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Thread: Want to play Ice Hockey in the New Zealand National League ?

  1. #1
    IHF Member nzice's Avatar
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    New Zealand Want to play Ice Hockey in the New Zealand National League ?

    This Thread provides information for players, coaches and referees interested in NZ Ice Hockey , the National League and the Teams in the National League - this sticky post will be work in progress as questions get asked - so ask away and i will try and answer. The information below is updated for 2013 season.

    The NZ National Ice Hockey league (NZIHL) is the top amateur Ice Hockey league in New Zealand. Being amateur no payments to players are allowed.
    Depending on team, support to players may given for
    • travel to NZ
    • accommodation
    • ITC payment
    • local travel assistance
    • assistance in finding a job.


    4 imports on each teams game sheet are allowed, no restriction on imports in the squad

    Theres a Wiki entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zea..._Hockey_League which gives some of the history - its a new league that started in 2005 - and has developed and gained momentum.

    Teams can be contacted directly - links to team sites can be found on
    (apologies in advance for the quality and ease of navigation of this website.. ) NZIHL.com

    To assist the links to the 5 teams in the league are

    Southern Stampede here - http://www.southernstampede.co.nz
    Canterbury Red Devils Website here - http://www.reddevils.co.nz
    Botany Swarm Website here - http://www.botanyswarm.co.nz
    Dunedin Thunder here - http://www.dunedinthunder.co.nz
    West Auckland Admirals here - http://www.aucklandadmirals.com/

    Some background that I have previously posted

    The seasons typically runs from May - September.

    Some of the imports were already in NZ - some studying, some working, some both
    Some of the imports came to NZ to study - and hockey was secondary
    Most of the imports came to NZ to play and enjoy NZ (some with the thought that they might eventually live here permanently)
    Imports to the NZIHL have come from
    • Canada
    • Russia
    • Sweden
    • England
    • USA
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • France
    • Finland
    • Czech Republic
    • Estonia
    • Greece
    • Ukraine
    • Hungary


    Frequently these imports may find a family / friend / team member who will have them stay until they have found somewhere to live.
    A number come back (and back..) and some now have permanent residency and some have NZ Passports now.

    The main website is nzihl.com and the about page http://nzihl.com/about.aspx has some details for interested offshore players - and the appropriate way to contact the league is the contacts page on the website http://nzihl.com/contact.aspx
    If you wish to contact a team directly - Auckland (2 teams) Christchurch, Dunedin or Queenstown - the links to these teams are on the main page of the league website.

    Why do we have the imports interested in coming to NZ - a number of reasons..
    - its off season for the northern hemisphere...
    - its a great country and one of the top "destinations" in the world
    - the quality of the hockey seems to be higher than expected
    - and this tends to attracts friends / fellow team mates of people that come to NZ

    What about the locations of each of the teams

    I live in Auckland - but I like and could easily live in Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown.
    All have good access from local airports.

    Auckland (never snows) - largest city in NZ two teams two rinks 1.4 mill people

    Christchurch (snows each year but doesn't settle more much more than a day or 2 (usually) has a strong community - passionate about Christchurch - I have a sister who lives there - and she loves the lifestyle and community. Close (<2hrs) to the ski fields such as Mt Hutt.

    Dunedin (snows regularly each year - doesn't last for long on the ground) has a lively university population - which influences the city - like many university cities. It has a well funded Rink - arguably the best in the country.

    Queenstown (snows regularly on the ground - but unusual to last on the ground for a week) - a tourist mecca of the South Island and prob NZ's #1 tourist destination. Has tourists all year round. Surrounded by Ski Fields, Lakes, Mountains.

    From a tourist perspective http://www.aatravel.co.nz/101/ provides an insight into how NZ'ers rate attractions / destinations

    There's quite a bit of NZIHL Video footage available on the league Slapshot productions do a great job on the videoing and publishing front
    http://www.youtube.com/user/SlapshotProds

    There are also 4-5 Photographers that capture the league - the link to the main flickr site is http://www.flickr.com/photos/nzihf/
    Specifically on the NZIHL - there are good photo records of each year http://www.flickr.com/photos/nzihf/c...7600379319701/
    Last edited by nzice; 25-11-2012 at 03:38.

  2. #2
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    what kind of level is it, when does the season run, and what can import expect to get paid and everyhting?

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    paid?

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    The league has improved quite a bit in the last couple of years.

    In Canadian terms, it is overall probably at a strong Junior B, low-end Junior A level. In U.S. terms, it is probably akin to strong Tier III Jr. A.

    Remember that as an import you need to be better than that, as there are limited import spots per team, and you would be counted on to be one of your team's stars.

