CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada announced on Sunday a groundbreaking agreement between the National Hockey League and Canadian Junior Hockey League that will see the NHL work with the CJHL’s ten member league and 143 teams.
Effective immediately, Hockey Canada and the CJHL will partner with the NHL to continue to grow the Junior A game across the country through its trademark events – the World Junior A Challenge, CJHL Prospects Game and National Junior A Championship – as well as investing in the development of players, coaches and officials involved with Junior A hockey across the country.
In addition, the agreement will further a partnership with NHL Central Scouting, allowing scouts to get up-close-and-personal looks at the top Junior A talent in Canada while continuing to assist with player identification and development.
“The Junior A game across Canada continues to grow, and this is a terrific next step for Hockey Canada and the Canadian Junior Hockey League to take,” said Scott Smith, chief operating officer of Hockey Canada. “Through this partnership with the NHL, we expect the CJHL and its cornerstone events to continue to develop and evolve.”
"The CJHL plays an important role in developing players and providing national platforms to showcase their great on-ice product,” said NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly. “We look forward to working with the CJHL to enhance their championship and prospect tournaments."
“For the National Hockey League to see the value in an agreement is recognition of the part that Junior A hockey plays across the country,” said Paul Lake, chairman of the CJHL. “We could not be more excited by what this partnership means to our game and our events.”
Canada’s top Junior A teams are gathered at Bear Mountain Arena in Victoria, B.C. for Canada’s 39th National Junior A Championship, with the championship game scheduled for Sunday between the Vernon Vipers and Humboldt Broncos. The game can be seen live on TSN2 at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT and will be broadcast on tape delay on the main TSN network at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT.