Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights join NAHL in 2015-16 season
May 1, 2015
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced that the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights, a Pennsylvania-based hockey organization, has been granted a membership into the NAHL effective for the 2015-16 season. The group was granted approval to operate in the NAHL in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton market conditioned upon acquiring, purchasing and relocating the Dawson Creek Rage membership.
“The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights organization is extremely excited to join the NAHL. We are honored to be awarded a membership in one of the elite junior hockey leagues in North America,” said Justin Lyle, who will serve as General Manager and Head Coach of the new team in the NAHL. “We feel we now offer our players the best path of development that will ultimately help them reach the highest levels of hockey. With many junior hockey options in the eastern part of the country, North Eastern Pennsylvania now has a valid higher-level program for the elite junior player that will be highly scouted. The Knights management team is eager to build a team that the great hockey community of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will be proud of and support enthusiastically.”
The Knights are the third team in the NAHL that will be based out of the state of Pennsylvania, joining the Johnstown Tomahawks (Johnstown, PA) and the Keystone Ice Miners (Connellsville, PA).
“The state of Pennsylvania has a great hockey tradition, knowledgeable fan base, talented player pool and we expect the Knights to continue their past and current success in the NAHL,” said NAHL Commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. “We feel that the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area is a market that will enhance the growth of our eastern footprint to adapt to the changing landscape of the NAHL and will open up more opportunity and exposure to NCAA and professional scouts.”
The Knights are under the ownership of Dr. Louis DeNaples Jr. In 2008, DeNaples bought the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (in order to provide a hockey opportunity for youth in the area. Later, he purchased the Revolution Ice Centre, where the new NAHL team will be based. For the past three years, the Knights have had a junior hockey team that has competed in the Eastern Hockey League (EHL), a USA Hockey-approved Tier III Junior League. It is the Knights mission to develop young athletes in a junior hockey environment and present them with an opportunity to train and develop into next level players. The Knights success has provided the opportunity to bring junior hockey to Northeast Pennsylvania. Along with such great athletic opportunities, the most important mission for each hockey player remains to be personal and emotion awareness, growth and a feeling of success.
The Revolution Ice Center is a two-rink facility that has plans to seat approximately 1,600+ in the main rink for the 2015-16 season. The newly created space includes additional seating, bar rail across the length of the ice, a party suite (in addition to an existing suite) and two corner party decks to create a more enhanced fan environment. The Knights will also have a dedicated locker room, office and training space.