Atlantic Youth Hockey League



The AYHL is proud to announce that the Maryland Black Bears signed their first tender to U18 Mercer Chiefs AAA Forward, Jude Kurtas on November 17th, 2018. The tender signing secures the Black Bears the NAHL rights to Jude Kurtas for next year’s 2019/2020 season.  The Mercer Chiefs are the direct youth affiliate of the Maryland Black Bears (NAHL) and the Youngstown Phantoms (USHL).


 The 5’10, 160 pound right-handed forward has shown a lot of potential during his youth hockey career. The Dunellen, New Jersey, native has scored 5 goals and 2 assists through 10 games with Mercer Chiefs so far. Jude put up 38 points last year at U16 tier one. He also was selected to the league U16 All Star game. Jude put up 63 points in 21 high school hockey games last year (31 goals, 32 assists) playing for Hillsborough High school. He recorded the most points out of any sophomore in the state of New Jersey for high school hockey last season.


“I have seen Jude grow as a player and as a person the last few years. He always was an elite skater with great hands, but he has grown into a complete player.  He has the potential to be a very special player if he keeps pushing himself off and, on the ice,” said Rob Broderick, Chiefs GM and Black Bears scout. “This is well deserved and a big congratulations to Jude and the Black Bear organization has a good one!”


 Kurtas will attend the Black Bears main camp next summer to compete for a roster spot.


The Atlantic Youth Hockey League is the USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier I AAA youth hockey league of the Atlantic District. From Connecticut to Maryland, the AYHL’s membership is comprised of over 100 teams, representing four districts, and is spread across six playing divisions. The AYHL’s mission is to develop young players with competition, fun, and good sportsmanship, and move them on to the next phase of their hockey career. With a distinguished alumni list of players that spent a portion of their playing career in the AYHL, today’s players choose to play in the AYHL knowing that it is a proven stepping stone for those serious in their hockey pursuits.




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