TPH CoE student-athletes who were drafted to the OHL have used TPH’s variety of hockey resources to develop and grow into well-rounded players on and off the ice. An elite training program, the TPH CoE features a unique blend of academics and athletics to help players develop a complete hockey lifestyle.

“When I first visited the TPH Academy and met the staff, it was evident that it was an environment that was conducive to learning,” said Adam Dennis, OHL director of recruitment. “Whether it be on the ice or in the classroom, the students were engaged and excited to be there. It comes as no surprise that we are starting to see a direct correlation to the OHL Priority Selection. TPH has proven to be a leader in elite athletic development and I look forward to working together for years to come.”

Total Package Hockey is one of the largest hockey service providers in the country, offering youth and adult programs from Detroit to Atlanta. TPH provides programs, which are staffed by highly qualified elite hockey coaches and professionals, to more than 4,000 players each year. With programs in 18 total U.S. cities, including teams in the NA3HL and T1EHL, TPH specializes in skill-based player development and has a track record of moving players to junior, college and professional hockey.

TPH-trained players selected in 2016 OHL Draft
Blade Jenkins – TPH CoE/Compuware U16/ 1st Round to Saginaw Spirit
Danil Antropov -TPH Prospects/Toronto Marlies U16/ 1st Round to Oshawa Generals
Akil Thomas – TPH Prospects/Toronto Marlies U16/ 1st Round to Niagara Ice Dog
Bode Wilde – TPH CoE/Chicago Mission U16/ 2nd Round to Saginaw Spirit
Alec Regula – TPH MHA Top 80 Program / TPH OHL Cup Team/Cranbrook High School/ 4th Round to London Knights
Lucas Crawford – TPH OHL Cup/Oakland Jr. Grizzlies U15/ 5th Round to Owen Sound Attack
Caleb Everett – TPH CoE/Honeybaked U16/ 6th Round to Saginaw Spirit
Drew Deridder – TPH CoE/Oakland Jr. Grizzlies U16/6th Round to S.S. Marie Greyhounds
Will Mackinnon – TPH CoE/Honeybaked U16/ 8th Round to Guelph Storm
Ben Shultheis – TPH Thunder AAA Team/9th Round to Owen Sound Attack
Xan Gurney – TPH CoE/Little Caesars U16/9th Round to Barrie Colts
Christian Krygier – TPH CoE/Little Caesars U16/9th Round to London Knights
Cole Krygier – TPH CoE/Little Caesars U16/ 10th Round to London Knights
Hunter Nofs – TPH OHL Cup/Oakland Jr. Grizzlies U15/ 11th Round to Hamilton Bulldogs
Hunter Carrick – TPH OHL Cup/Oakland Grizlies U16/ 11th Round to Ottawa 67’s
Chase Pletzke – TPH CoE/Oakland Jr. Grizzlies U16/14th Round to Saginaw Spirit
Matt Staudacher – TPH 8 Week Summer Program/Shattuck St. Mary’s/14th Round to Niagara Ice Dogs
Jack Tucker – TPH OHL Cup/Buffalo Jr. Sabres/ 14th Round to Kitchener Rangers



Three TPH (Total Package Hockey)-trained standouts have been named to the prestigious U.S. National Team Development Program U-17 roster for the 2016-17 season.

Blade Jenkins, Will MacKinnon and Bode Wilde were all selected to the development team following last month’s evaluation camp, which was held in Plymouth, Michigan. All three have attended the TPH CoE and have used its variety of elite resources to develop a complete hockey lifestyle that translates to success and growth on and off the ice.

“All three of these players met with us on day one of school and mentioned that their number one goal was to play for the NTDP two years down the road,” said Brandon Naurato, TPH Detroit director of hockey operations. “We are extremely proud of them for the workload and sacrifices that they have made to earn the honor of accepting an invitation to represent Team USA.  The opportunity in front of them to continue to develop as men on and off the ice while pursuing their dream of playing in the NHL is second to none with the resources that they will be provided with daily by the National Program.”

A 5-foot-11 defenseman, MacKinnon is lighting it up from the point for Honeybaked U16 this year, tallying 32 points in 57 games. The two-year CoE student-athlete was a member of the U.S. team that took home the gold medal at this year’s Youth Olympic Games. He recently committed to play college hockey at seven-time national champion Denver University.

“It was really exciting,” MacKinnon said when he learned he made the NTDP. “It’s going to be pretty cool to represent the USA. I did it in Norway for two weeks so it’s going to be really cool to get to do it again for the NTDP.”

Jenkins is in his second year at the TPH CoE and put up 36 points in 22 HPHL league games with Compuware U16 this season. A center with high-end talent, the 15-year-old committed to the University of Michigan back in January of 2015.

“At first it was a surreal feeling, to be honest,” he said. “It’s an honor when people ask you where you’re playing next year and you say you get to represent your country.”

Their fathers both said that pride is the first emotion they felt after hearing the news and reflected on what two years at the TPH CoE has done for the development of their sons on and off the ice.

“The environment that TPH provided where Will was able to balance school, get the rest he needed, follow training programs and get good nutrition and sleep was huge,” said Dan MacKinnon, director of player personnel for the Pittsburgh Penguins. “I credit Brandon Naurato and Sean Perkins for really drilling down into what Will needed to do to get better. It was so productive.”

“It took a lot of hard work over the last 10 years or so to get to this point,” Todd Jenkins said. “The desire for him to get better has always been there and I’m excited for where Blade is at now compared to two years ago. (The TPH CoE) expects a lot out of their kids, not only how they compete on the ice but what they do in the classroom and the community.”

Wilde attended the TPH CoE during the 2014-15 school year and committed to Harvard University last summer. The physical defenseman with offensive talent currently plays for the Chicago Mission U16 team and is one of the top 2000-born players in the U.S.

“I don’t even know how to describe it still, I’m just so excited,” Wilde said. “At TPH we worked a lot on shooting and I think that has helped me this past season and helped me at the evaluation camp too. They teach you the game within the game and the small details that you don’t know unless you’ve played hockey for as many years as they have. Knowing that before the camp was a huge advantage, not only for me but for Blade and Will.”

The 2016-17 U.S. NTDP U-17 team will be coached by Danton Cole, a Michigan State grad and Pontiac native. The three newly-minted NTDP players will be competing just down the road from the TPH Canton CoE at Plymouth’s USA Hockey Arena.

The TPH Center of Excellence is an elite training program for student-athletes that features a unique blend of academics and athletics. Its balance of on-ice instruction and classroom work pushes students in grades 6-12 to become well-rounded hockey players on and off the ice. The TPH CoE currently has locations in Canton, Michigan, and Gwinnett, Georgia, with a third school in Troy, Michigan, scheduled to open before the 2016-17 school year.

Total Package Hockey is one of the largest hockey service providers in the country, offering youth and adult programs from Detroit to Atlanta. TPH provides programs, which are staffed by highly qualified elite hockey coaches and professionals, to more than 4,000 players each year. With programs in 18 total U.S. cities, including teams in the NA3HL and T1EHL, TPH specializes in skill-based player development and has a track record of moving players to junior, college and professional hockey.

Visit TPH online at www.totalpackagehockey.com and follow TPH on Twitter and on Facebook.

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