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 2013-2014 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, scout comments are limited in this article.
1. Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL)
“The GOJHL is a fine development league. It is as close to Junior A as a league can be without being labeled Junior A. They do an excellent job of developing players and moving them up. OJHL contraction made them stronger, and the organizations work hard to keep scouts and higher ups aware of how players are coming along.”
2. Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League (EOJHL)
“Ottawa hockey at the B level is doing a great job at developing players. Every year you see players moving up to A and going on to university.”
3. Heritage Junior B Hockey League (HJHL)
“Alberta B hockey is good. They really try to move kids on to the AJ, and they have success. From there, many of them move on to NCAA and University.”
4. Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL)
“A great league with a lot of solid young players last year. Definitely some players to watch who should be in the BCHL and possibly WHL this year.”
5. Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL)
“Pretty much the same as the “V” they do a good job and players move up.”
6. Prairie Junior Hockey League (PJHL)
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, the Junior A league and the CCHL. A lot of teams and a lot of players to see.”
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. North West Junior Hockey League
16. St. John’s 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.