Players who skate in non-sanctioned leagues face new Hockey Canada restrictions

CALGARY — Hockey players who participate in a league not sanctioned by Hockey Canada will be ineligible to compete in the Canadian Hockey League, Canadian Junior Hockey League or try for a spot Canada’s under-18 club championships for the remainder of the season.

Hockey Canada announced changes to its non-sanctioned leagues policy Tuesday and said they are in force effective immediately.

The governing body says the restrictions apply to any player participating in a non-sanctioned league after Saturday's eligibility cut-off date.

The changes come after the British Columbia Hockey League, the former junior A circuit of BC Hockey, broke away from Hockey Canada.

The move allows BCHL teams to recruit 16- and 17-year-olds from other provinces, which is currently against Hockey Canada regulations.

Hockey Canada senior vice-president of member engagement Darren Cossar says the modifications to the non-sanctioned leagues were not done hastily and were made to benefit players and staff in sanctioned hockey programs.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 26, 2023.

The Canadian Press