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Youth Travel Hockey

Our Youth Travel program is designed for players who want to make a serious commitment to the game of hockey. Travel teams get more ice time and travel to other rinks to participate in appropriately balanced competition. The WHA fields multiple travel teams at the Squirt, Pee Wee and Bantam  levels and competes in the Northern Illinois Hockey League (NIHL).  WHA also fields multiple Girls Only teams.

You get tons of ice time; typically 4 or more times a week: 

  • 2 to 3 Weekly on Ice practices (a mix of ADM Skills & Team practices)
  • Weekly Goalie Clinics  
  • 30-40 Games (Seeding Rounds, Regular Season, Playoffs, Friendly Games)  
  • 2-3 Tournaments (at least 1 is out of state)
  • Outdoor "Friendly" Games (Weather Dependent) 

Additional Features of The Program:

  • Support for multi-sport athletes
  • Super Convenient ice times
  • Elite Skills Directors
  • Cutting Edge Video Instruction
  • Emphasis on building life skills through hockey
  • Team sizes that maximizes player development and ice time 

The majority of on ice events will take place at Wilmette Centennial Ice Arena, with additional events held at North Shore Ice Arena (NSIA).  

For the 2020-2021 season, the WHA is excited to announce that the WHA was awarded a Central States Developmental Hockey League Pee Wee Major team (2008 birth year).  For more information, visit our Central States page.

For less experienced players, WHA also offers House (Recreational) Hockey at all levels.  

2020/2021 Coaching Lineup

Mite 1 Tim Benz Head Coach
Mite 1 Steve Tucker Assistant Coach
Mite 2 Bill Martin Head Coach
Mite 2 Katy Shadek Assistant Coach
Mite 2 Pihl Bedella Assistant Coach
Mite 3 John Eichelberger Head Coach
Mite 3 Christian De Lanueze Assistant Coach
Squirt 1 Tim Benz Head Coach
Squirt 1 Chris Benz Assistant Coach
Squirt 1 Greg Benz Assistant Coach
Squirt 2 Andy Flakus Head Coach
Squirt 2 Steve Pointer Assistant Coach
Squirt 3 Scott Peach Head Coach
Squirt 3 Henry Hearon Assistant Coach
Squirt 4 Michael Strening Head Coach
Squirt 4 Steve Pointer Assistant Coach
Peewee CS Brad McMahon Head Coach
Peewee CS Ethan Austin Assistant Coach
Peewee CS Michael Rooney Assistant Coach
Peewee 1 Anthony Booth Head Coach
Peewee 1 Dan Braband Assistant Coach
Peewee 1 Blake Klippel Assistant Coach
Peewee 2 Randy Schlesinger Head Coach
Peewee 2 Andreas Georgiadis Assistant Coach
Peewee 2 Luke Anderson Assistant Coach
Peewee 3 Jeremy Ellis Head Coach
Peewee 3 Nick Katz Assistant Coach
Bantam 1 Anthony Booth Head Coach
Bantam 1 Blake Klippel Assistant Coach
Bantam 1 Tony Rachevsky Assistant Coach
Bantam 2 Randy Schlesinger Head Coach
Bantam 2 Carl Johanson Assistant Coach
Bantam 2 Fernando Vian Assistant Coach
Midget U16 Bill Martin Head Coach
Midget U16 Jeremy Ellis Assistant Coach
Midget U16 Tony Rachevsky Assistant Coach
Girls U10 Ali Griffin Head Coach
Girls U10 Henry Hearon Assistant Coach
Girls U12 Nick Ponce de Leon Head Coach
Girls U12 Giselle Medina Assistant Coach
Girls U14 "Ponce" Nick Ponce de Leon Head Coach
Girls U14 "Ponce" Michael Rooney Assistant Coach
Girls U14 "Braband" Dan Braband Head Coach
Girls U14 "Braband" Juliana Tarantino Assistant Coach
Girls U19 Pat Conoboy Head Coach
Girls U19 Nick Ponce de Leon Assistant Coach
Girls U19 Ali Griffin Assistant Coach

Wilmette Girls Hockey

Do you have a girl interested in playing travel hockey?

More About Our Program

The following sets forth the level each player is eligible to participate in based upon such participant’s birthdate.  If your player is a Mite Level Player visit the Wilmette Tribe Website.

Level Birth Date Between
Mite/  U8 2012 and Under
Squirt/ U10 2010 and 2011
Peewee/ U12 2008 and 2009
Bantam/ U14 2006 and 2007
Midget/ U16 2004 and 2005
Girls U8 2012 and Under
Girls U10 2010 and Under
Girls U12 2008 and 2009
Girls U14

2006 and 2007

Girls U19 2001 and 2005

Questions? Contact:

Bill Cannon

Travel Director- Bantam, Midgets

Chris Pauly

Assistant Travel Director - Pee Wee

Tim Joyce

Assistant Travel Director - Squirts


Goalies are the anchor of each team and vital to success.  Goalies receive:

  • Goalie Clinics occurring throughout the regular season
  • Up to a 36% discount from Skater registration fees  (Varies by level)  
  • Professional Goalie Coaches 2 times a week

Tryout Process

Individual players have ambition and want to make the highest playing level team possible. Players that earn that opportunity will be provided that opportunity.  Thus, at each tryout, the opportunity to make the highest playing level team is afforded to all players--equally.  Using all of our resources, our coaches will attempt to choose and place the most competitive team as possible. 

