Five teams from AJHL to move to BCHL

British Columbia Hockey League (Wikimedia Commons)

According to Nishat Chowdhury of CBC News on Monday, there are five teams from the Alberta Junior Hockey League moving to the British Columbia Hockey League. They are the Blackfalds Bulldogs, Brooks Bandits, Okotoks Oilers, Sherwood Park Crusaders and Spruce Grove Saints. The realignment is set to start for the 2024-25 BCHL season.

The announcement leaves the AJHL with 11 teams. They are the Bonnyville Pontiacs, Drayton Valley Thunder, Fort McMurray Oil Barons, Grande Prairie Storm, Lloydminster Bobcats, and Whitecourt Wolverines in the North Division, and the Calgary Canucks, Camrose Kodiaks, Canmore Eagles, Drumheller Dragons and Olds Grizzlys in the South Division.

There is no reason at this time why the five teams are leaving the AJHL for the BCHL. However it should be noted that the BCHL has disassociated themselves from Hockey Canada and are now independent. One reason for the disassociation comes down to recruiting rules. The BCHL allows teams to recruit players from other provinces at the ages of 16 and 17. That is not allowed in other junior hockey leagues throughout Canada that are under the Hockey Canada umbrella. The BCHL champion has not participated in the National Junior A Championship when the Prince George Spruce Kings participated, and reached the final before losing 4-3 to the Bandits.



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