For the second year in a row the Elite 9 has awarded 5 automatic bids for the ensuing season. Four of the five teams that earned E9 automatic bids for this past season, continued their winning ways and have once again earned a spot in the Elite 9 for the 2016-17 season.
The teams earning an exemption for the second straight year are: Advantage Ice 05, Patriots 05, 06, and 07. Rounding out the elite group of 5 with their first automatic bid, is the Springfield Rifles 2007 team.
The Qualifying tournament will continue to afford BHL teams the opportunity to play into the Elite 9 with 2-4 spots for teams participating in the qualifying tournament.