CPJHL boasts successful first half of 2018-19 season

by Matt Mackinder

Now in its third season of operation, the Canadian Premier Junior Hockey League has taken huge strides during the first half of the current 2018-19 season.

Parity has shown to be a major component of CPJHL games this season, as well as players developing and improving on a daily basis.

All teams have solid coaching and training staffs in place and this season has also seen an influx of talent coming north of the border from the United States.

Needless to say, the season is proving the old saying that “the third time is the charm.”

“This has been a very exciting year so far and this is what we envisioned three years ago when we started up the CPJHL,” said CPJHL president Stephane Laveault. “The games have been great to watch, and we are developing large fan bases in all of our communities. We have players that chose our league over other leagues that have maybe been around longer, and those players are reaping the rewards of seeing what our league can offer.

“We played in two showcases during the first half – one in New York and one in Las Vegas – and college and pro scouts came away impressed with the latent level in the CPJHL. We look forward to this momentum continuing and seeing what the second half will bring us.”

Back on Oct. 24-25, the league staged its first showcase of the season in New York on the campuses of NCAA Division I Clarkson University and NCAA Division III SUNY-Canton and SUNY-Potsdam. 

“It was a great experience for our players to get the feel for college campuses, as some of them will be playing college hockey next season,” Laveault said. “We are so grateful and thankful for Clarkson, Canton and Potsdam for welcoming us to their rinks and providing a spectacular time for the players and coaches.”

Then to conclude December, two CPJHL All-Star teams went to Las Vegas Dec. 18-21 to play in the annual WSHL Western States Shootout showcase event, hosted by the Western States Hockey League.

It was the second season in a row that the CPJHL sent a pair of teams to Las Vegas. Games were played at the Sobe Ice Arena and at City National Arena, the official practice facility of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights.

“Again, we had many of our players approached by scouts and that is a credit to our league for continuing to do things the right way,” said Laveault. “The future of the CPJHL is very bright and it’ll be anyone’s guess who comes out on top during our President’s Cup Playoffs in March.”

Photo/Mark Mauno