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About the CHL

CHL

Established in 1975, the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) is the world’s largest development hockey league and top supplier of talent to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS.

As Canada’s top supporter of academic scholarships, the CHL provides a year’s worth of tuition and book fees for each season played in the League, with players eligible to attend any Canadian or American-based post-secondary institution. In 2021-22, CHL scholarships accounted for nearly $10 million.

On an annual basis, the CHL supports many community causes including Pink in the Rink in support of breast cancer and cancer research charities, Talk Today in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association, and local children’s charities with Teddy Bear Toss nights, among others. The CHL is also a major supporter of Canadian minor hockey with strong support at the league and club levels, and backing community hockey at the grassroots level via local and regional minor hockey programs, player development camps, officiating development camps, sponsorship programs, community fundraising events and engagement, and more.

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Organizational Structure
Comprised of three Member Leagues – the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), and Western Hockey League (WHL) – the CHL counts 52 Canadian teams operating in nine provinces and eight American teams operating in four states.

OHL: Founded in 1980, the OHL comprises 17 Ontario-based Clubs as well as two based in Michigan and one in Pennsylvania. Each season, OHL Clubs compete for the J. Ross Robertson Cup. The OHL’s 20 Member Clubs include the Barrie Colts, Erie Otters, Flint Firebirds, Guelph Storm, Hamilton Bulldogs, Kingston Frontenacs, Kitchener Rangers, London Knights, Mississauga Steelheads, Niagara IceDogs, North Bay Battalion, Oshawa Generals, Owen Sound Attack, Ottawa 67’s, Peterborough Petes, Saginaw Spirit, Sarnia Sting, Soo Greyhounds, Sudbury Wolves, and Windsor Spitfires.

QMJHL: Founded in 1969, the QMJHL comprises 12 Quebec-based Clubs as well as six Clubs in Atlantic Canada (three in New Brunswick, two in Nova Scotia, one in Prince Edward Island). Each season, QMJHL Clubs compete for the President Cup. The QMJHL’s 18 Member Clubs include the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, Baie-Comeau Drakkar, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, Cape Breton Eagles, Charlottetown Islanders, Chicoutimi Sagueneens, Drummondville Voltigeurs, Gatineau Olympiques, Halifax Mooseheads, Moncton Wildcats, Quebec Remparts, Rimouski Oceanic, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, Saint John Sea Dogs, Shawinigan Cataractes, Sherbrooke Phoenix, Val-d’Or Foreurs, and Victoriaville Tigres.

WHL: Founded in 1966, the WHL comprises 22 Clubs counting five Clubs in each of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, two in Manitoba, four in Washington, and one in Oregon. Each season, WHL Clubs compete for the Ed Chynoweth Cup. The WHL’s 22 Member Clubs include the Brandon Wheat Kings, Calgary Hitmen, Edmonton Oil Kings, Everett Silvertips, Kamloops Blazers, Kelowna Rockets, Lethbridge Hurricanes, Medicine Hat Tigers, Moose Jaw Warriors, Portland Winterhawks, Prince Albert Raiders, Prince George Cougars, Red Deer Rebels, Regina Pats, Saskatoon Blades, Seattle Thunderbirds, Spokane Chiefs, Swift Current Broncos, Tri-City Americans, Vancouver Giants, Victoria Royals, and Winnipeg ICE.

Each year, the CHL hosts multiple National Events including the Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game for top NHL Draft eligible players as well as the year-end Memorial Cup presented by Kia where the three Member League playoff champions as well as a host team compete to determine a national champion. The Memorial Cup was first presented in 1919 in memory of Canadian hockey players who died in the First World War. In 2010, the Memorial Cup was rededicated to all fallen Canadian military personnel.

The CHL also hosts the annual online CHL Import Draft where each CHL Club can select a maximum of two players who are not residents within North America.

In June 2019, Dan MacKenzie was announced as the CHL’s first full-time President. The three Member League Commissioners serve as CHL Vice-Presidents, including Gilles Courteau (QMJHL), David Branch (OHL), and Ron Robison (WHL).

Playing before more than 9 million ticket holders each season, the CHL and its Clubs are the top-ranked sports property in 46 Canadian markets, drawing intimate connections with Canadians and their communities. On an annual basis, the CHL reaches more than 1 in 3 Canadians and has a strong, growing, and passionate fan base across Canada and in the United States. In all, nearly 10 million Canadians connect with the CHL each year. By the numbers, the CHL and its Clubs also count more than 450 league officials, 1,000 staff, 1,300 billet families, and 1,500 players.

In 2021, the CHL announced a multi-year broadcast rights partnership with TSN and RDS. The partnership includes approximately 30 regular-season games delivered by TSN in addition to select playoff coverage and the comprehensive suite of CHL national events, in addition to approximately 20 French-language broadcasted games by RDS.

Shane Wright of team Red. Luke Durda/OHL Images
Saint John, NB - JUNE 29:  Final game of the 2022 Memorial Cup between the Hamilton Bulldogs vs the Saint John Sea Dogs on June 29, 2022,  at the Harbour Station in Saint John, NB. (Photo by Vincent Ethier/CHL)

CHL Alumni
On an annual basis, the CHL is the most represented development hockey league in the NHL Draft. Most recently, the 2022 NHL Draft saw 82 players selected, accounting for more than one-third of all selections. In all, 10 CHL players were chosen in the opening round of the 2022 NHL Draft while 40 CHL clubs were represented by at least one selection.

Last season, 955 CHL graduates pursued an education while also participating in varsity athletics with U SPORTS. For 2022-23, 405 CHL graduates were named to National Hockey League opening rosters.