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Important Announcement: This Website Is No Longer Being Updated

August 30, 2020

The Wilmette Tribe is operating as the Wilmette Junior Braves.  

This website will no longer be updated

Please visit the WHA website and the Jr. Braves program page to learn more about hockey in Wilmette and the Mite program, in particular.  

Junior Braves House League Registration Is Open - Visit WHA Website

August 30, 2020

Please visit the Junior Braves Program Page at for information about the Mite House League.  

Conditioning starts September 19.  

Register today!

Mite Travel Rosters Have Been Published

August 28, 2020

The Junior Braves Mite Travel Rosters have been published at the Mite Program Page of the Wilmette Hockey Association:


M1 Coaching Announcement and Reminder for Travel Conditioning

August 14, 2020

Hockey Director Tim Benz will coach M1 Travel this Fall.

Reminder - Mite Travel Conditioning starts tomorrow!

Conditioning Schedule:

  • Saturday 8/15 - 8:10 am, North Shore Ice Arena
  • Sunday 8/16 - 8:10 am, North Shore Ice Arena
  • Saturday 8/22 - 3:10 pm, North Shore Ice Arena
  • Sunday 8/23 - 12:50 pm, North Shore Ice Arena

Tryout Schedule:

  • Tuesday 8/25 - 5:30pm North Shore Ice Arena
  • Thursday 8/27 - 5:40pm North Shore Ice Arena

Go Jr. Braves!

Travel Tryout Registration Reminder & Coaching Update

August 11, 2020

Jr. Braves Parents,

This is a reminder that registration is now open for 2020/21 Travel Hockey. Clink the link to register your child today. Conditioning clinics start this weekend. They are not mandatory but a great way to knock the rust off your skater's legs.

On another note, Coach Joe Heaton has taken a position with Evanston Hockey.

The WHA Board wishes Joe all the best with his new club and sincerely thanks him for his time and dedication to Wilmette Hockey. His passion for hockey has undoubtedly had a positive impact on our club over the past decade and will be felt for years to come.

WHA is pleased to announce that John Eichelberger will take over as the Mite 3 coach. John grew up in the area, played on the US U18 National Team and at the University of Wisconsin. He was a draft pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in 2000 and played professionally in the ECHL. WHA is honored to have John step up to this role.

WHA Hockey Director Tim Benz will take over the House Mite Skills Program.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the WHA Board or Hockey Director Tim Benz.

Go Jr. Braves!

WHA Board

2020/2021 Mite Travel Registration Is Now Open

August 9, 2020

Dear Wilmette Jr. Braves Players and Families,

We hope you are having a safe and enjoyable summer. The Wilmette Hockey Association (WHA) is excited about welcoming all players for the 2020-2021 season. Please know that in preparing for this season, we have been working closely with USA Hockey, the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois (AHAI), the Chicago United Hockey League and the Illinois Department of Public Health to help us create a safe, valuable and fun experience for our players.

COVID-19 Update

The health and safety of our athletes, staff, coaches and families is our highest priority. WHA is mandated to follow the guidelines and requirements of the organizations mentioned above to safely run our programming. As of this writing, we are taking these actions to keep our players safe:

  • Requiring players to wear masks into and out of the rink
  • Limiting the number of players on the ice at any given time according to state guidelines
  • Implementing drill spacing as much as possible to reduce physical distance between players
  • Limiting the number of spectators inside Centennial Ice Rink and North Shore Ice Arena

As the situation with COVID-19 is constantly in flux, we may have to make some adjustments along the way and we ask for your patience, understanding and support. We are committed to working through these challenges and the continued delivery of a program which focuses on player development.

What’s New at WHA

We are committed to delivering a program which focuses on player development and creating a positive experience for our families. There are lot of new things in store!

Back in February, Tim Benz joined us as our Hockey Director. Since then, he has been working hard to redesign our programs, taking into consideration your valuable feedback. He’s assembled an excellent coaching staff that includes both familiar and new names. Some of new things you’ll see this season:

  • Enhanced youth program offering – from Mites through Midgets – as well as our successful Girls program
  • Incorporation of the Mite program under the Braves umbrella as the Wilmette Junior Braves (formerly Wilmette Tribe)
  • Focus on player development across all levels – House League, NIHL and CSDHL
  • Off-ice training at the Travel level

Registration for Travel Is Now Open

Registration for the 2020-2021 Mire Travel  season is now open. (Mite House Registration will open shortly.)  

