Calgary, AB – Ron Robison, Commissioner of the Western Hockey League (WHL), announced today the WHL has extended its partnership agreement with the Saskatchewan Hockey Association (SHA) through the 2018-19 hockey season.

The new three-year agreement, which encompasses the current 2016-17 season along with the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, will see the WHL continue to support SHA programming at all levels and the Saskatchewan Development Model. The WHL has partnered with the SHA and the Saskatchewan Junior and Midget AAA hockey leagues on the Saskatchewan Development Model (SDM) since it was introduced in 2006. An athlete-centered initiative, the SDM is currently the only model of its kind in Western Canada in which all major constituents from the Saskatchewan Midget AAA League, Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League under the auspices of the SHA work cooperatively on all aspects of development with the players interests always the first priority.

As part of the SDM, the WHL also serves as an official sponsor of the Saskatchewan Junior and Midget AAA and Bantam AA hockey leagues. The WHL will also continue to serve as a presenting sponsor of the annual Hockey Day in Saskatchewan festivities.

The WHL will also continue to serve as a presenting sponsor of the SaskFirst U16 High Performance program. The annual SaskFirst camp in December and April provides WHL teams an opportunity to evaluate the top prospects in Saskatchewan in advance of the WHL Bantam Draft in May.

The five (5) WHL Saskatchewan-based Clubs – Regina Pats, Moose Jaw Warriors, Swift Current Broncos, Saskatoon Blades, and Prince Albert Raiders – are also committed to continue supporting local minor hockey programs in their respective communities in the seasons ahead.

“The WHL has had a longstanding partnership with the SHA and their member leagues due to the outstanding leadership at both the SHA and League level,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “We are proud to be a partner in the Saskatchewan Development Model since the inception and to continue assisting with the growth and development of the game across the province.”

“The Saskatchewan Hockey Association is extremely proud to have a long standing partnership with the Western Hockey League,” said SHA General Manager Kelly McClintock. “The support from the WHL and their partnership within the Saskatchewan Development Model with the SHA, Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and the Saskatchewan Midget AAA League shows that when Leagues within the hockey structure come together cooperatively, the best interests of the players becomes the common goal of all!”