The Player Development League (PDL) can be defined as the youth-version of the NHL, where you will get to experience games in jerseys of famous teams, be interviewed on camera, have insightful statistics, but above all you will get the chance to fight to win and lift the a life-like version of the Stanley Cup.
This project started in 2007 under the name “Games League” and was played only in one division in Pilsen. It is growing every year and currently is in a few European Countries and has a new name identified as the “Player Development League”. Each year it brings hundreds of hockey players closer to what it is like to be a hockey star in the world's most famous hockey league.
The competition is designed according to the NHL model: A real player’s draft, professional-style jerseys, in-game statistics, video interviews with players and also the chance to lift the Stanley Cup. All of this is a great experience for both the players and parents, but also a huge motivating element for the hockey player’s career. It is an extension of the young athlete’s season as it happens in the spring during the real NHL playoffs.
The philosophy of the whole project is based on the experience, motivation and growing self-confidence of young players, because they are able to display their skills, without unnecessary team’s systems.
The maximum team capacity is 13 players and 1 goalie, to give the players a lot of ice time and room to improve. The contest now includes 24 NHL teams (expandable to 32) in six cities (expandable to eight) with a total capacity of 336 players (with possibility of extension to 448).
The Player development league is followed by the All-Star Series which is a selection of the best players in each division from previous years of the Player Development League, who no longer fall into the league’s age category.