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MJHL moves to fewer 20-year-olds

By: Terry Frey

Posted: 06/14/2018 9:22 AM

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Brendan Martin, in action here against the Virden Oil Capitals in the MJHL finals in April, will be back with the Pistons for his 20-year-old season this coming year.


Brendan Martin, in action here against the Virden Oil Capitals in the MJHL finals in April, will be back with the Pistons for his 20-year-old season this coming year.


Continuing on the path that was started in the just completed 2017-18 season, the Manitoba Junior Hockey League has announced that they will continue to reduce the number of eligible 20-year-olds on MJHL rosters.

This was one of the resolutions that came out of the recent MJHL Board of Governors meetings, which also coincided with the MJHL annual bantam age draft held the first weekend of June in Winnipeg.

Coming up this season, each team will be allowed eight 20-year-olds, down from nine last season, and that number will be further reduced to seven, and then six 20-year-olds in the subsequent two seasons. It is keeping in line with the league philosophy of continuing to develop younger players.

The league also announced that they will again play a 60-game balanced schedule this coming season, as each of the 11 teams in the league will face other six times during the course of the campaign. Regular season play will kick off Sept. 21 and next year’s playoffs will begin on March 8. The MJHL is expected to release the full schedule for the 2018-19 season later this month.

Coming up next month the MJHL will again hold its Prospects Development Camp, July 26-29 at the Seven Oaks Rec Centre in Winnipeg.

And for the first time this coming season the Seven Oaks Rec Centre will host the MJHL Showcase, which will be held Dec. 9-12. The past few years the Showcase has been held at Bell MTS Iceplex.

And for the second year, the MJHL will participate in the MJHL/SJHL Showcase, to be held Jan. 15-19 in Regina.

The Board of Governors also made two other resolutions including approving a motion that requires all clubs to broadcast their home games in HD on the Hockey TV broadcast service that is available for all home games.

And the league’s annual award presented to the top goaltender is being renamed the Ed Belfour Top Goaltender Trophy. Belfour, a native of Carman, spent three years with the Winkler Flyers during the 1980’s and went on to a celebrated NHL career playing nearly a 1,000 NHL games.

Meanwhile, MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis said overall it was a very good MJHL season this past year, particularly in how competitive the league was.

Although he did acknowledge there are some major concerns regarding attendance with some of the teams, and says it is something they will continue to work on together with the teams to try and bolster attendance.

Attendance continues to be strong in Steinbach, Virden, Winkler and Portage, but the rest of the league, including Dauphin this past year, has generally struggled.


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