Playing Hockey in Evanston
The Junior Wildkits, Evanston Hockey and the City of Evanston Parks & Recreation Division offer programs to develop hockey players through a five-step process, from lacing up your skates for the first time to taking the ice as an Evanston Hockey high school Varsity player and beyond.
The City of Evanston administers the programs outlined in steps 1-3; the Evanston Youth Hockey Association (EYHA) administers travel and house league programs as well as high school JV and Varsity programs outlined in steps 4-5.
Step 1: Learn to Skate Hockey / Basic Hockey Skills I-IV
[Ages: 5 - 12]
For kids that want to play hockey but do not know how to skate or are not yet confident skaters. Kids learn basic hockey skating skills; hockey stop, forwards edgework, backwards edgework, power skating, crossovers and turns. [see Evanston Life guide from the City of Evanston]
Step 2: Hockey Skills
[Ages: 6 - 10]
For kids that want to play hockey and are confident skaters. Kids learn basic hockey skills, puck handling, passing and shooting. [see Evanston Life guide from the City of Evanston]
Step 3: Mighty Mites
[Ages: 4 - 6]
The Mighty Mites program allows young participants to play before they are old enough for the Evanston Hockey house league Mite level. [see Evanston Life guide from the City of Evanston]
Step 4: Mites
[Ages: Typically 6 - 8 -- levels determined by birth year, not age]
At the Mite level only, the travel and house programs in Evanston are separate. The travel program -- for those interested in a higher competition level and full-ice games -- is run by the Junior Wildkits. The house program -- for those interested in a competitive recreational level and in-house, half-ice games -- is run by Evanston Hockey.
See our House / Travel Comparison chart for additional details.
- Junior Wildkits -- Mite Travel Program
Mastering basic skills and team concepts while learning advanced hockey skills and team concepts. Skills developed through drills and competitive league play against other programs from northern Illinois in the Chicago United Hockey League.
- Evanston Hockey -- Mite House Program
Mastering basic skills and team concepts while beginning to learn advanced hockey skills and team concepts. Skills developed through weekly practice and in-house, cross-ice games against other Evanston house players. [more info]
Step 5: Squirts / PeeWees / Bantams
[Ages: Typically 9 - 14 -- levels determined by birth year, not age]
Starting at the Squirt level, all programs are run by Evanston Hockey.
- Evanston Hockey -- Travel Program
Mastering basic skills and team concepts while learning advanced hockey skills and team concepts. Skills developed through drills and competitive league play against other programs in the Northern Illinois Hockey League.
- Evanston Hockey -- House Program
Kids will continue to develop basic skills while learning to play the game as a team. Team drills and concepts are introduced and progress through recreational and local league play against other programs in the North Shore Youth Hockey League.
Learn more about the difference between travel and house hockey programs from Evanston Hockey.
Step 6: Evanston Wildkits High School Hockey
Play for your high school team. Use skills and team concepts developed through the above model and play hockey at a fast and physical pace.
If you have any questions about the Junior Wildkits program, please email email@example.com For questions about the Evanston Hockey program, please