WESTERN CANADA HOCKEY EXPOSURE CAMP MAY 12-14, 2023 TSUUT'INA NATION, ALBERTA
WESTERN CANADA HOCKEY EXPOSURE CAMP MAY 12-14, 2023 TSUUT'INA NATION, ALBERTA
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 and National Champions are the Brooks Bandits. The league is generally considered to be one of the top Junior A leagues in Canada. In 2022, Rieger Lorenz was drafted in the second round of the NHL Draft. In 2017, Cale Makar was drafted fourth overall, and has since won the Calder Trophy, the Norris Trophy, Conn Smythe Trophy and Stanley Cup. Of the leagues in the CJHL, the AJHL usually has the most players make 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 Bulldogs
In the 2021-2022 Season, 64 players in the AJHL committed to play NCAA Division 1. The Brooks Bandits had 16 players commit; the Bonnyville Pontiacs had 9 players commit; and the Spruce Grove Saints had 8 players commit. As at the time of writing, 42 players had made commitments playing in the 2022-2023 Season.
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 Penticton Vees. The Vees went 16-1 through the playoffs. The BCHL is no longer part of the CJHL, but before parting ways had 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 2022, the BCHL had 7 players selected in the NHL Draft. The highest pick was Tyson Jugnauth, selected in the fourth round. In 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
In 2021-2022 Season, tying the record, 173 players in the BCHL committed to NCAA Division 1. The Penticton Vees had 21 commitments; the Chilliwack Chiefs had 14 commitments; the Nanaimo Clippers, Salmon Arm Silverbacks and West Kelowna Warriors each had 13 commitments. As at the time of writing, 128 players had made commitments playing in the 2022-2023 Season.
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 Junior A League in Canada. 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. Many top players from other leagues that have already committed will transfer to the BCHL.
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
As at the time of writing, 4 players had made NCAA Division 1 commitments playing in the 2022-2023 Season. Three of those players were from the Steinbach Pistons. In the 2021-2022 Season, 15 players made NCAA Division 1 commitments; 13 players made NCAA Division 3 commitments; 15 players made USports commitments. Many other players committed to the ACHA and ACAC.
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 Soo Thunderbirds. 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 Paper Kings
Kirkland Lake Gold Miners Greater Sudbury Cubs
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. As at the time of writing, in the 2022-2023 Season, 14 players had made NCAA Division 3 commitments, 13 players had made ACHA commitments. 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 29 teams in 17 States in the United States. 6 teams play in the Central Division; 7 teams play in the East Division; 8 teams play in the Midwest Division; and 8 teams play in the South Division. League champions are the New Jersey Titans. The NAHL is the top Tier II Junior League in the United States and would be comparable to the BCHL. The NAHL had 5 players selected in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. The highest player selected was Zam Plante 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. Over the last six seasons, 1,500+ NAHL players have made NCAA commitments and 32 have been drafted into the NHL.
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 El Paso Rhinos
Kanai River Brown Bears Lone Star Brahmas
Minnesota Magicians New Mexico Ice Wolves
Springfield Jr. Blues Odessa Jackalopes
Anchorage Wolverines Shreveport Mudbugs
Wisconsin Windigo Oklahoma Warriors
During the 2021-22 season, the NAHL had over 300 NCAA Commitments for the sixth straight season, with over 76% of those being NCAA Division I commitments. The Austin Bruins had 16 commitments; the Janesville Jets, Maryland Black Bears, New Jersey Titans and St. Cloud Norseman all had 15 commitments. As at the time of writing, 125 players had made commitments playing in the 2022-2023 Season.
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. Many Canadian players are selected in the draft. Last year, the first overall selection was from Quebec. Most Canadian players drafted will come from Ontario. However, there have been players from Western Canada that have been high draft picks. In 2020, James Philpott, a defenceman from Calgary, was selected seventh overall by the Maine Nordiques. NAHL teams can select players from all age groups, including players going into their final year of junior hockey. During the off-season, the NAHL also holds combines which gives players that haven't been tendered or 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 13th 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 34 teams in the NA3HL in 16 states. 6 teams in the Central Division; 6 teams in the East Division; 8 teams in the Frontier Division; 8 teams in the South Division; and 6 teams in the West Division. The league champions are the Rochester Grizzlies. 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
Wausau Cyclones Norwich Sea Captains
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
Yellowstone Quake Austin Ice Bats
Granite City Lumberjacks
Mason City Toros
New Ulm Steel
During the 2021-2022 Season, the NA3HL had over 80+ college commitments, with almost 70% of those being NCAA commitments. Over 300 former NA3HL players are currently playing in the NCAA.
