WESTERN CANADA HOCKEY EXPOSURE CAMP JULY 2-4 (02-05) AND JULY 16-18 (06-07)
Founded in 1964, the AJHL has 15 teams. 8 teams play in the Viterra AJHL North Division and 7 teams play in the Viterra AJHL South Division. League champions are the Brooks Bandits. The Bandits won the National Championship in 2019. The league is generally considered to be one of the top Junior A leagues in Canada. In 2020, the AJHL had 4 players drafted in the NHL Entry Draft. In 2017, Cale Makar was drafted fourth overall, and has since won the Calder Trophy as the rookie of the year. Of the leagues in the CJHL, the AJHL usually has the second or third most players made NCAA Division 1 commitments, with a number of players making NCAA Division 3 commitments and USports and ACAC commitments.
Bonnyville Pontiacs Brooks Bandits
Drayton Valley Thunder Calgary Canucks
Fort McMurray Oil Barons Camrose Kodiaks
Grande Prairie Storm Canmore Eagles
Lloydminster Bobcats Drumheller Dragons
Sherwood Park Crusaders Okotoks Oilers
Spruce Grove Saints Olds Grizzlys
Whitecourt Wolverines Blackfalds Wranglers (2021)
37 players that are currently playing in the AJHL have committed to play NCAA Division 1. The Brooks Bandits have 11 players that have committed, and the Okotoks Oilers have 9 players.
Teams use Letters of Intent to recruit players. Once a Letter of Intent is signed, no other AJHL team can recruit that player. The majority of the players are from Alberta. However, there are players from other provinces and a few players from the United States. Most players will have played Midget AAA or Midget Prep.
Founded in 1961, the BCHL has 18 teams. 9 teams play in the Interior Division and 9 teams play in the Coastal Division. League champions are the Prince George Spruce Kings. The Spruce Kings lost to the Brooks Bandits in the finals of the Centennial Cup in 2019. The BCHL has won the National Championship 14 times. The Chilliwack Chiefs most recently won the National Championship in 2018. The league is generally considered to be the best Junior A league in Canada. In 2020, the BCHL had 2 players selected in the NHL Entry Draft. However, in 2019, the BCHL had 12 players selected, including Alex Newhook who was selected in the first round by the Colorado Avalanche. Of the leagues in the CJHL, the BCHL has the most players make NCAA Division 1 commitments year after year.
Cranbrook Bucks Alberni Valley Bulldogs
Merritt Centennials Chilliwack Chiefs
Penticton Vees Coquitlam Express
Prince George Spruce Kings Cowichan Valley Capitals
Salmon Arm Silverbacks Langley Rivermen
Trail Smoke Eaters Nanaimo Clippers
Vernon Vipers Powell River Kings
Wenatchee Wild Surrey Eagles
West Kelowna Warriors Victoria Grizzlies
104 players playing in the BCHL have made commitments to play NCAA Division 1. Both the Chilliwack Chiefs and the Penticton Vees have 13 players committed.
The BCHL does not have a player protected list. Players come from all over North America. The BCHL has the most out-of-province players playing in their league than any other league in the CJHL. Almost all players will have played Midget AAA or Midget Prep, and most will have been top players on their team. The BCHL has a roster limit of 23 players. Teams must have a minimum of 4 rookies.
Founded in 1918, and the oldest junior league in Canada, the MJHL has 12 teams. 4 teams play in the Northwest Division, 4 teams play in the Interior Division and 4 teams play in the Southwest Division. League champions are the Portage Terriers. The last player to be selected in the NHL Entry Draft was Matthew Thiessen in the seventh round in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
Swan Valley Stampeders
Virden Oil Capitals
5 players that are currently playing in the MJHL have committed to play NCAA Division 1. The Dauphin Kings have 2 players that have committed.
The MJHL has a Bantam Draft for Manitoba players. Each team is eligible to protect up to two players from their identified zone prior to the MJHL Draft. All teams then have a 50 player protected list which includes active players and prospects. Most players are from Manitoba, but there are players from other provinces and a few players from the United States. Most players will have played Midget AAA or Midget Prep, but there are a few players that will have played at a lower level.
Founded in 1962, the NOJHL has 12 teams. 6 teams play in the East Division and 6 teams play in the West Division. League champions are the Hearst Lumberjacks. No player has been drafted in the NHL Entry Draft directly from the NOJHL.
Cochrane Crunch Blind River Beavers
French River Rapids Elliot Lake Wildcats
Hearst Lumberjacks Espanola Express
Kirkland Lake Gold Miners Rayside Balfour Canadians
Powassan Voodoos Soo Eagles
Timmins Rock Soo Thunderbirds
There are currently no players playing in the NOJHL that have made a NCAA Division 1 commitment. However, in the past few years there have been players commit to NCAA Division 3 and USports. Each year, a few players also move on to play Major Junior in either the OHL or QMJHL.
