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It's ALWAYS about the kids!



EYHA registration is now open for all levels 

To plan for evaluations and order the new jersey's on time, registration for all Travel Players closed at midnight FRIDAY AUGUST 26


Registration for Newbees and House Teams are still open

2022-2023 Essex Youth Hockey Registration is now OPEN!!!

Sign up and join our 2022-2023 EYHA family as we celebrate our 50th anniversary!!!  We are honored to be a part of the community for so long and look forward to many more years!

Click on the registration link below, above, or to the left. 

Player Registration 

Can't wait to be back on the ice

Thank you Bruins Learn to Play another great year in the books


The Essex Youth Hockey Association’s mission is to introduce the youth of our area communities to the great game of ice hockey, such that every child, through their participation in the program, can enjoy a positive, character building sports experience while creating a passion for the game.

EYHA believes that through the development of every individual, the collective team benefits from the resulting depth, diversity, and cohesion. This produces a level of confidence that brings success in the competitive hockey environment.

Emphasis will always be placed upon education, personal development, teamwork, and sportsmanship. The individual conduct of board members, coaches, players, and parents will be maintained to ensure a positive culture in which all can honor the sport, and exemplify an organization in which to be proud of.

And above all else… "It’s always about the kids"

About EYHA

Essex Youth Hockey Association provides boys and girls an opportunity to learn about and pursue their interest in the game of hockey. We are a local organization run entirely by parent and community volunteers as board members, coaches, ice schedulers, equipment coordinators and, above all else, fans of kids who love hockey.

EYHA serves the communities of: Essex Junction, Essex, Westford, Jericho, Underhill, Cambridge, Richmond and Milton


RINKS: EYHA primarily skates out of 4 rinks:

Essex Skating Facility (our HOME rink - opening just after Labor Day) 

Waterbury Ice Center 


UVM’s Gutterson Rink 



NewBees (ages 4-7)

  • Beginner skaters
  • Program runs on weekend mornings

HOUSE (ages 6+)

  • Co-Ed skill development in a fun, supportive, environment
  • Skills taught include: 
    • fundamentals of ice skating
    • understanding the game of hockey
  • Program runs weekend mornings

TRAVEL (8U / G8U / 10U / G10U / 12U / G12U / 14U / G14U)

  • Both Co-Ed and Girls teams
  • Evaluation process for team selection (dependent upon team numbers)
  • 2-3 practices weekday evenings
  • 1-2 games weekends (travel generally within VT)
  • 1-2 Tournaments per season (generally within the Northeast)

Mailing Addess


P.O. Box 725

Essex Junction, VT 05453

ADM is the future! Get out and play!!


American Development Model
A plan for long-term athlete development
Endorsed by the National Hockey League
 (click on the picture for more information) 

Changing The Hockey Culture One Shift At A Time



By: Roger Grillo

More cross-ice games and practices, and a greater emphasis on skill development and fun are the backbone of the American Development Model.

The two most important gifts that coaches and parents can give to their players and children are to allow them to develop a true passion for the game and to develop that passion on their terms.
This is why I am involved in USA Hockey’s American Development Model, to help put our kids in an environment that allows them to reach their full potential without losing their innocence. In simpler terms, it’s giving the game back to the kids.

Our game today is too structured and over-coached; we shortcut the development process for “wins.” In previous generations, a player’s passion and creativity was developed on the pond and structure, positioning and team play was taught inside. That is not really an option for our youth players of today.

We need to make sure that we bring the components of the “pond” indoors. It should be our mission to give our kids an environment that allows them to grow a strong passion for the game and gives them multiple opportunities to make mistakes, be creative and learn through trial and error.

The best way for this to happen is using cross-ice or small area games not only to bring the pond inside, but to set up the optimal teaching environment. By allowing our kids to play full-ice hockey in both games and practices, especially at the younger ages, we create an environment that ingrains poor habits that we spend hours at older ages trying to fix.

Full-ice hockey has created generations of players that pace themselves and take two- to three-minute shifts. Scoring chances come solely from individual play, and not from a great pass, support, team play or creativity. It honors the selfish player.

We spend so much time focused on “staying in our lane” and where we stand for a faceoff, that it gets in the way of what the true goal is, and that is giving our young players the proper base of skills and passion that will be at the core of their later success.

We do not hand our children a trombone and ask them to perform in a school concert until they have mastered many of the basic skills, yet in our hockey culture we expect our young athletes to perform on the large stage right away, and we are upset if they are not successful.  

The second big advantage of small area games is that it allows coaches and youth hockey associations to maximize their ice and get as many kids on the ice as possible with as many touches and opportunities in each practice session and game. With the amount of time we spend preparing for a practice and or game (getting dressed, travel to and from the rink) we must make sure that the time spent on the ice is as productive as possible.

Not to mention that at $200 an hour, at the low end, we need to maximize the opportunities. The studies show that one cross-ice game is worth three or four full-ice games in terms of time spent with or at least around the puck, and that a properly run practice is worth five to six games.

Cross-ice or small area games are all too often used at the end of practice as a reward, which is fine, however they can be utilized in so many other positive ways. In fact, I find it best to actually teach skills and concepts through them.

It is important to expose our young players to as many situations in which they are not only challenged physically, but as important that they are forced to use their minds. These games put players in situations where they have to make hockey decisions that have consequences, and they develop their hockey sense along with their physical skills.

Basic full-ice warm-up or skating drills do not help to develop the complete player. Cross- ice and small area games help to develop the intangible skills that allow players to survive when the size, strength and speed playing level is much more even. The ability to know where to go without the puck, and the ability to protect the puck, the ability to make a good hockey decision quickly under pressure are just a few of the critical skills that are developed and needed to play our game.

To me, it is simple. Now is the time to take a hard look at what we are doing and grasp the concepts of the ADM and run with them so we are having a larger impact on the environment that we are placing our players in. 

Roger Grillo is an ADM regional manager for the New England and Massachusetts Districts.

Essex Youth Hockey Learn to Play Program

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