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 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. Last season, 34 NA3HL players signed tenders to play in the NAHL for the 2022-23 season; 27 more players were selected in the 2022 NAHL Draft.
Founded in 2001, the SIJHL has 7 teams. 6 teams from Canada and 1 team from the United States. The only team from the US is the Wisconsin Lumberjacks. League champions are the Red Lake Miners. No player has been drafted in the NHL Entry Draft directly from the SIJHL. However, there are a couple of alumni that are now playing in the NHL - Robert Bartuzzo and Carter Hutton. Both played for the Thunder Bay North Stars.
Dryden GM Ice Dogs
Fort Frances Lakers
Kam River Fighting Walleye
Red Lake Miners
Sioux Lookout Bombers
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 team 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. There are a number of current and former NHL players that played in the SJHL.
Battlefords North Stars
Flin Flon Bombers
La Ronge Ice Wolves
Notre Dame Hounds
Weyburn Red Wings
As a the date of writing, there were 5 players had made NCAA Division 1 commitments playing in the 2022-2023 Season. In the 2021-2022 Season, 12 players made NCAA Division 1 commitments, 16 players made NCAA Division 3 commitments, 14 players made USports commitments, and 11 players made 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. In recent years, SJHL are signing players from Junior B leagues, especially the KIJHL.
Founded in 2012, the USPHL has three junior levels - the National Collegiate Development Conference (NCDC), Premier Division and Elite Division. 69 teams play in the Premier Division playing across the United States. 6 teams in the Florida Division; 4 teams in the Great Lakes Division; 10 teams in the Mid Atlantic Division; 6 teams in the South East Division; 9 teams in the New England Division; 9 teams in the Mid West West Division; 7 teams in the Pacific Division; 6 teams in the Mountain Division; 7 teams in the Mid West East Division; 5 teams in the Northwest Division. League champions are the Rockets Hockey Club. To our knowledge, the only player to have been drafted in the NHL from the Premier Division is Mats Lindgren in 2020-2021. He was drafted in the fourth round by the Buffalo Sabres. On average, there are six or seven players drafted in the NHL from the NCDC.
Atlanta Mad Hatters Columbus Mavericks
Charleston Colonials Cincinnati Cyclones
Florida Eels Metro Jets
Florida Jr. Blades Toledo Cherokee
Tampa Bay Juniors
Palm Beach Typhoon
Wilkes-Barre Scranton Knights MJDP
Connecticut Junior Rangers Chicago Cougars
Rockets Hockey Club Motor City Gamblers
Utica Jr. Comets Fort Wayne Spacemen
New York Aviators Chicago Crush
Hershey Cubs Battle Creek Kernals
Buffalo Stampede Decatur Blaze
Elmira Jr Enforcers
Minnesota Squatch Northern Cyclones
Isanti Outlaws Islanders Hockey Club
Hudson Havoc Junior Bruins
Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings Twin City Thunder
Minnesota Moose South Shore Kings
Minnesota Blue Ox Springfield Pics
Steele County Blades Bridgewater Jr. Bandits
Minnesota Mullets Boston Advantage
Dells Ducks New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs
Richmond Generals Utah Outliers
Charlotte Rush Ogden Mustangs
Potomac Patriots Pueblo Bulls
Carolina Jr. Hurricanes Northern Colorado Eagles
Hampton Roads Whalers Provo Predators
Nashville Spartans Idaho Falls Spud Kings
Vernal Oilers Fresno Monsters
Seattle Totems Las Vegas Thunderbirds
Rock Springs Prospectors Ontario Jr. Reign
Rogue Valley Royals San Diego Sabers
Bellingham Blazers Bakersfield Roughnecks
Long Beach Shredders
Lake Tahoe Lakers
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.