2018 Ducks Tryout Dates and Times

Tryouts for the 2018-19 season will be hosted at Protec Ponds Ice Center for all age levels on the following days:

Level Dates Times Makeup Date/time
Mites March 26, 27 5:35 – 6:35 PM March 28 6:00 – 7:00 PM
Squirts March 26, 27 6:45 – 7:45 PM March 28 6:00 – 7:00 PM
Peewees March 26, 27 7:55 – 8:55 PM March 28 7:10 – 8:10 PM
Bantams April 16, 17 6:30 – 7:30 PM April 18 6:00 – 7:00 PM
Midget U16s April 16, 17 7:40 – 8:40 PM April 18 7:10 – 8:10 PM
Midget U18s April 16, 17 8:50 – 9:50 PM April 18 7:10 – 8:10 PM

Register for Ducks Tryouts Here
View The Ducks Tryout Brochure

Protec Ducks Travel Hockey Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the background of the Protec Ducks and Protec Ponds?

This past September, Protec celebrated its 10th anniversary.  This state of the art facility was officially open for business in 2007 and within its walls is an NHL sized rink, two training ponds and a workout facility.  Fortunately for the Protec Ducks, the land was bought and built upon by a single family that loves hockey, which makes our organization a family organization.  Our Protec Ducks do not have an ownership group with selfish interests, investors, or a board of directors, which makes our mission to deliver what is best for the players and families easy to pursue.

  • What do the Protec Ducks offer travel players?

    1. 2 practices a week totaling 2 hours and 30 minutes
    2. One hour skills sessions every 2-3 weeks free with tuition
    3. 2 away tournaments, 1 home tournament
    4. A free week of summer camp ($575 value)
    5. A team summer practice
    6. Professional coaching staff
    7. Weekly goalie training with professional goalie coach
    8. Discounted rink programs, Protec U clinics, and camps
  • What makes the Protec Ducks the best option?

The Protec Ducks are a family organization whose mission is providing the best training with more weekly practice ice than most programs in the area.  Please compare what we offer to other hockey clubs in the area and you will see that our organization delivers.  Our professional coaching staff works tirelessly to ensure your child gets a great hockey experience.

  • How many kids are on a team?

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.

Level Max. Ducks Per Team ’17-18 Average Players Per Team
Mites 12 9
Squirts 16 14
Peewees 16 14
Bantams 16 16
Midgets 20 18
  • What age group should my child try out for?

    • USA Hockey uses your child’s birth year to determine what age group a player should participate in.  In the 2018-2019 season, players will be placed in the following age group:
      • Mites- 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
      • Squirts- 2008, 2009
      • Peewees- 2006, 2007
      • Bantams- 2004, 2005
      • Midgets U16- 2002, 2003
      • Midgets U18- 2000, 2001
  • When are tryouts and how do I register?

    • Tryouts are held on the following dates for each age group:
      • Mites/Squirts/Peewee- March 26, 27, 28
      • Bantams/Midgets- April 16, 17, 18

You can register online for pretryout workouts and/or tryouts at the following link:  http://protec.frontline-connect.com/program.cfm?fac=protec&facid=1&levelid=0&seasonid=0&dateid=0&programid=16

  • When will teams begin the season?

    1. Midgets-August 1, 2018
    2. EJEPL teams- August 13, 2018.
    3. All (Non-EJEPL teams) Bantams, Peewees, Squirts- August 27, 2018
    4. Mites- September 4, 2018
  • When will we find out our practice/game schedule?

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.

  • What leagues do the Protec Ducks compete in?

    1. New Jersey Youth Hockey League (njyhl.org)
      1. Our teams will participate in the NJYHL which encompasses teams from all over New Jersey.
    2. Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League (ejepl.net)
      1. 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.”
  • What is AAA, AA, A, and B level hockey?

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.

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

    1. Judge a program based on what they’ve done for families in the past few seasons, not what they are promising for the future.
    2. Ask five families about their experience with a hockey club and let their answers help you evaluate.
    3. 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)
    4. Talk to the Hockey director, he is there to answer all of your questions.


