June 19, 2023, Mississauga, ON – The Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) held its 2023 Annual General Meeting on June 17, 2023 at the Nottawasaga Inn & Resort in Alliston, ON where a number of key strategic initiatives and events to support the safety, development and promotion of the player were approved by the league’s Board of Governors.
The Board of Governors was presented an overview of the 2022-2023 OJHL Team Scorecard initiative that the league implemented during this past season. The focus of the initiative was to review all team processes with the goal of driving improvement within the league at the team level. The Governors made a commitment and provided direction to the league to continue to move forward with the findings of the scorecards, with the purpose of making continued improvement around the support of the OJHL’s players.
The league also made a commitment to introduce a new Code of Conduct for all players and team personnel starting in the 2023-2024 season. The Code of Conduct will align directly with current Hockey Canada code and will meet all requirements of the Universal Code of Conduct for Maltreatment in Sports.
The Governors approved the creation of a Department of Player Safety that will oversee all on-ice discipline and safety starting in the 2023-2024 season. The Department will work with all teams and players along with on-ice Officials, with a focus on managing the safety of play. The League will be making an announcement in the coming weeks regarding the naming of a Director of Player Safety to lead this department.
During the 2023 OJHL Combine in Oakville, the league conducted a pilot project on the use of video for the purposes of goal review. The league made the decision Saturday to move forward with finalizing the logistics and processes of a Video Review program that will be introduced during the upcoming season.
With the success of the OJHL’s use of the social media platform Opendorse last season, for the distribution of league content, the Governors approved an increase in a commitment to social media in the promotion of teams and players. The league has developed a process to align all teams’ social media with the league, with the goal of promoting players within the OJHL. The improvement of the league content distribution included the league recently moving to a new website provider, Hockey Tech.
With a continued focus on the development and promotion of the players, several events were approved for the upcoming season;
- The Cottage Cup, a pilot project run in conjunction with the host Collingwood Blues, will see eight (8) Junior A teams from the OJHL and other CJHL partner leagues play a preseason tournament August 28-30, 2023.
- The Governors Showcase will return to the LECOM Harborcenter in Buffalo, NY for the 2023-2024 season with the event dates to be announced in the coming days.
- The league will be hosting the return of the Eastern Canada Cup in Trenton, ON November 13-15, 2023. The event will be part of the identification and evaluation process for the Team Canada East team that will compete in the 2023 World Jr. A Challenge tournament. Two (2) teams from each of the five CJHL leagues in eastern Canada will compete in the event.
- With the success of the 2023 OJHL All Star Weekend held in Collingwood, ON in January, the Governors approved the return of the event to the community for the 2023-2024 season. The event, which will take place January 12-13, 2024. will include a skills competition, Prospects Game, Alumni Game and All-Star Game.
The league also made a commitment to the Oakville Blades who were awarded as hosts for the 2024 Centennial Cup that will take place at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex May 9-19, 2024. The commitment includes not only financial support but also the support of all teams in the promotion of the event during the 2023-2024 season.
A new alignment was approved that will see two (2) conferences. All teams will play a 56-game schedule. Teams will play one cross-conference game against teams in the opposite conference during the season:
Toronto Jr. Canadiens
St. Michael’s Buzzers
Trenton Golden Hawks
Halliburton County Huskies
North York Rangers
Buffalo Jr. Sabres
The season will open on September 7, 2023 and the quest for the Buckland Cup will begin on March 10, 2024 when the 2024 OJHL Playoffs will start.
The meeting concluded with the Board of Governors electing a Board of Directors for the 2023-23 and 2024-2025 seasons:
Chair – Stuart Hyman – Markham Royals
Vice-Chair – Ron Sedlbauer – Burlington Cougars
Director – Jim Thomson – Aurora Tigers
Director – Dave Steele – Collingwood Blues
Director – Jason Tryfon – Milton Menace
Photo Credit: Tim Bates of OJHL Images
About the OJHL – “League of Choice”
The Ontario Junior Hockey League is the largest Junior ‘A’ league operating under the auspices of the Canadian Junior Hockey League with 23 member clubs. A proud member of the CJHL and Ontario Hockey Association, the OJHL was originally named the Ontario Provincial Junior ‘A’ Hockey League and it was formed out of the Central Junior ‘B’ Hockey League in 1993-94. With a long and storied history of developing players for the next level, including U SPORTS, the NCAA, CHL, minor pro ranks and the NHL, the OJHL had more than 75 commitments in 2022-23 including more than 36 NCAA Division I scholarships.