Getting Your Start In The BCHL

BCHL start header

As a potential future BCHL player, the BCHL offers a first-class experience as you continue to develop as a player and student. Remember that development is a marathon, NOT a sprint. Prepare carefully and take your time.

The League – The BCHL is comprised of 17 teams covering most areas of the province of British Columbia and one club in Washington State. Since 1961-62, (Read BCHL History) the BCHL has developed more players for the college system than any other league in Canada. Each year since 2010, the BCHL has averaged more than 120 commitments to colleges in Canada and the United States.

The BCHL is a member of Hockey Canada, BC Hockey and the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL). The BCHL operates and is bound by the rules and regulations of Hockey Canada and BC Hockey. For more information regarding these organizations, please visit the following websites:
Hockey Canada
BC Hockey
Canadian Junior Hockey League

Route to the college system – The BCHL, unlike Major Junior (WHL, OHL, QMJHL), is recognized as amateur hockey and as such, BCHL players remain eligible to participate in NCAA hockey. The BCHL provides an excellent opportunity for players to move on to college and pursue an education while remaining a prospect for the NHL and other pro leagues. In the 2016-17 season, there were 263 BCHL graduates playing NCAA Div. I hockey. (Last season, 32 per cent of NHL players were NCAA alums).

Please visit the following websites for more information on NCAA eligibility:
National Collegiate Athletic Association
College Hockey Inc.
NCAA Men’s Hockey 
NCAA Eligibility Center

The NCAA route is not the only one supported by the BCHL. There are several opportunities available at Canadian universities and colleges.
USports
BC Intercollegiate Hockey League
Alberta Colleges Athletic Association

Route to pro hockey – The BCHL is heavily scouted by NHL teams and college programs and the league works closely with scouts from all levels to provide up-to-date information on current prospects. Every year, BCHL players are selected in the NHL Entry Draft and many other league graduates are chosen from college and Major Junior levels after moving on from the BCHL.

Over 200 BCHL alums have gone on to play in the NHL and countless others have enjoyed careers at some level of professional hockey. In the 2016-17 season alone, there were 40 BCHL alums that played in the NHL.

Opportunities – Players from all over North America have the opportunity to join a BCHL team as the league sees a large turnover in players from season to season. In the 2016-17 season alone, 135 players moved on to the college system – more than a third of the league’s total registration.

The BCHL has a roster limit of 23 active players, 20 of which are eligible to dress and participate in any regular season or playoff game. Teams must have minimum of four rookie players (those entering the season with less than 30 games in Junior A). These players regularly compete and attain appropriate playing time.

The BCHL does not operate with a protected list. This allows players entering the BCHL for the first time to have control over which club they’d like to play for. As the BCHL operates in many unique communities of varying size, potential players have options to consider in deciding which team best suites their individual needs. Once a player has signed a Hockey Canada playing card, players are bound by the regulations of Hockey Canada and movement to other teams is restricted.

Future Players Information – Please take the opportunity to fully enjoy the Future Players section of the BCHL website to find out more about the BCHL and how Junior A Hockey may be the right route for you!