Back in February TJHN reported that CCHL And EOJHL Changing Junior Hockey Through Official Development Agreement
As it turns out, it is a lot more than a working relationship. Affiliation agreements and development agreements between the A and B teams are said to be pretty strong.
Left out of the agreement, and now looking for a new playing option are the Gananoque Islanders, Akwesasne Wolves, Morrisburg Lions, Almonte Thunder, Shawville Pontiacs and Gatineau Mustangs. It is being reported that Gananoque has already found a new home with the Empire Junior C league.
That leaves the Ottawa West Golden Knights, Ottawa Junior Canadians, Clarence Creek Castors, Metcalfe Jets, Stittsville Rams, Renfrew Timberwolves, Perth Blue Wings, Arnprior Packers, Casselman Vikings, Winchester Hawks, Char-Lan Rebels and the Alexandria Glens all part of the new 16-team CCHL2.
TJHN rated the EOJHL #2 in our 2014 league rankings for competition and talent level. The CCHL is in effect acquiring a very high level development partner with this move. The 16 teams who are making the move are also aligning themselves with one of the top Junior A Leagues in Canada.
While we are working on our 2015 rankings to be released later this summer, those rankings will not reflect this most recent change. This change will not be reflected in rankings until the summer of 2016.
For those in the United States, if you think this looks familiar, it should.
This is essentially the same blueprint used by the NAHL when absorbing the CSHL, AWHL and NSHL into the NA3HL. While the NA3HL is not widely viewed as a true NAHL development league, it is seen as a very strong Tier III league in its own right. The NAHL teams are each required to “tender” an NA3HL player each season. Though the majority of NAHL draft picks still come from outside of the NA3HL.
If rumor is to be believed, the CCHL – CCHL2 agreement will be more in line with a traditional development agreement such as the NHL and AHL have in place. CCHL teams will assign specific players to CCHL2 teams, and will also recall or call up players from those affiliate teams.
The working theory for the CCHL and the CCHL2 is one where the CCHL2 is used as a true development league. I say theory, because every team in Hockey Canada is still limited by the amount of cards they can use each season to sign players. Player movement in season is bound to be limited, but off season movement has the potential to be frequent.
While no official statements have been made, they are expected at the end of the CCHL playoffs.