Protec Ponds Training Center

2019 Hockey Season FAQ’s

FAQ for Try – Outs 2019

Q:  How do I know what level my player will be going in at for the 2019 hockey season. (Spring 2019 and Fall/Winter 2019-2020)

A: Here is a *breakdown list of birth year and what level your child should be signing up for –

  • 2013 – Mites (8U)
  • 2012 – Mites (8U)
  • 2011 – Mites (8U)
  • 2010 – Squirts (10U)
  • 2009 – Squirts (10U)
  • 2008 – Peewee (12U)
  • 2007 – Peewee (12U)
  • 2006 – Bantam (14U)
  • 2005 – Bantam (14U)
  • 2004 – Midget (16U)
  • 2003 – Midget (16U)
  • 2002 – Midget (18U)
  • 2001 – Midget (18U)

*Taken from the USAhockey website here: USA hockey player age classification chart 19-20 season

This includes any player entering the spring hockey season in 2019.  For example, if your 2010 birth year child is a Mite for the current ’18-’19 season,  and you’re wondering what level Predators to sign up for, he/she would be at the Squirt level.

Q: What is the best way to prepare my player for the big “Mite to Squirt, half ice to full ice” jump?”

A: The best way to prepare your player aside from Protec provided clinics and practices would be to sign up for our Spring Predators program. This is the best way to introduce your player to the big jump from half ice to full ice and all the new rules that come with it such as off-sides and stricter rules on penalties.  It is also a great way to condition your player to get used to skating full ice shifts in a more relaxed setting.

Q: How can I prepare my Peewee for Bantams and the new level of physical contact (checking)?

A: Protec provides excellent checking clinics through the Protec U program, which are highly recommended.  Be on the lookout for those as they are incredibly helpful.  Also, our Spring Predator program is an excellent way to introduce your player to the physical challenges of checking at the Bantam level.

Q:  What do the Protec Ducks offer travel players?

  • 2 practices a week totaling 2 hours and 30 minutes

  • One hour skills sessions every 2-3 weeks free with tuition

  • 2 away tournaments, 1 home tournament

  • A free week of summer camp ($575 value)

  • A team summer practice

  • Professional coaching staff

  • Weekly goalie training with professional goalie coach

  • Discounted rink programs, Protec U clinics, and camps

Q: How many kids are on a team?

A: The Protec Ducks work to maximize the potential of all players so we place the right number of players on a team.  Placing too many kids on a team is profitable and may be done by others, but it isn’t right.  The Ducks have a maximum roster size for each level and will not go over that limit.

2017-2018 Average Players Per Team Maximum Ducks Per Team
Mites 9 12
Squirts 14 16
Peewees 14 16
Bantams 16 16
Midgets 18 20

Q:When will we find out our practice/game schedule?

A: Team managers will be informed and will share practice days and rough estimate of times in early May.  By the end of June, families will get a revised version of the practice times.  We want to make sure our schedule is out to you as soon as possible so you can plan other activities.  Teams will be provided game/league schedule through the team manager by mid-August.

Q: What leagues do the Protec Ducks compete in?


-New Jersey Youth Hockey League (

Our teams will participate in the NJYHL which encompasses teams from all over New Jersey.

-Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League (

The EJEPL is a high level league that has teams from Maine to Florida. Our top teams will participate in the Diamond Division and some of our teams will play in the Futures Gold division.  Last season the Ducks had 6 teams participate in the “EJ.”

Q: What is AAA, AA, A, and B level hockey?

A: The Protec Ducks are governed by USA Hockey through the Atlantic District.  USA Hockey has set up levels of play for each age group that are used throughout the United States.  The Protec Ducks currently field high level AA, A, and B level teams.  There is a place for most players with the Protec Ducks whether you are a new or are looking for top level hockey.  AAA (Tier 1) is a designation that fewer organizations have and in our area, some AAA teams have been beaten by our AA teams.  As a top AA program, we get considerable interest from AAA level players.

Q: What is the best advice you could give a new family to travel hockey?


Judge a program based on what they’ve done for families in the past few seasons, not what they are promising for the future.

Ask five families about their experience with a hockey club and let their answers help you evaluate.

All organizations have issues, but recently, some in our area have had considerably more than others so do your homework. (major tuition increases, reduced ice, promises not kept, uniform changes, scheduling delays, little/no communication, not releasing practice schedule until late August, teams folding mid-season, practicing at multiple locations)

Talk to the Hockey director, he is there to answer all of your questions