Please use this link to register for Jr. Braves Travel Mites.

Go Jr. Braves!!!

Tim Benz

WHA Hockey Director

Dennis McGreal

WHA President

Try Goalie for Free Program

August 9, 2020

Hello Jr. Braves Families!

The WHA will be hosting a Try Goalie for Free Program on Saturday August 16th 9:20am at North Shore Ice Arena. The session will be led by Stu Gould the owner of Good as Gould goalie schools and the WHA's new lead Goalie Instructor.

There will be goalie gear provided by the WHA for players to use during the skate.  Please sign up via this SignUp Genius link:


Thank You,

Tim Benz 

Wilmette Hockey Director

Fall Conditioning and Tryout Schedule/Coaching Lineup

August 9, 2020 (updated August 14, 2020)

Mite Conditioning & Tryouts (for players born in 2012, 2013, 2014, or 2015)

Conditioning Clinics:

  • Saturday 8/15 - 8:10am North Shore Ice Arena
  • Sunday 8/16 - 8:10am North Shore Ice Arena
  • Saturday 8/22 - 3:10pm North Shore Ice Arena
  • Sunday 8/23 - 12:50pm North Shore Ice Arena


  • Tuesday 8/25 - 5:30pm North Shore Ice Arena
  • Thursday 8/27 - 5:40pm North Shore Ice Arena

Fall Coaching Lineup:

  • Mite 1:  Tim Benz
  • Mite 2:  Bill Martin
  • Mite 3:  John Eichelberger
  • House Skills:  Tim Benz

Registration will open soon.  Stay tuned.


August 7, 2020

Hello WHA Families,

I am writing to you all to ensure that we are planning on providing the best possible hockey program we can amidst the governor's all sport guidelines.  As communicated before, we are going to proceed with conditioning and tryouts as scheduled.  As of August 6th, Central States, NIHL and CUHL scheduling will be moving forward as planned.  The stance of the leagues is that they and their members want to be prepared to play a regular season as they are optimistic about plans changing for the better in the near future.  AHAI has notified the clubs that they have a team in place that is working on modifications to the classification of youth hockey in the Sports Safety Guidance with the goal of enabling competitive games to be played.  

For the WHA travel teams, if we are not allowed to play games we have developed a program that will allow at a minimum 3 ice touches and 1 dryland session on a weekly basis.  The 3 ice touches would include 1 skill session, 1 split ice practice and 1 full ice practice per team.  The full ice practice for each team is going to be important as we want to ensure that our teams have all systems in place when we are allowed to play games.  When we are able to play games, we will proceed with our regularly scheduled programming.

The WHA house league is planning on moving forward as well.  The house teams will still receive the same amount of ice touches on the weekends as originally planned.

There are still many unknowns at the moment and plans may change, however we do want to ensure our membership that we are working diligently to provide the best possible programming we can.  

Thank You,

Tim Benz

Wilmette Hockey Director

Club Announcement and New Board

August 4, 2020

Dear Tribe Families:


As some of you are aware by now the WHA board has elected to make some small but effective changes. Going forward our mite program will no longer be known as the Wilmette Tribe. We will be known as the Wilmette Jr. Braves. For years it has appeared that the Tribe and WHA are two separate clubs when in fact that was hardly the case. The two different names created confusion for families that are new to the club. The Wilmette Tribe board worked in conjunction with the WHA board to provide the best possible hockey experience for the children. In reviewing our processes this past season it was noted that several redundancies occur within the two boards. To make us more operationally efficient we decided it was time to bring the two clubs back together as one. This will make us a stronger club overall by having all interests aligned. 

Listed below are the 2020/2021 board member for the WHA. Please note that some positions are still available. This is a chance to have a say in your child(ren)’s hockey experience here at Wilmette Hockey. I encourage you to reach out to a board member if you are interested for more details.

