July 24th, 2024

Hockey Canada introduces new junior-level rules in western pilot project

By The Canadian Press on July 11, 2024.

Hockey Canada is trying out a series of changes in the western provinces in an attempt to streamline the development of junior players. Moose Jaw Warriors' Jagger Firkus (27) tries to steal the puck from Drummondville Voltigeurs' Noah Reinhart (42) during second period Memorial Cup hockey action in Saginaw, Mich., Tuesday, May 28, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Duane Burleson

CALGARY – Hockey Canada is trying out a series of changes in the western provinces in an attempt to streamline the development of junior players.

That includes mandating that junior A players under the age of 18 must continue to wear full-face protection, in line with the International Ice Hockey Federation.

Players over 18 may now choose to wear half-face protection.

The pilot project also allows Western Hockey League teams to have up to nine 15-year-old players play up to 10 games in a season.

That is up from the former limit of five affiliate players on the roster for only five games.

WHL clubs can also now dress two 15-year-old affiliate players if the team is unable to field a full lineup otherwise. That is an increase from the previous limit of one.

The new rules are part of the Western Canadian Development Model pilot project for the 2024-25 season, following an extensive proposal submitted to Hockey Canada by its four western members, their respective Junior A leagues and the WHL.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 11, 2024.

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