Aston, PA — The Philadelphia Little Flyers, members of the Atlantic Youth Hockey League (AYHL) and North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) are proud to announce 18U forward Byron Hartley has signed a tender with the Amarillo Bulls of the North American Hockey League. Hartley, a 2002 birth year forward from Philadelphia, Pa currently sits tied for second in the AYHL leaderboard in points at the 18U level. In ten AYHL games this season the 5’10” forward has scored 10 goals while dishing out 14 assists to lead the Little Flyers offensively to a 7-0-2 record in league play. Hartley currently sits tied for second in the AYHL in points (24), The first year Little Flyer has carried his on ice play to NAPHL events as well. Hartley currently leads all NAPHL players in Goals (17), Points (30) and Game Winning Goals (3).
“This is a true honor and dream come true, I always hoped that this day would come and it has. I just want to say thank you to my family, friends and the entire Little Flyers Organization and coaching staff for helping me get to this point. I know that the real work starts now, and I’m really excited for this opportunity. I’d also like to thank Coach Russo and Coach Lewis from the Amarillo Bulls for giving me the chance to compete and play in the North American Hockey League as a Bull” said Hartley earlier this week upon making the Tender official.
Hartley’s Head Coach Dave Dorman had nothing but great things to say about his star forward’s progress and work ethic that began in the offseason “Byron attended the Amarillo Bulls Main camp, where I was fortunate to be involved this past summer, and there was some interest but nothing serious. It was his play at camp that peaked their interest that put him on their radar. Amarillo and I have been in contact all season and Byron really got off to a great start after a very productive spring and summer of development. It started in late August and early September where he really received some great exposure to the college ranks as well. We were able to get the guys tours with the hockey staff of Merrimack, Boston University, and Harvard through some connections and old relationships. I really believe this is where the light bulb went off and Byron started taking himself and his future much more seriously. He started to see that doing the right things and putting your trust in the right people will lead to good things happening. Byron has literally grown leaps and bounds since the spring and has done everything that has been asked of him. This tender with one of the top Junior programs in the country is only a testament to his work, commitment, and the faith that he has put in our program. I also believe it is only the beginning of great things to come for Byron” said Little Flyers 18U Head Coach Dave Dorman.
The ties between the Little Flyers and Amarillo Bulls organizations run deep as the two organizations have worked closely together in the past to move Little Flyers players to the next level and beyond. Amarillo Bulls Head Coach Rocky Russo, rejuvenated the Little Flyers Junior program as the head coach from 2013-2017, leading the program to a 137-26-9 record while collecting three regular season championships and two EHL finals appearances and putting more than 35 players into NCAA colleges. After Russo returned to Amarillo as the Head Coach, his Little Flyers assistant coach George Lewis took over the head position with the Little Flyers, putting up a 39-9-2 record in his one year as the head coach and a trip to the EHL Frozen Finals. After his one year as the Little Flyers Head Coach, Lewis joined Russo in Amarillo as the Assistant Coach last year. Under the guidance of Russo and Lewis in Amarillo, two Little Flyers Alumni, Alex Peterson and Brett Abdelnour who also played for the duo in Philadelphia made NCAA Division I commitments last season.
On behalf of the entire Little Flyers Organization we congratulate Byron and his family on his signing with the Amarillo Bulls and look forward to Byron to continue to represent the Little Flyers organization.