President: Dennis McGreal

Vice President: Chris Pauly

Treasurer: Rob Schelp

Secretary: Amy Giannico-Schuster

NIHL Rep: Heidi Delduchetto

Registrar: Drew Srichandra

Mite Level Director: Bill Voller

Asst Mite Level Director: Position Open (please note this is not a board voting position)

Squirt Level Director: Position Open

Peewee Level Director: Steve Tucker

Bantam Level Director: Chris Pauly

Girls Director: Jane Boyle

Girls Asst. Director: Position Open

Website: Chad Anderson

Board Rules and Ethics: Chad McGinn (chairman)

Board Rules and Ethics: Chad Giese

Board Rules and Ethics: Matt Delduchetto

Board Member At Large: Bill Cannon

The board would like to thank all the parents for your patience these past few months concerning the COVID pandemic. We understand that many of you have questions and we at the board would ask you continue to be patient. 

The WHA will be moving forward with the start of the season in accordance with new guidelines. Travel conditioning clinics will begin and tryouts will be held to form teams as outlined in the season start-up schedule posted on the WHA website. Once teams are formed they will be able to hold non-contact practices and skills sessions prior to the start of scrimmages and games in the future. This provides a great opportunity for our hockey director Tim Benz and our coaches to implement many of the changes planned for the upcoming season in advance of playing games.

Registration will be open soon for both House and Travel 2020/2021 season. 




Wilmette Hockey Association Board




2020 Summer Program

May 26, 2020

We are excited to announce our 2020 summer program. We have been working hard with both Centennial Ice Arena and North Shore Ice Arena to ensure that all safety precautions can be met. Per the state’s orders, our program will allow for 10 or less people in a gathering at one time. For our purposes, this will allow for 9 skaters and 1 coach on each half of a full sheet of ice. If a skate is on the studio ice it will again allow for 9 skaters and 1 coach. The program will focus on individual player and skill development. It will be organized and modeled by hockey director Tim Benz. Tim and the WHA coaching staff will run the clinics throughout the summer.

We have gone ahead and reserved an ample amount of ice which we believe will accommodate the entire club. We can accommodate everyone by breaking down the club by birth year. Our program will consist of a 6-week program that will have 2 skates a week per birth year. We will do our best to keep all birth years together but may have to adjust depending on the number of registrations per birth year. These adjustments will be made to keep the gathering of 10 rule in place.

Once the final schedule is released, assume your player is to attend their birth year skate. If a specific birth year is over the 18-player limit, the hockey director will contact families and ask if they can switch times to skate with another birth year.

Goaltenders are encouraged to sign up as well. They are included in the group of 10 number on the ice. Coaches will be instructed to provide feedback to the goaltenders as well. Similar to the skaters, if multiple goalies are registered at a specific birth year, the hockey director will assign some to a different birth year. If we find ourselves with excess ice over the summer, we will organize some goalie specific clinics.

Registration will open in the next few days. Cost for the summer program will be $450 for skaters and $225 for goalies. Please go to for more information and registration.

COVID-19 Update

April 13, 2020

Dear Tribe Families,

We wanted to give you an update on the plan for the WHA/Tribe Spring Hockey Program.

On Thursday, April 9, 2020 the WHA Board and staff held a meeting to review all the current options for the spring program. We have been in contact with the Wilmette Park District, North Shore Ice Arena, AHAI, and our neighboring clubs. Everyone remains on hold at this time.  As soon as the “stay at home” order is lifted in Illinois, both rinks have indicated the ice will be available for our use.  The current order is scheduled to be lifted on April 30, 2020, but obviously that is subject to change.   

The Board has decided to wait on making a final decision on the Spring program. We are trying to do everything possible to provide a spring program for our players in this rapidly changing environment.  We have put together a revised spring schedule from May 1st to June 6th, with three (3) skates per week.  If we unable to start by May 1st, the spring program will be cancelled, and all fees will be refunded. 

We are also finalizing the details for a summer program run by Hockey Director Tim Benz with the emphasis on skills and player development.  The summer program will offer two (2) skates a week at each level.  More information on the summer program will be coming soon.

