NJP & Thunder Merger Announced

NASHVILLE YOUTH HOCKEY GETS
STRONGER
– Nashville Jr Predators and Thunder AAA Hockey Club merge to create more opportunity for
youth hockey participants –
Nashville, Tenn. (December 20, 2018) – The Nashville Jr. Predators and Thunder AAA Hockey
Club announced today that the two entities will merge together and operate under the
Nashville Jr. Predators Hockey Club emblem starting in 2019. This merger affords children a
clear path from learning to skate to participating in Tier I AAA hockey and every level in
between.
“Hockey in Tennessee and the Southern Amateur Hockey Association (SAHA) region is only
getting stronger with the merger between the Nashville Jr. Predators and Thunder AAA Hockey
Club,” said Danny Butler, General Manager of Ford Ice Center. “With two new sheets of ice at
The Ice Center in Bellevue opening in the Fall of 2019, youth hockey players will have
additional opportunities to participate in hockey programs and receive valuable ice time with
elite coaches.”
Growing the game of hockey in Tennessee and surrounding states, is a very important initiative
of the Nashville Predators. For every new hockey family that is created, provides more
opportunity for life-long Nashville Predators fans. “With the newly formed Nashville Jr.
Predators, there will be more spots available for kids who want to play, learn to play the game
and compete on several different levels,” said Nat Harden, Senior Vice President, Tickets /
Premium Sales & Youth Hockey. “More tournaments will be hosted at Ford Ice Center, which
will create additional revenue for the surrounding businesses in Antioch, Bellevue and across
Middle Tennessee.”
The Nashville Jr. Predators will enlist Total Package Hockey as the administrator of all hockey
operations and coaching. One of the main driving forces behind the merger is to help families
take advantage of one of the best development programs in the country that does not require
them to move.
“We are extremely grateful for the positive leadership and growth of the game in Nashville,
Huntsville, and Atlanta from the Nashville Predators. The NHL-backed Little Preds program
being ran in each market is introducing the game to the next generation of players and is
critically impacting grassroots growth of hockey. We would also like to thank the Nashville Jr
Predators Board for their support in this merger. By working together, teams at the Tier I level
will immediately be more competitive on the national stage, which will alleviate the pressure
often felt by some families to move. In turn, this will increase the number of players that are
drafted and/or tendered by junior hockey programs and commitments made to NCAA Division I
schools, while playing youth hockey in the Nashville Jr. Predators Hockey Club. Perhaps the
most important part of this new program is the addition of the Nashville based AA teams that
will provide more development options for players” said Nathan Bowen, CEO of Total Package
Hockey. “We have a long history of providing outstanding positive mentors and we look
forward to staffing the Jr Preds with world class professional coaches and managing the dayto-day operations of the hockey club in a professional, cost-effective and efficient manner. “
“The Nashville Predators continue to do an outstanding job
growing the game for players at all levels of hockey and they
support this next step in creating a clear path for youth hockey
families to follow. Our board unanimously supported this
merger in the long-term best interest of hockey in Nashville. We
also recognized that consolidating the two clubs only
strengthens every level of play for the kids. Adding the AA
program creates one homogenous development program for
every player. They can begin in the Little Preds program, move
along to House League, Preds Select A, now AA and lastly AAA.
A family can now come into the game, develop here in Nashville
until they are ready physically and mentally for junior hockey.”
stated Nashville Jr Predators President Matt Goudy.
Total Package Hockey held these same responsibilities for the
past 15 years with the Thunder AAA Hockey Club. During that
time, the club provided a path for student-athletes to develop and advance to junior hockey
while living at, or close, to home. The program became a member of the prestigious Tier I Elite
League, the only national Tier I Youth Hockey League in the country that produces the most
junior, college and professional players in the country.
Thunder AAA Hockey Club Player Advancement
Summary:
– 4 NHL Draft Picks or Signed
– 45 NCAA DI Commits
– 56 NCAA DIII Commits
– 39 USHL Drafts, 2 Tenders
– 16 NAHL Drafts, 61 Tenders
– 19 OHL Draft Picks
– 4 International (2 NTDP, 2 Hlinka/Gretzky)
Former alumni include Mitch Eliot who signed just last
week with the Vancouver Canucks, Nic Dowd from
Huntsville Alabama, now with the Washington Capitals,
Bjorn Krupp from Atlanta Georgia who played with the US
National Development Team Program and now with Grizzlys Wolfsburg in the DEL, Nathan
Krusko from Atlanta Georgia at Harvard University and national honors student, Andrew Sinard
from Nashville Tennessee who is a freshman at Miami of Ohio playing NCAA DI and attended
Nashville Predators Prospect camp in 2017.
Former coaches for the Thunder AAA Hockey club include:
• Chris Luongo – Current AC Michigan State Spartans, USA National Development Team
Program, Team USA World Championships,
• Scott Gordon – Current HC Philadelphia Flyers, Team USA World Championships and
Olympics, Former Assistant with the Toronto Maple Leafs and HC New York Islanders
Former Jr. Preds and Thunder Alum,
Andrew Sinard now plays for NCAA
D1 Miami of Ohio and attended the
2017 Nashville Predators Prospect
• Jim McKenzie – Current Scout Las Vegas Golden Knights NHL and Muskegon USHL
• Steve Briere – Current Goalie Coach Toronto Maple Leafs NHL, Fargo Force USHL,
Topeka RoadRunners NAHL
• Uwe Krupp – Current HC Sparta Praha DEL and Team Germany World Championships
and Olympics
• Karlis Zirnis – Current AC University of Alaska Fairbanks, Shreveport Mudbugs NAHL,
Team Latvia World Championships and Olympics,
• Darren Eliot – Current Detroit Redwings NHL and Atlanta Thrashers NHL
• Danny Geoffrion – Former player Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets
• Jay More – Former player Nashville Predators
• Jay Leach –Former NCAA DI Maine Black Bears and Washington Capitals NHL
• Paul Flache – Former associate head coach Flint firebirds OHL

For more information about the NEW Nashville Jr. Predators program, please contact
Jordan French at jfrench@jrpredators.com or Keith Rowe at
keith@totalpackagehockey.com and visit nashvillejrpredators.com.

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