What to expect as a 2018-19 Protec Duck

  • Experienced, professional coaching
  • Two 1.25 hour practices each week
  • Powerskating and Skills Sessions
  • Average 3 hours of ice each week
  • Squirt/Peewee roster size: 15 max + goalie(s)
  • Bantam roster size: 16 max + goalie(s)
  • 3 tournaments for Mites—Bantams
  • 1-2 tournaments for Midgets
  • Preseason Training Camp
  • Weekly Duck Goalie Clinics with experienced goaltending instructor, Dan Gould
  • Discount on all Protec Camps/Clinics
  • Choice of one 2018 Protec Summer Hockey Camp

What’s new in 2018-19?

  • Certified, professional skating coach
  • Free concussion screening for new Ducks
  • Entire organization will use TeamSnap

2018-19 Ducks Coaching Staff

  • Mite Grey – Ray Vallejo
  • Mite Black – Troy Gorski
  • Mite Navy – Craig Jennings
  • Mite White – TBD
  • Squirt AA – Hillary O’Keeffe
  • Squirt A – Tyler Mishchenko
  • Squirt B – Craig Jennings
  • Peewee AA – Brian Mullen
  • Peewee A Navy – David Ball
  • Peewee A Grey – Patrick Alvin
  • Peewee B – Don Migliorisi

2017-18 Season Accomplishments:

Bantam ’04 win Silver Stick regional championship at Bridgeport, CT.

Peewee AA-Navy win EJEPL 12U Division Championship in Aston, PA.

Squirt AA U10 EJEPL Runner Up

We are proud to say 47% of playoff eligible Ducks teams made the playoffs this season.

As of 12/20/17

  • PWAA Navy rank at #28 nationally
  • Bantam 04s rank at #47 nationally
  • Sq AA rank at #106 nationally (w/ T1 teams included)

2016-17 Season Accomplishments:

  • NJYHL State Playoff Champions
    • Peewee AA
  • NJYHL Playoff Competitors
    • Squirt A (Runner Up)
    • Squirt AA (Runner Up)
    • Peewee A (Semi-Finalists)
  • EJEPL Champions
    • Peewee AA (12U Diamond Division)
  • Turkey Shootout in Danbury, CT
    • Peewee B Champs
  • Presidents Day Tournament in Delaware
    • Mite A Champs
    • Bantam A Champs
    • Peewee B Finalist
  • Shamrock Showdown in Somerset, NJ
    • Mite B Champs
    • Squirt A Champs
    • Squirt AA Champs
    • Peewee A Champs

For more information on our Ducks travel program, please contact our Ducks Hockey Director, Patrick Alvin, at 732-868-9181 x104 or email palvin@protecponds.com.


The History of the Protec Ducks

The Ducks travel program runs out of Protec Ponds Ice Center in Somerset, NJ.  The centrally located home rink is right off of Rt. 287 Exit 10 on Worlds Fair Drive.

The ProtecHockey Ducks Travel Program started in September-2008 as an independent organization whose goal was the development of youth hockey players. For the 2009-2010 seasons, the Ducks were granted probationary membership in the New Jersey Youth Hockey League (NJYHL). The Ducks have now been full-time members of the NJYHL since the 2010-2011 season.

In 2015-16, the Protec Ducks announced for the first time, their membership in the Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League (EJEPL).  Going forward, all “AA” teams will have the opportunity to participate in this league in addition to the NJYHL.

Player placement for the Protec Ducks Travel Teams is decided at our annual tryouts that begin each season in April. Each player will be evaluated during 3 training sessions. We will field teams from Mite through Midget at these tryouts.

After being accepted onto a Ducks team,  players receive discounts on Protec Ponds  clinics and Summer Hockey Camps. Teams typically assemble in August for training camp.  Midgets may begin practice earlier due to the “short season” nature of the NJYHL Midget program.