The Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) Board of Governors participated in the 2021 Annual General Meeting virtually on Saturday, June 26th. Following an abbreviated 2020-21 season, the AJHL is preparing for a full season in 2021-22 under the guidance of provincial health authorities.
The AJHL will return to 16 teams with the addition of the Blackfalds Bulldogs for their inaugural season. Each team will compete in a 60-game schedule, including 16 interlock games, and two regular season games at the Annual AJHL Showcase. The League Schedule for the 58th AJHL Season will be announced on June 29th, 2021.
Prior to the start of the 2021-22 season, the inaugural AJHL Prospects Showcase will take place from July 23rd-25th, 2021 at River Cree Arenas. The three-day event will provide players with a new development experience as well as a unique opportunity for AJHL General Managers, Coaches and Scouts to identify and evaluate prospects.
A new pilot project will be executed at the conclusion of each pre-season game when the 2021 AJHL Exhibition Season opens on August 27th, 2021. Overtime will consist of a 6-minute sudden victory period starting with 3-on-3 play, then moving to 2-on-2 at the first whistle after the 4:00 minute mark, and to 1-on-1 at the first whistle after the 2:00 minute mark. If the score remains tied after overtime a best-of-three shootout will follow.
The four-man referee system will be implemented in an increased number of games throughout the 2021-22 season with a commitment to provide the expanded structure for 75% of all AJHL regular season games.
The Alberta Junior Hockey League will enter into a new league-wide partnership for advanced video analytics in the 2021-22 season. The new partnership, which will be announced in July, will provide all teams with a comprehensive statistical and analytical platform and enhanced coaching tools to optimize team performance, pre-scout competition, evaluate prospects, and provide exposure for AJHL players to scouts worldwide.
The 15th Annual AJHL Showcase has been awarded to the host community of Brooks, AB and the Brooks Bandits for September 30th – October 3rd, 2021. The Brooks Bandits will highlight the high-level hockey AJHL fans and scouts have come to expect with the addition of a festival atmosphere. The four-day event attracts thousands of fans and over 200 members of the scouting community from the National Hockey League (NHL), NCAA Division I, II and III schools, as well as Canadian colleges and universities and the Canadian Hockey League (CHL). A game schedule for the event will be released in July.
The 2022 AJHL Playoffs begin March 4th and the prize is bigger than ever in 2022 with the AJHL Champion automatically advancing to the Centennial Cup presented by Tim Horton’s in Estevan, SK from May 20th – 29th.
For the 2021-22 AJHL Season, the AJHL Management Committee will include Rod Knelsen (Drumheller Dragons), Noel Moriyama (Brooks Bandits) and Kevin Pratt (Camrose Kodiaks) as the South Division representatives. The North Division will be represented by Ron Rusnak (Bonnyville Pontiacs), Dave Fitzgerald (Fort McMurray Oil Barons) and Kevin Love (Sherwood Park Crusaders).
The Alberta Junior Hockey League is operating under the direction of Chairman Greg Wood and Commissioner Ryan Bartoshyk. The AJHL Staff consists of Fran Gow (Vice President, Hockey Operations), Charla Flett (Vice-President, Communications), Curtis Nichols (Vice President, Officiating) and Dean Laschowski (Video Review Manager).
The 2021 AJHL Semi-Annual Meeting will be held on Saturday, November 20th, 2021.