Scarborough Wexford Raiders to join CPJHL for 2018-19 season

by Matt Mackinder

The Canadian Premier Junior Hockey League has announced today that it has approved the addition of the Scarborough Wexford Raiders franchise for the 2018-19 season.

The Raiders join the Muskoka Anglers, Niagara-on-the-Lake Nationals and Universel College Unik as new teams in the CPJHL for next season.

“The CPJHL continues to gain momentum this offseason and we could not be happier to bring the Scarborough Wexford Raiders into the fold,” said CPJHL president Stephane Laveault. “Scarborough is a hockey-rich community and we are extremely confident that the ownership and fans there will give this team the support it deserves.”

The Wexford Raiders were a powerhouse in junior hockey throughout the 1990s and through the 2005-06 season – moving more than 60 players to the NCAA Division I ranks over that time, which was more than any other junior program in North America.

In 1990, the Raiders became one of the most dominant squads in the ‘90s under coaches Stan Butler and Kevin Burkett, who led the team to four consecutive Metro Junior A Hockey League championships. In 2006, the Raiders moved, changed their name to the Toronto Jr. Canadiens and took on the colors of the Montreal Canadiens.

The Raiders will play out of the Scarborough Gardens during the upcoming campaign.

"It's amazing,” said Raiders owner Lucas Bannon. “I walk into the Scarborough Gardens, see the surround bowl seating stadium-style rink, see the big mural of the team on the wall from the championship Wexford Raider teams of the past, see the Wexford Raider logo, and remember my childhood watching those teams. I can see those players, now NHL veterans, with big smiles, cheering, jumping, and celebrating winning the league title. I remember exactly where I sat. I can still hear the crowd and the players. It is surreal now that I own the team. I'm humbled. I'm honored. 

“I feel a sense of duty to everyone in Scarborough, to everyone who packed the Scarborough Gardens, to all those legendary players, to take care of their team, to bring it back to glory." 

A huge ceremony and event is planned for the team’s home opener, tentatively set for Sept. 22.

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