CJHL alumni playing in top professional leagues

Media Update

Release date: Tuesday, March 18, 2014

CJHL alumni playing in top professional leagues
Over 920 CJHL alumni playing professional and Major Junior Hockey in North America

CALGARY, Alta. – The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) is proud to report that over 920 CJHL alumni are currently playing in the National Hockey League (NHL), minor professional leagues across Canada and the U.S. and  in the major junior ranks of the Canadian Hockey League (CHL).   
An impressive 20% of all players on NHL rosters are alumnus of the CJHL while 33% of players playing in the various other professional leagues – such as the American Hockey League (AHL) and the ECHL – honed their skills playing Jr. A hockey.
Number of CJHL alumni competing at NHL, minor professional and Major Junior levels across North America (% of rosters):
National Hockey League – 133 (20%)
American Hockey League – 177 (22%)
ECHL – 165 (32%)
Central Hockey League – 119 (46%)
Canadian Hockey League – 326 (23%)

“We are proud of the fact that a significant percentage of CJHL alumni move on to play hockey at the NHL, minor professional and Canadian Hockey League levels,” stated CJHL Executive Director Rick Morocco.  

“It is a testament to the quality of our 10 Junior A leagues and their ability to provide elite hockey development opportunities year after year.”

A total of 133 alumni are currently playing in the NHL, including three Canadian NHL team captains – Andrew Ladd (Winnipeg Jets), Mark Giordano (Calgary Flames) and Brian Gionta (Montreal Canadiens).  

During the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals, CJHL alumni were well represented by a total of eight players playing for the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks.

Calgary Flames forward Joe Colborne experienced huge strides in his development as a member of the 2001 RBC Cup Champion Camrose Kodiaks (AJHL).  

“It was two of the best years of my life,” said Colborne.  “My coach made me into a much better hockey player and a young man.  Those were the biggest growth years of my entire life.”

The top development league to the NHL, the American Hockey League (AHL), has 177 CJHL alumni playing in the league accounting for 22% of all AHL player rosters.  

The other minor professional hockey leagues in North America, the ECHL and Central Hockey League, have 284 CJHL alumni that are currently playing on their rosters making up 37% of these leagues’ players.  

Cory Conacher, a Burlington Cougars (OJHL) graduate, who played parts of three seasons in the minors before ending up with the Buffalo Sabres says; “I cannot say enough about how instrumental my year in the CJHL was for my development as a hockey player and person.  It allowed me to grow, both mentally and physically, and prepared me for taking the next step to the NCAA Collegiate game.  I still cherish many of my friendships from my time playing Junior A and was also proud to see the success that my brother achieved in the prior to moving on to Canisius.”
There were 12 players from the CJHL were selected in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft in Newark, NJ.  Adam Tambellini of the Surrey Eagles (BCHL) was drafted in the second round, 65th overall, by the New York Rangers to become last year’s highest CJHL draft pick.

There are 326 CJHL alumni playing in the Canadian Hockey League, which accounts for 23% of the CHL’s player roster.  

The Canadian Hockey League is comprised of the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.  

For more information on the CJHL contact:

Kirk Lamb
Canadian Junior Hockey League

(403) 650-9027 (PH)
president@cjhlhockey.com (E)

The Canadian Junior Hockey League is a national organization comprised of all 10 Junior A hockey leagues in Canada.  

The CJHL represents more than 120 teams and 2,500 players and has over 2,800 alumni furthering their hockey careers at the professional, major junior and college level across North America.  

For latest CJHL news and features, visit www.cjhlhockey.com and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/cjhlhockey or @cjhlhockey.