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Rating The Junior Hockey Leagues 2016 Edition – Canada Junior B

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 2015-2016 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, and we are only ranking the top ten.

1.  Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL)

The GOJHL remained the top junior B development league in Canada for the third year in a row, and as usual 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.  Will the 2017 season bring the Junior A label?

2. Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL)

A top level league with a lot of very good young players last year.  More work was done with player exposure and league marketing in 2015-2016 than has been done in the past.  More player movement was talked about than in previous season showing a progressive move toward development.

3.  Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL)

Pretty much the same as the “V” they did a good job at players move up last season.  Marketing toward scouts was increased, and players received benefit of increased scouting.  The league as a whole seemed to take a new outlook on development and focused less on just the wins and losses.

4.  CCHL2

Ottawa hockey at the B level is continuing to change, and not all for the good.  Scouts were looking for a rise in development as the league switched to the CCHL2 from the EOJHL.  Though the level of play appeared to rise slightly, the amount of player movement did not equal the rise in talent level.  Rumors abounded of players being held back that could have gone to other Junior A leagues.

5.  Heritage Junior B Hockey League (HJHL)

Heritage hockey is good.  They really try to move kids on to the AJ, and they continue to have success.  More ground was lost last season in how well players were scouted and marketed.

6.  Prairie Junior Hockey League (PJHL)

See comments above.

7.  Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL)

Jumping ten spots from last seasons rankings, the KIJHL really made a serious effort last year on behalf of the players.  The league as a whole was offended by their ranking last year, and apparently wanted to do something to change it.  Actually working for the players and trying to move them up all season did just that.  Credit where credit is due.

8.  Quebec Junior B Hockey

There are six junior B leagues in Quebec.  A lot of teams, and a lot of skill.  They work hard to develop players for the Q, and the Maritimes.  A lot of teams and a lot of players to see, yet marketing of the league is virtually non existent.

9.  New Brunswick Junior B Hockey League

Too bad a good league just doesn’t doo much to move players.

10.  Calgary Junior Hockey League

A ton of talent in the league, but no player marketing plan.

Next week, in what will likely be a hotly debated piece we will rate the Tier III junior leagues in the United States.

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