AAA 8U and even 10U and 12U teams only serve to fluff parent egos and empty their pockets. Coaches will cherry pick kids who are early bloomers in size or strength and drop them next season when a different group of kids developed by other coaches shows up who are slightly bigger and stronger. However, by 18, most kids are the same size and strength, but we've lost hundreds of potentially great athletes because at 8, 10 and 12 years old, we've already told them through try outs that they aren't good enough for hockey. There is no such thing as an elite 8, 10, 12 or even 14 or 16 yo in hockey. They haven't even reached near the capability of what they can do, and you can't compare the same kids from one stage of development to another. Again, all you're doing with AAA teams under 15yo is giving up on true skill development to win meaningless "championships." Calling 8-16 year olds "elite" in a late-peaking sport like hockey is the worst of "everyone gets a trophy " mentality.