CALGARY, Alta. – The initial Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) Top 20 rankings for 2018 has been released with the Thief River Falls Norskies (SIJHL) starting the New Year as No. 1 overall.
A strong Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) side is slotted No. 2 in the 132-team CJHL while the Okotoks Oilers (AJHL) were tabbed No. 3 nationally.
MHL: The first-year Edmundston Blizzard continue to pace the MHL standings and are ranked No. 18 while the South Division-leading Yarmouth Jr. A Mariners garnered Honourable Mention laurels to begin 2018.
LHJAAAQ: The No. 4 Cobras de Terrebonne remain neck-and-neck in the quest for top spot in the LHJAAAQ with No. 10 College Français de Longueuil.
CCHL: Despite suffering their first loss in regulation since late September, at the hands of Fred Page Cup-host Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators, Carleton Place is still No. 2 in the CJHL while Ottawa jumps to No. 6 in the country.
OJHL: The No. 11 Toronto Patriots lead their league in terms of points and winning percentage. The Oakville Blades (15th) and North York Rangers (17th) also crack the Top 20 with the Wellington Dukes getting HM status.
NOJHL: The No. 8 Powassan Voodoos were knocked off by No. 16 Soo Thunderbirds Saturday to narrow the points gap between the NOJHL’s top two clubs.
SIJHL: No. 1 Thief River Falls has won 10 straight games and are 28-1 overall. The defending SIJHL champion and 2018 Dudley-Hewitt Cup-host Dryden GM Ice Dogs are rated 12th in the CJHL.
MJHL: At No. 13, the Steinbach Pistons are nine points up on the Portage Terriers, who hold two games in hand and also picked up an Honourable Mention slot.
SJHL: The Battlefords North Stars move to No. 5 in the CJHL while the Nipawin Hawks jump to No. 7. The Melfort Mustangs picked up a HM listing.
AJHL: Up to No. 3 in the CJHL is Okotoks with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons 9th and Spruce Grove Saints 19th. The Brook Bandits earned an honourable mention.
BCHL: Continuing to climb, the Vernon Vipers are now 14th while the Penticton Vees were ranked 20th as those two perennial powers sit one-two respectively in terms of winning percentage in the highly competitive BCHL.
CJHL 2017-18 TOP 20 (As of Jan. 8/18)
RANK TEAM (LEAGUE) (LAST RANKING)
1. Thief River Falls Norskies (SIJHL) (1)
2. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (2)
3. Okotoks Oilers (AJHL) (4)
4. Les Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJQ) (3)
5. Battlefords North Stars (SJHL) (6)
6. Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators (CCHL) (9)
7. Nipawin Hawks (SJHL) (10)
8. Powassan Voodoos (NOJHL) (5)
9. Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) (7)
10. College Français de Longueuil (LHJAAAQ) (10)
11. Toronto Patriots (OJHL) (13)
12. Dryden GM Ice Dogs (SIJHL) (12)
13. Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (11)
14. Vernon Vipers (BCHL (15)
15. Oakville Blades (OJHL) (20)
16. Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) (16)
17. North York Rangers (OJHL) (HM)
18. Edmundston Blizzard (MHL) (14)
19. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (17)
20. Penticton Vees (BCHL) (19)
Honourable Mention: Brooks Bandits (AJHL); Melfort Mustangs (SJHL); Portage Terriers (MJHL); Wellington Dukes (OJHL); Yarmouth Jr. ‘A’ Mariners (MHL)
ABOUT THE CJHL: The Canadian Junior Hockey League is made up of the 10 Junior ‘A’ leagues across Canada. Representing 132 teams and over 3,000 players, the CJHL also boast over 2,800 alumni furthering their hockey careers at the NHL, AHL, ECHL, CHL, NCAA and CIS level across North America.