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BCHL Goes Independent


(BCHL PRESS RELEASE) The British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) has announced a new path, continuing its mission to build a world class college-track junior league for players seeking NCAA and U Sports Scholarships and to establish a tier of hockey that to date has not been seen in Canada.

To grow and create more opportunities for players and more excitement for fans, the BCHL’s Board of Governors has voted to not renew the league’s agreement with Hockey Canada, meaning its 18 franchises will operate outside Hockey Canada’s system as of June 1, 2023.

“The BCHL sends more players to NCAA Division I teams than all other junior hockey leagues in Canada combined,” said BCHL Chairman Graham Fraser. “During the past season there were 411 BCHL alumni on NCAA rosters, making up nearly a quarter of all Division I college hockey. That is exciting, but we aspire to do more for players and to provide a higher level of hockey for our fans. Under the current system, that’s just not possible.”

“Today, we are entering a new era that will eliminate barriers and change the landscape of junior hockey in Canada.”

BCHL Chairman Graham Fraser

Current system challenges:
Under the current system, U18 players in Canada making critical decisions about their futures are restricted in their options.

  • If a U18 player signs with a Major Junior team in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), it disqualifies them from US colleges because the NCAA considers the CHL a professional league.
  • If a U18 player decides to keep their eligibility and play Junior A instead, they are restricted to playing only in their province of residence (note: this isn’t a restriction for players in the CHL and the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) which includes players from the U15-U18 divisions.
  • If a U18 player does not have a competitive junior option in their own province, they are often forced to leave Canada to play in the USHL or NAHL to find better competition, while maintaining NCAA eligibility. Or they must uproot their family at a significant cost to move provinces.


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