Calgary, Alberta – A review of team rosters in professional and major junior hockey shows that 864 Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) alumni are currently playing in the National Hockey League (NHL), the American Hockey League (AHL), the ECHL and the Canadian Hockey League (CHL).
The study showed that 129 current players in the NHL are alumni of the CJHL. This accounts for 19% of all NHL players or an average of 4.3 players per team. In addition to the NHL, there are 383 players currently playing in the AHL and ECHL, with another 352 CJHL alumni playing in the CHL.
Below is the number of former CJHL players competing at the professional level across North America (% of all players in parenthesis):
· National Hockey League – 129 (19%)
· American Hockey League – 202 (23%)
· ECHL – 181 (36%)
· Canadian Hockey League – 352 (25%)
“We are proud of the fact that a significant number of CJHL go on to play hockey in the NHL, AHL, ECHL and CHL, including having players drafted by NHL teams directly out of our leagues,” stated CJHL President Kirk Lamb. “It is a testament to the success of our ten Junior A leagues and their ability to provide opportunities for players to develop their skills in a high-performance setting year after year.”
The AHL is the top development to the NHL and it currently has 202 CJHL alumni, which is up from 177 a year ago. This accounts for 23% of all AHL players and almost 6.7 CJHL alumni per AHL team. The other minor professional hockey league in North America, the ECHL, currently has 181 former CJHL players on their rosters. This accounts for 36% of the ECHL players and equates to an average of 6.5 CJHL alumni per ECHL team.
352 CJHL former CJHL players are currently playing in the CHL. The number of players has increased over last year by 8% and accounts for 25% of CHL’s rosters. The CHL is comprised of the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Twelve players from the CJHL were selected in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft held in Philadelphia, PA, with Brandon Hickey of the Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) drafted in the 3rd round, 64th overall, by the Calgary Flames to become last year’s highest CJHL draft pick. This year the NHL draft will be held at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida on June 26 – 27 where a number CJHL players will be looking to hear their names called on draft day.