I want to remind all readers that this series of articles rating the junior hockey leagues in North America is based upon independent opinions and analysis of scouts throughout the United States and Canada.
This rating is based upon the 2014-2015 season and nothing more. A leagues history does not come into account in any way.
The criteria that was used in rating these eleven leagues, was how do teams within the leagues compare when developing players who move on to the NHL, NCAA, Canadian University, USHL, NAHL, Canada Junior A and Major Junior hockey programs. The size of the league as in number of teams was also taken into account for depth of player talent throughout the league.
Again this is not a historical account of each league but a rating based upon last season alone. We hope this series of articles is informative and promotes a healthy discussion. Due to the volume of Junior B leagues in Canada, comments are limited in this article.
1. Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL)
The GOJHL remained the top junior B development league in Canada and it wasn’t even close. This league, or at least the majority of teams in the league are seen by scouts as being Junior A level without the Junior A label.
2. Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League (EOJHL)
Ottawa hockey at the B level is continuing to do a great job at developing players. Scouts are looking for a rise in development as the league switches to the CCHL2 this season and experiences some contraction.
3. Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL)
A top level league with a lot of very good young players last year. More work could be done with player exposure and league marketing to increase its profile among scouts and players.
4. Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL)
Pretty much the same as the “V” they do a good job and players move up. Also similar to the “V” they need to work on marketing toward scouts and players.
5. Heritage Junior B Hockey League (HJHL)
Heritage hockey is good. They really try to move kids on to the AJ, and they have success. Ground was lost last season in how well players were scouted and marketed.
6. Prairie Junior Hockey League (PJHL)
See comments above.
7. Quebec Junior B Hockey
There are six junior B leagues in Quebec. A lot of teams, and a lot of skill development. They work hard to develop players for the Q, the Maritimes, and the Junior A league. A lot of teams and a lot of players to see, yet marketing of the league is virtually non existent.
8. Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League
9. New Brunswick Junior B Hockey League
10. Island Junior Hockey League
11. North Eastern Alberta Junior B Hockey League
12. Calgary Junior Hockey League
13. Capital Junior Hockey League
14. Keystone Junior Hockey League
15. St. John’s Junior Hockey League
16. North West Junior Hockey League
17. Kootenay International Junior Hockey League
18. Thunder Bay Junior B Hockey League
Next week, in what will likely be a hotly debated piece we will rate the Tier III junior leagues in the United States.