All of us in the hockey community are eager to get our players back on the ice as soon as possible, but our top priority at the Tribe remains the safety of our players and families. We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.  Thank you and stay safe. 

Rob Schelp
President, Wilmette Tribe

President's Update

MARCH 22, 2020

As you know, the COVID - 19 situation has become more serious in our community and throughout the State of Illinois. Governor Pritzker’s statewide stay-at -home order has shut down all non-essential business, travel and other activities until April 7, 2020. As a result, the Tribe Spring Program will now be suspended until at least April 7, 2020 and will remain suspended until it is safe to resume. We continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide you with most accurate information possible on the status of the WHA Spring Program. While it remains our intention to resume spring hockey as soon as it is safe, it’s also possible that the program could be modified or even cancelled.

We expect to provide a full spring schedule if we are able to start by April 20, 2020. If the delays continue past April 20 th , we may be required to modify the schedule or in the worst-case scenario cancel the spring program. If the spring program is reduced or cancelled, families will receive the appropriate refunds. 

To help our players get some exercise and skill work during the shutdown, Hockey Director Tim Benz is creating some “quarantine” Video’s for the driveway or basement.

Tim is also issuing a series of player “challenges” during the shutdown. The first is the “100 shot challenge”, where players practice by taking 100 shots on goal in a 3-day period. If the challenge is not completed in the allotted time, you must start over. If your player completes the challenge send an e-mail to with the players name and “challenge 1 completed” and your player will be recognized at the first skills session.
The links for the first two videos are:  

Stay safe and healthy.
Rob Schelp
Tribe President

President's Update

March 14th, 2020
As we monitor the COVID-19 situation, our primary concern is the safety of our hockey players and families. We continue to monitor the situation in our community to assure that we make the best decisions for our program and the safety of our hockey families and the community at large.

At this time, we are suspending the Wilmette Tribe Spring Travel and House Hockey Programs until March 30, 2020. Prior to March 30, 2020 we will provide you with an update and revised spring schedule. While it is our intention to resume spring hockey as soon as it is safe to do so, it is possible the delay could last longer. If the delay continues into April, we are confident we can still have a full spring schedule. In the event of a shortened spring schedule, families will receive the appropriate prorated refunds. Regarding our Travel program, we are also in contact with the spring tournaments and will provide updates to the applicable families as information becomes available. 

If your House or Travel player participates in any hockey activities while the Tribe Spring Programs are on hold, please ensure that they use their own water bottles and follow all the recommended safety precautions in and around the applicable rinks. Please note that the North Shore Ice Arena (NSIA) remains open and has instituted a sanitizing policy in the locker rooms and common areas. 

Thank you for your support, patience and understanding as we navigate through these difficult and complicated circumstances. 

Rob Schelp
Wilmette Tribe President

Coronavirus COVID-19 Update

Dear Tribe families,

We have just been informed that Centennial Ice rink will be closed and until further notice.  

Please note, player, parent and coach safety is our top priority. With that said, the Tribe spring program has been temporarily suspended until further notice. We hope to resume the program as soon as possible.  We hope to have a full spring program with the start being delayed.  The WHA board of directors will be holding an emergency meeting tomorrow and will update you in the near future.  As information develops, we will keep you posted with updates.

Tim Benz
WHA Hockey Director

Wilmette Tribe Hockey Club for Ages 4-8 (Mites)


Looking for Youth Hockey (Ages 9 & Up) visit the Wilmette Braves Hockey Association.    

Spring Practice Times

Below are the times for the first few spring practices. 

Mite 1
Week 1
Tuesday 3/17 - Practice 5:25pm @ Centennial
Wednesday 3/18 - Goalie Clinic 5:50pm @ NSIA 
Friday 3/20 - Mite Skills 4:00pm @ Centennial

Week 2
Tuesday 3/31 - Practice 5:25pm @ Centennial
Wednesday 4/1 - Goalie Clinic 5:50pm @ NSIA 
Friday 4/3 - Mite Skills 4:00pm @ Centennial

Mite 2
Week 1
Tuesday 3/17 - Practice 5:25pm @ Centennial
Wednesday 3/18 - Goalie Clinic 5:50pm @ NSIA 
Friday 3/20 - Mite Skills 4:00pm @ Centennial

Week 2
Tuesday 3/31 - Practice 5:25pm @ Centennial
Wednesday 4/1 - Goalie Clinic 5:50pm @ NSIA 
Friday 4/3 - Mite Skills 4:00pm @ Centennial

Spring Travel Rosters

Spring Travel Rosters can be found here.