The NOJHL does not have a Bantam Draft and does not have a player protected list. Most players come from Ontario; however, there are a few players that come from Western Canada. Many players will have played at the Midget AAA or Midget Prep level, but there are players that will have played at lower levels. This is a good league to consider for players that maybe played Midget AA or Midget Varsity or players that maybe weren't top 6 forwards or top 4 defencemen on their Midget AAA or Midget Prep team.
Founded in 1975, the NAHL has 27 teams in 17 States in the United States. 6 teams play in the Central Division; 7 teams play in the East Division; 6 teams play in the Midwest Division; and 8 teams play in the South Division. League champions are the Aberdeen Wings. The NAHL is the top Tier II Junior League in the United States and would be comparable to the BCHL. The NAHL did not have any players selected in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft; however, the year before, the NAHL had 2 players drafted. The highest player selected was Cole Brady selected in the fifth round. The NAHL easily has the most NCAA Division 1 commitments of any Tier II or Tier III junior league in the States.
Aberdeen Wings Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks
Austin Bruins Jamestown Rebels
Bismarck Bobcats Johnstown Tomahawks
Minnesota Wilderness Maine Nordiques
Minot Minotauros Maryland Black Bears
St. Cloud Norseman New Jersey Titans
Chippewa Steel Amarillo Bulls
Fairbanks Ice Dogs Corpus Christi IceRays
Janesville Jets Kansas City Scouts
Kanai River Brown Bears Lone Star Brahmas
Minnesota Magicians New Mexico Ice Wolves
Springfield Jr. Blues Odessa Jackalopes
Wichita Falls Warriors
The NAHL set a new single-season record last year with 356 NCAA Commitments. 249 were NCAA Division 1 commitments.
The NAHL has a tender process and a draft. Each team is granted 10 tenders. Once a player signs a tender, he is no longer eligible for the draft and no other teams can recruit that player. There is then a draft in June. Last year, there were several Canadian players selected in the draft, including James Philpott, a defenceman from Calgary, that was selected seventh overall. NAHL teams can select players from all age groups, including players going into their final year of junior hockey. Last year, the NAHL also had a supplemental draft. During the off-season, the NAHL also holds combines which gives players that haven't been tendered to drafted an opportunity to play in front of coaches and scouts from different teams. The NAHL does have an import rule. Each team can have up to 4 import players. An import player is a non-United States citizens. Because of the import rule, this is a tough league for young Canadians to play. Most teams use their import spot for older high-end players.
Entering its 11th season, the NA3HL is a Division III Junior A League, under the umbrella of the NAHL and acts as a feeder league to the NAHL. There are 31 teams in the NA3HL in 16 states. 6 teams in the Central Division; 5 teams in the East Division; 8 teams in the Frontier Division; 7 teams in the South Division; and 5 teams in the West Division. The league champions are the Texas Brahmas. No players have been selected in the NHL Entry Draft from the NA3HL. There have been players that started their junior careers in the NA3HL selected in the NHL Entry Draft.
Milwaukee Power Bay State Bobcats
Oregon Tradesmen Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks
Peoria Mustangs Long Beach Sharks
Rochester Grizzlies New Jersey Titan
St. Louis Jr. Blues Northeast Generals
Bozeman Icedogs Atlanta Capitals
Butte Cobras El Paso Rhinos
Gillette Wild Louisiana Drillers
Great Falls Americans Mid Cities Jr. Stars
Helena Bighorns Oklahoma City Blazers
Missoula Junior Bruins Texas Brahmas
Sheridan Hawks Texas Roadrunners
Granite City Lumberjacks
New Ulm Steel
North Iowa Bulls
The NA3HL had 1 NCAA Division 1 commitments last year. However, the NA3HL did have over 80 NCAA Division 3 commitments and had over 40 ACHA commitments. According to the Junior Hockey Podcast, in 2019, the NA3HL had 59 players that committed to NCAA Division 3 teams, which was sixth most from any league in North America.
The NA3HL has an Entry Draft in April. Like the NAHL, teams can select players from all ages, including players playing in their last year of junior hockey. NA3HL teams also attend the NAHL combines during the combine and will be at many of the exposure camps held throughout the United States. Because these teams don't have budgets, if you're interested in playing for a team in the NA3HL, it's recommended to just contact the coach and provide the coach with video. The NA3HL has a similar import rule as the NAHL. This is a decent league to start your junior career. Players do move on to play in the USHL and the NAHL. 27 players from the NA3HL received NAHL tenders last year.
