The Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) hosted the Annual AJHL Coaches Meeting on Friday, May 24th and Annual General Meeting of the Board of Governors on Saturday, May 25th. The weekend was a productive collaboration of its 16 members as the league enters a 56th season.
The Alberta Junior Hockey League experienced a rise in attendance throughout the 2018-19 regular season with over 365,000 fans enjoying AJHL hockey across the province – the highest annual attendance mark in the past five years.
In preparation for the upcoming 2019-20 season, which will include 15 teams and unbalanced divisions with the absence of the Calgary Mustangs, the AJHL has reduced the regular season schedule to 58 games beginning on Friday, September 13th, 2019 and concluding Sunday, March 1st, 2020. The complete 2019-20 League Schedule will be announced in mid-June.
The format for the opening round of the 2020 Inter Pipeline AJHL Playoffs has also been adjusted as follows:
• North Division - Top 7 teams qualify (1st place receives a Bye, 2 vs 7, 3 vs 6, 4 vs 5)
• South Division - Top 6 teams qualify (1st & 2nd place receive a Bye, 3 vs 6, 4 vs 5)
In partnership with Hockey Alberta, the Alberta Junior Hockey League will host the 4th Annual AJHL Elite Development Camp from July 16-21 in Red Deer, AB. Eighty athletes will receive both on and off-ice development directed by Hockey Alberta staff, and facilitated by the High Performance I Coaching Seminar delegates.
In conjunction with the 2019 Elite Development Camp, Hockey Alberta and the AJHL are offering the first Officials Elite Summer Camp from July 19-21. The camp will include on-ice and classroom sessions, guest instructors, and game experience for current and prospective AJHL officials.
The AJHL Board of Governors approved a logo change for two AJHL clubs, which will each be unveiled by the respective teams in the off-season.
The 13th Annual AJHL Showcase will be held in Camrose, AB from September 26– 28, 2019. Event details including tickets and volunteer opportunities will be released in June 2019. Pre-Registration for the scouting community is now available at AJHL.ca.
The AJHL Board of Governors approved a digital media proposal, which will take effect at the start of the 2019-20 season and offer AJHL fans, scouts and media exciting new digital content and exclusive video, in addition to post-game highlights. Exciting details of the initiative will be released throughout the off-season.
The AJHL Management Committee for the 2019-20 season will include Rod Knelsen (Drumheller Dragons), Wayne Lauinger (Okotoks Oilers) and Russell Jemieff (Calgary Mustangs) as the South Division representatives. The North Division will be represented by Ron Rusnak (Bonnyville Pontiacs), Brent Stark (Whitecourt Wolverines) and Jeff Suggitt (Spruce Grove Saints). Thank you to Al Doll (Canmore Eagles) and David Fitzgerald (Fort McMurray Oil Barons) for their service as the outgoing committee members over the three-year term.
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), George McCorry (Vice President, Officiating), Dean Laschowski (Video Review Manager), Curtis Nichols (Supervisor of Officials) and Ken Dentzien (Referee Assignor).
The 2019 AJHL Semi-Annual Meeting will be held on Saturday, November 23rd in Red Deer, Alberta. The 2020 AJHL Annual General Meeting will be hosted by the Canmore Eagles in Canmore, AB on May 23rd, 2020.