USA Hockey announced today that the Anaheim Ducks youth hockey program (Anaheim California), consisting of The Rinks, the Anaheim Junior Ducks and the Lady Ducks, has earned designation as a USA Hockey Model Association.
With this designation, the association has committed to fully implement programming dedicated to age-appropriate, age-specific skill development in accordance with USA Hockey's American Development Model throughout the 8-and-Under, 10-and-Under and 12-and-Under age classifications.
"We're pleased to welcome Anaheim as our third California-based USA Hockey Model Association and we're excited for the kids who will benefit from the Ducks' ongoing commitment to age-appropriate skill development and fun," said Kevin McLaughlin, senior director of hockey development for USA Hockey.
The Anaheim association ranks as one of the largest youth hockey programs in California, offering opportunities for boys and girls from learn-to-play through Tier I AAA. The Ducks' facilities consist of three inline surfaces and four ice arenas, including The Rinks Anaheim ICE, which serves as a practice facility for the association's NHL namesake.
As a benefit of its Model Association designation, Anaheim will receive support from USA Hockey to further implement the ADM throughout its programs, including in-person coaches training, on-ice instruction and parent resources from USA Hockey's national staff. Additionally, the Ducks program will also receive equipment, signage and educational support from USA Hockey.
"The NHL Ducks have emphasized age-appropriate training and skill-development in their youth programming, so it's a natural fit for the Ducks to become a USA Hockey Model Association," said Ken Martel, technical director for USA Hockey's ADM. "The Ducks' leadership deserves credit for running a great program that is committed to emphasizing kids' long-term development and we're excited to watch them continue to thrive and grow along with California hockey as a whole."
Every youth hockey organization affiliated with USA Hockey has the opportunity to earn Model Association status. For more information, click here.
NOTES: The Ducks and Lady Ducks are perennial contenders for USA Hockey Youth and Girls Tier I National Tournament play, and this summer, 23 of the association's players were selected to compete at USA Hockey's national player development camps.