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Getting Your Start In The BCHL

As a potential future BCHL player, the BCHL offers a first-class experience as you continue to develop as a player, a student and as a person.

The League

The BCHL is comprised of 17 teams covering a significant area of the province of British Columbia. Since 1961-62, the BCHL has developed more players for the college system than any other league in Canada. The BCHL continuously sets the benchmark for college-committed players in Canada with by far the most alumni playing NCAA Division I hockey out of any junior league in the country.

Route to the college system

The BCHL is recognized as amateur hockey and, as such, BCHL players are eligible to participate in NCAA hockey. The league 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. 411 BCHL alumni played NCAA Division I hockey last season.

Please visit the following websites for more information on NCAA eligibility:

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 as well:

BC Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL)
Alberta Colleges Athletic Association (ACAC)

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. The NCAA is the number-one destination for BCHL players. Now days, NCAA alumni make up around 33 per cent of the NHL.

Every year, BCHL players are selected in the NHL Entry Draft and many other league graduates are signed out of college college after moving on from the BCHL.

In the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, nine BCHL players were selected by NHL teams, highlighted by alumnus Matthew Wood and 2022-23 league MVP and leading scorer Bradly Nadeau who were both taken in the first round.


Players from all over North America, and now Europe, have the opportunity to join a BCHL team as the league sees a large turnover in players from season to season.

The BCHL has a roster limit of 25 active players (plus an additional spot for a third goalie), 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 a similar junior level). 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.