The problem with AAA at any level than maybe 18U, calling kids "elite" is a farce. Players aren't fully mature until 18, and divvying them up in to good, better and best any time before that is for the most part just limiting the future pool of talent, with early birthdays and early bloomers getting picked for size and then getting more development attention -- although, not really, because true development would mean being on the ice 5-6 times a week for practice and a short competition season that preserves health.
That's not what parents generally want: they want meaningless 14U trophies and tearing kids down physically by 16 years old with 365-training and tournaments up and down the east coast. What this system of AAA or AA or any letters at squirts, peewee and bantam does is cherry pick a few savants and early bloomers and discourages any real development. Calling any kid under 18 "elite" is a travesty. And along with weeding out potential late-blooming talent, any travel level prices out the rest, something no league can afford to do these days.
You'd get better development overall by requiring two years of pure skating skills 4-5 days a week (watch the elite figure skaters at your rink, those kids are on the ice 5-6 days a week, 2-3 hours a day, 52 weeks of the year) before even getting a stick, and then putting names in a hat, divvying up players in a rink that way, remove levels and even travel leagues and continuing to offer 4-5 practices a week over a shorter season. Games and statistics should be meaningless before 18.
Anything other than that is a commitment to beer league and losing great potential players to whatever youth sport is cheaper than ice hockey, which is almost everything.