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    Understandable, I have been asked to join a team but haven't received detail on what costs are covered and if there is any salary or anything like that, does anybody know?

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    IHF Member nzice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xunearthhxcx View Post
    paid?
    Nope - but some costs may be covered see top of forum

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    IHF Member nzice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canadianhockey89 View Post
    Understandable, I have been asked to join a team but haven't received detail on what costs are covered and if there is any salary or anything like that, does anybody know?
    See top post (updated) on what costs may be covered , but paid, no

  8. #8
    IHF Member nzice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    The league has improved quite a bit in the last couple of years.

    In Canadian terms, it is overall probably at a strong Junior B, low-end Junior A level. In U.S. terms, it is probably akin to strong Tier III Jr. A.

    Remember that as an import you need to be better than that, as there are limited import spots per team, and you would be counted on to be one of your team's stars.
    Thx Marc - you prob have a better idea as I havent watched any of the Domestic league games in Nth America (or Europe..)

  9. #9
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    I might be overestimating the NZ league a bit, but it has improved a lot and in my opinion is at least at a true North American Junior B level at this point.

    There's plenty of YouTube video available, so I encourage everyone to watch (and enjoy), and form their own opinions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by canadianhockey89 View Post
    Understandable, I have been asked to join a team but haven't received detail on what costs are covered and if there is any salary or anything like that, does anybody know?
    Some teams are more successful than others as far as sponsorship goes as well as ticket sales. Depending on the team, the season could be free or costing up to $1000nzd as indicated on some of the teams websites.

    Rules appear to be changing to allow teams to help with travel expenses. This however doesn't mean that every team is in a position to do so. It is still an amateur league and players traditionally pay to play. This is changing though

    Jobs are relatively easy to find with working holiday visas easily acquired assuming you come from a country listed under the scheme. Wages are usually in the $15 per hour and up range depending on your work skill and what type of job you have. Rent can be anywhere from free (if a hockey family takes pity on you) or more realistically $100ish nzd a week. A healthy diet would see a decent size hockey player spend around $100nzd a week as well. Typcally imports earn more than enough working to pay for hockey and living expenses as well as have enough left over to travel with or simply save.

    I can only speak from a Canterbury perspective but with the reduction in imports, one would have virtually no chance of being picked up by the Red Devils with only jr B or jr A experience. The quality of import expectation lifts every year. More so this year with the reduction in numbers. Last season we had players who played at some stage, Sweden Div 1, CHL/ECHL, FHL, VHL (Russia 2). That level would be the minimum starting point to have a realistic shot in Canterbury. Other teams have different needs so best bet is to contact whomever you may want to play for and see what they say.

    Most teams aren't looking at rosters until the new year. People who are interested in December traditionally disappear come March when firm committments are required. There are a couple hundred player requests a year so picking 4 is tough and I don't know many teams who would confirm a player this early when they will have many many more emails to come in the next 3-5 months.

    Hope that helps.

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    Hey guys,

    I hope to bring this thread active a bit.

    My girlfriend and I are thinking of going to New Zealand for a year (from Autumn 2015 or beginning of 2016), and I thought of catching up with hockey again.

    From what I've read what you wrote, their senior league is basically at the level of better U18 teams (?), so I am wondering if someone knows what the New Zealand U20 league level is?

    I'm Swedish (I believe the skill between junior leagues are the same) and stopped playing hockey when I was around 13-14 years old (I'm 18 now). I was not a player with better technique and my play type is more of a power forward/enforcer.

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    I should edit that I am not really a point scorer (I can score and I have a sense for passes but it's not my best parts on the ice), but more of a physical player, therefore I might have a better chance being a 3rd/4th liner on a team. What do you think?

  13. #13
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Looking at the top 10 scorers from last season, they were nearly all Americans and Canadians. The Americans basically all came from the ACHA (non-varsity third and fourth tier university club hockey, equivalent to Jr.B, possibly low-end Jr.A). The two Canadians had different resumes. One did have four full seasons of major junior experience, and one had Canadian Jr.A experience.....neither was an impact player at those levels. I didn't see any players with any level of ECHL, Central League, VHL or similar experience.

    Here are about 20 minutes worth of highlights from the 2013 championship final to give you an idea of the level of play. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2uX1GnZT59Y

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    I am interested in playing in new Zealand this season can someone provide me with some help? I am an American goaltender finishing up in france 2/3. Thank you!

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    My buddy who played a mix of tier 2 and 3 (mostly 3) who decommitted from NCAA III will be headed over there so the comparison of a strong junior b sounds about right.

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