Click here to review criteria used to determine player placement.

 All Squirts and Pee Wees skaters competing for  AA teams ("Team 1") should plan to attend tryouts on September 3, 4, and 5. While not restricted, only players with a reasonable possibility of making this top team should attend the AA tryout.

  • Players not competing for the AA team or those who were not selected for AA in the first round at Squirt and Pee Wee level should plan to attend A team tryouts on September 7 and 8.
  • Players and parents must arrive early for the first tryout session for check-in/ pinney assignment (keep the same pinney for all try out session/ return at the end of Try Outs.)
  • Tryout viewing is closed to non-WHA staff. The purpose of this policy is to allow the players, coaches and evaluators to conduct their work in a less stressful environment.
  • Team rosters will be e-mailed shortly after tryouts conclude.

Team Declaration Policy:

WHA Team tryout declarations (i.e. your child is only trying out for the first “AA” or 'CS' team and would decline a position on the second “A” team) are reviewed and approved by club Directors.  If you would like to make a declaration for your child, please submit this form. An acknowledgement will be sent once the declaration is accepted. 

In order to preserve an unbiased Try Out system, team declarations are strictly confidential. Do not share this information with any WHA Club members, parents or team coaches. Failure to abide by this confidentiality agreement will result in a forfeit of the policy benefits and no refund.

If notification is properly received and player is not placed on desired team, player will be assessed the tryout/conditioning fee and the 7.5% transaction fee only.

Travel Hockey Fees

Fees include: Helmet Decals, Professional Coaching and Ice Time:

  • Tryout and Pre-Season Conditioning Fee  $325
  • NIHL Youth League Fees
    • Squirts : Skater $4,700 Goalie $3,000
    • Pee Wee: Skater $4,700 Goalie $3,000
    • Bantams:  Skater $4,800 Goalie $3,500 
  • Central States Fees
  • Girls / Double Roster Fees 

Pricing includes a $50 discount for 'Paid in Full price'.  A three installment payment plan is also available. Third child travel player discount is available. 

In addition, each Travel team will collect an 'Expense fund' (approximately $200-400 per player) to cover team expenses (team functions outside the rink, coach's gifts, etc).

Travel expenses to out of state tournaments, and uniform/jerseys costs are not included as part of the league fees and is the responsibility of each player.

The WHA will evaluate requests for financial aid on a case by case basis for hardship situations. Please contact the WHA President in writing with any requests. 

Tryout Fee: Each player attending the Pre-Season Conditioning Clinics and/or Tryouts will be required to pay a non-refundable [$325.00] Tryout Fee. This fee must be paid prior to any player taking the ice at clinics or tryouts. This is a flat fee and will not be pro-rated based upon the number of sessions attended. The Tryout fee will not be credited against the Registration Fees.

View the WHA Refund Policy.

Jerseys & Equipment

All Players must have a set of WHA Travel Jerseys (Home and Away) and Socks.  If you are new to the program and still need to order, you must visit the Wilmette Bike Shop by August 15th for a fitting and to place your order.  Be sure to bring your player and his/her shoulder and elbow pads for the proper fit.  If you are unable to bring your player to the Bike shop, we recommend you bring in a well fitting practice jersey to compare sizes.

Full equipment is required 

All players MUST have the following equipment to take the ice for any practice, clinic or game:

  • HECC certified helmet with full face mask
  • Shoulder pads
  • Elbow pads
  • Shin guards
  • Cup and supporter for boys or pelvic protector for girls
  • Stick
  • Gloves
  • Hockey pants
  • Hockey socks 
  • Properly fitted and sharpened skates
  • Mouth guard
  • Neck guard  

USA Hockey Membership

The Wilmette Hockey Association is a member of AHAI (Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois, a USA Hockey affiliate). 

Participation in our club requires a USA Hockey membership. USA Hockey membership, among other items, provides a comprehensive insurance program and provides protection for athletes while participating in competitions and practices.

USA Hockey annual membership is $40.  

Membership expire annually on August 31st. You must have a valid membership that goes thru August 31st, 2020  to register. If you purchased your membership after April 1st (for the Spring season), your membership is good until August 31st, 2020.

Register here for your USA Hockey membership.   

You must have a valid USA Hockey number prior to getting on the ice (including conditioning and tryouts).

Additional Policies

All players, coaches and their families/spectators must agree and follow the club's Code of Conduct and Locker Room policy:

Many WHA players also participate in other fall sports. And we're supporters of it! See this document to get information on our perspective as well as our policies related to schedule conflicts with other sports. 

Two Choice Rule: AHAI Club Declaration Rule :

Travel Tier II hockey players in Illinois can skate for two organizations in their Mite through Bantam playing careers. The first Tier II organization your skater plays for becomes your first choice. You will have only one other opportunity (choice) to play for another travel Tier II organization through the Bantam level. All players and parents will be required to sign a "Two-Choice" Declaration Form when placed on a team.