December 18th, 2012 – The Canadian Junior Hockey League is proud to announce that more than 1,950 former CJHL players are pursuing their academic and hockey careers at colleges and universities across North America.
Number of CJHL alumni competing at universities and colleges in Canada and the US (% of rosters):
- 578 in NCAA Division I (37%)
- 594 in NCAA Division III (27%)
- 780 in Canadian universities and colleges (61%)
“There is no denying how successful the CJHL and its ten Junior A leagues have been at paving the way to college hockey careers in Canada and the US,” stated CJHL President Kirk Lamb. “Junior A’s role is to provide premier development and maximum exposure so that our student-athletes can further their hockey and academic careers. Clearly we are doing that.”
Each season hundreds of CJHL players and alumni commit to universities and colleges on both sides of the Canada-US border. Here in Canada, over 780 former CJHL players are currently playing in the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport), Alberta Colleges Athletic Association (ACAC), BC Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) and Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA). This represents 61% of players on Canadian university and college team rosters.
Torrie Dyck, a former standout in the SJHL with the Nipawin Hawks, has since gone on to play in both the CIS (University of Alberta) and ACAC (Augustana). “Playing three years of Junior A allowed me to take the next step to the ACAC, and subsequently to the CIS”, said Dyke, who is currently playing a key role for the University of Alberta Golden Bears. “I still reflect on my time in the CJHL and realize that those were some of the best years of my life,” said the top points-per-game producer of the No. 1 ranked team in the CIS.
South of the border, a total of 578 CJHL alumni can be found on NCAA Division I rosters. Those 578 CJHL Alumni account for 37% of all Division I hockey players. The 594 CJHL alumni competing at the NCAA Division III level represent 27% of all Division III players.
“The CJHL has perennially been loaded with blue-chip NCAA prospects,” said Mark Dennehy, Head Coach of Merrimack College of Hockey East, “The coaches understand how to develop these players and are very knowledgeable about the recruiting process.”
Devin Shore, who played for the Whitby Fury (OJHL), was the highest drafted CJHL player in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Shore committed to the NCAA’s University of Maine Black Bears of Hockey East, “Deciding to play college hockey is the best decision I’ve ever made. Practices are like games, and games are like playoff games. The opportunity to represent your school and play in front of such passionate fans is awesome. It’s a great place to get better and have a ton of fun doing it.”
Penticton Vees (BCHL) alumnus, Joey Laleggia, is thriving in the NCAA at the WCHA’s University of Denver. “College hockey was a smart choice for me because it gives me a couple more years to develop. It’s an awesome lifestyle. It really makes you take charge of your life. You have to balance being the best hockey player you can be along with studies.”
Newmarket (OJHL) alumnus, Dan Ellis of the Anaheim Ducks, is grateful for his CJHL experience. “Playing in Newmarket gave me the opportunity to compete at one of the highest junior hockey levels. The CJHL not only provided me exposure to NCAA, CHL and NHL, but prepared me to play at those levels.”
“One look at the number of former CJHL players we have competing at colleges and universities in North America and its clear that the Junior A model is working for our student-athletes and their families,” proudly stated CJHL President Kirk Lamb.