Founded in 2001, the SIJHL has 7 teams. 5 teams from Canada and 2 teams from the United States. League champions are the Thunder Bay North Stars. No player has been drafted in the NHL Entry Draft directly from the SIJHL.
Dryden GM Ice Dogs
Fort Frances Lakers
Kam River Fighting Walleye
Red Lake Miners
Thief River Falls Norskies
Thunder Bay North Stars
There are currently no players playing in the SIJHL that have made NCAA Division 1 commitments. However, in the past few years, the SIJHL has had players commit to NCAA Division 3, ACAC, BCIHL and ACHA.
The SIJHL does not have a Bantam Draft and does not have a protected player list. Players playing on the Canadian teams come from Western Canada and Eastern Ontario. Many teams have a large number of local players. Players playing on the American teams mostly come from the Northern States. This a great league for players that may have been overlooked in Midget and are looking to play Junior A hockey.
The SJHL has 12 teams. 4 teams play in the Sherwood Division, 4 teams play in the Global Ag Risk Solutions Division and 4 teams play in the Viterra Division. League champions are the Battlefords North Stars. It has been a few years since a player from the SJHL was drafted in the NHL Entry Draft.
Battlefords North Stars
Flin Flon Bombers
La Ronge Ice Wolves
Notre Dame Hounds
Weyburn Red Wings
There are currently no players playing in the SJHL that have made a Division 1 commitments. However, each year the SJHL does have a few NCAA Division 1 commitments, and has a number of NCAA Division 1 commitments and Usports and ACAC commitments.
The SJHL has a Bantam Draft for Saskatchewan players. Most players are from Saskatchewan, but there are players from other provinces, especially Alberta, and a handful of players from the United States. Most players will have played at the Midget AAA or Midget Prep level, but there are a few players that will have played at a lower level.
Founded in 2012, the USPHL has three junior levels - the National Collegiate Development Conference (NCDC), Premier Division and Elite Division. 62 teams play in the Premier Division playing across the United States. 5 teams in the Florida Division; 7 teams in the Great Lakes Division; 10 teams in the Mid Atlantic Division; 5 teams in the South East Division; 9 teams in the New England Division; 9 teams in the Mid West Division; 5 teams in the Pacific Division; 5 teams in the Mountain Division; 7 teams in the Mid West East Division. This year, 9 teams from the Western States Hockey League moved to the USPHL Premier Division. League champions are the Hampton Roads Whalers. To our knowledge, there has not been a player selected in the NHL Entry Draft from the USPHL Premier Division.
Atlanta Mad Hatters Columbus Mavericks
Charleston Colonials Lake Erie Bighorns
Florida Eels Metro Jets
Florida Jr. Blades Pittsburgh Vengeance
Tampa Bay Juniors Toledo Cherokee
Jersey Hitmen Chicago Cougars
P.A.L. Jr. Islanders Decatur Blaze
Philadelphia Hockey Club Detroit Fighting Irish
Rockets Hockey Club Fort Wayne Spacemen
Skipjacks Academy Metro Jets Dev. Program
Motor City Hockey Club
Dells Ducks Boston Advantage
Hudson Havoc Boston Junior Bruins
Minnesota Blue Ox Bridgewater Bandits
Minnesota Moose Islanders Hockey Club
Minnesota Mullets New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs
Rochester Vipers Northern Cyclones
South Shore Kings
Twin City Thunder
Buffalo Thunder Carolina Jr. Hurricanes
Connecticut Jr. Rangers Charlotte Rush
Connecticut Nighthawks Hampton Roads Whalers
Elmira Jr. Enforcers Potomac Patriots
Springfield Pics Richmond Generals
Utica Jr. Comets
Rum River Mallards
Steele County Blades
Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings
Anaheim Avalanche Northern Colorado Eagles
Fresno Monsters Ogden Mustangs
Las Vegas Thunderbirds Provo Riverblades
San Diego Sabers Pueblo Bulls
Southern Oregon Spartans Utah Outliers
According to the Junior Hockey Podcast, in 2019 the USPHL Premier Division had 120 NCAA Division 3 commitments, which was the most of any Junior hockey league in North America. As a comparison, the SJHL had 22 Division 3 commitments, while the MJHL had 14 commitments. If you're a player looking to play NCAA Division 3, the USPHL is definitely league to consider. In an effort to promote players, the USPHL Premier Division has a number of showcases throughout the year.
The USPHL Premier Division does not have a draft. Players are signed to a player contract. Some teams will recruit mostly from their own area, while other teams will recruit throughout North America. Some teams, like the Northern Colorado Eagles, have quite a number of Canadians. Some teams, like the Utah Outliers, have quite a number of international players. Most players will have played Midget AAA or Prep Hockey. However, there are opportunities for elite Midget AA and Varsity players to play in the league.