Spring House

Spring House registration is open. 

Click here to register.  Go to the Spring House Home Page for more information regarding spring travel. 

Wilmette Tribe Mite House Travel League is for players aged 4-8 (birth year 2012 and younger).  

If your player is birth year 2011 or older, they are now considered Squirts. Please visit the Wilmette Braves Hockey Club for Squirts and other youth leagues.


Spring Travel

Spring Travel registration is open. 

Click here to register.  Go to the Spring Travel Home Page for more information regarding spring travel. 

Wilmette Tribe Mite House Travel League is for players aged 6-8 (birth year 2012 and younger).  

For Spring Devo and Mite House League, please visit the Spring House pageIf your player is birth year 2011 or older, they are now considered Squirts. Please visit the Wilmette Braves Hockey Club for Squirts and other youth leagues.




Fall Travel Information.

Register here! 


Sunday, August 25 (Mandatory)

6:30 pm to 8:00 pm:  All Parents Meeting – Tribe and Braves

Wilmette Community Center, 3000 Glenview Rd, Wilmette, IL 60091

Introducing the Coaches and Presenting our operating guidelines to the parents.

Player Skill and Team hockey curriculum discussions will be scheduled (and method for distribution) shortly.

Is Travel Right for Me?

By Tom Finks, Director of Coaching Operations 07/26/2018, 9:00pm CDT


As a child enters hockey, our first priority is to build GENUINE confidence,  basic fundamental skills and a love for the game. 
Early on, we want kids constantly "graduating" --constantly collecting positive experiences in order to develop into passionate hockey players.
We always want to promote (as opposed to demote) in the early stages. 
These positive experiences are essential. And patience is critical.
Entering travel fall/winter travel hockey too soon can often lead to a counter productive experience--sometimes resulting in early retirement from a player that was pushed too hard too soon.   Hockey becomes consuming and frustrating rather then fun and productive. 
Please keep in mind Fall/Winter Travel Hockey is much more competitive than spring.
If your child is highly ambitious but not ready for travel, choose House League Hockey and add other sports to his/her menu.  This is a great and productive option.
Multi-sport experiences provide tremendous athletic, psychological and life-style advantages that provide big payoffs down the road. Hockey players with soccer, flag football and basketball experience gain athletic skills, develop a full range of coordination and learn concepts that apply directly to the game of hockey.   Ask any of your hockey coach leaders.  Down the road, the best hockey players are always the multi-sport athletes. 
In sum, for the long term, you cannot lose.  Or maybe more directly--your child will not "fall behind."
If a child is ready for travel--great!  Let's go.  
If a child is not ready for travel, House league hockey will get him/her there and you will have the opportunity to play and learn through other sports..
Both choices with pay off with a happy, productive young athlete with a great future in hockey.
If you have specific questions about your child, please consult with our House League Coaching Director Joe Heaton at the contact below.

Train with Joe Heaton

By Wilmette Tribe 05/02/2018, 3:30pm CDT

Coach Joe is offering private and group skates, levels House to AAA, at Centennial from 6:00am - 9:00am most week days,(additional times available over the summer).   Contact him directly for details; or find him on Facebook at Heaton Hockey.  


We are also happy to announce that he has taken a position with the Wilmette Park District as a hockey instructor and is teaching many of the park district hockey classes (Mondays, Wednesdays & Thursdays at Centennial).  

Mite 1 player Charles Dion represents the Wilmette Tribe during the National Anthem at the Blackhawks vs Ducks game

Mite 1 D2 Spring Glacier Invitational Champions

Mite 1 player Jack O'Dell represented the Wilmette Tribe during the national anthem at the Jan 5th Blackhawks vs Knights game.

Coach Rafe Aybar Being Honored by Wilmette Hockey for his years of contribution to youth hockey and his induction into the IL Hockey Hall of Fame.