Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is a Junior 'A' ice hockey league operating in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan and one of nine member leagues of the Canadian Junior Hockey League.

Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League
FormerlySaskatchewan Amateur Junior Hockey League (1968-1973)
SportIce hockey
First season1968–69
CEOKyle McIntyre
No. of teams12
Most recent
Melfort Mustangs (5th)
Most titlesHumboldt Broncos (10)
Centennial Cup

Open to North American-born players 20 years of age or younger, the SJHL's 12 teams play in three divisions: the Nutrien, Sherwood and Viterra Divisions. A major attraction in Saskatchewan, the SJHL draws 400,000 fans each season.[citation needed] The winner of the SJHL playoffs is crowned the provincial Junior A champion and continues on to play in the ANAVET Cup against the Manitoba provincial champion (winner of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League playoffs) for the right to represent the Western region at the Centennial Cup, the national Junior A championship.



The current version of the SJHL was preceded by a separate league with the same name that operated from 1948 to 1966.[1]

The modern SJHL was formed in July 1968 as a result of the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL) splitting away from the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) and affiliating with the rival Canadian Hockey Association led by Ron Butlin. CAHA president Lloyd Pollock arranged meetings across Western Canada to outline the CAHA's development plan for teams which had remained within the CAHA.[2] Later that month, he approved a series of exhibition games for teams in the Ontario Hockey Association to play the Regina Pats and Weyburn Red Wings, after Regina and Weyburn had asked for assistance in forming a new Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. Pollock also laid out plans to make player transfers easier between provinces to support the Saskatchewan teams.[3]

The league was originally known as the Saskatchewan Amateur Junior Hockey League until 1973. They re-adopted the "Amateur" in their name in 1980 and carried it until the 1987–88 season, when they dropped the "Amateur" again. They were one of the original Tier II Junior A leagues in the realignment of 1970. Their first two seasons they were eligible for the Memorial Cup.[citation needed]

Humboldt Broncos bus crash


On April 6, 2018 the Humboldt Broncos team bus suffered a fatal crash on their way to the team's semi-final playoff game against the Nipawin Hawks. Ten players, two coaches, an athletic therapist, two employees of a local radio station, and the bus driver were killed in the collision. The remaining passengers were injured, some critically. The SJHL playoffs were postponed as a result (the Hawks were leading the series 3–1). The league, at the request of the Broncos, resumed the playoffs on April 15, with the Hawks advancing to the finals to meet the waiting Estevan Bruins. SJHL President Bill Chow called the incident the league's "worst nightmare".[4]

In the wake of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, TSN aired a national broadcast of the Bronco's 2018–19 home opener, the team's first regular season game following the tragedy.[5][6]

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic


On March 13, 2020, pursuant to the suspension of all sanctioned activity by Hockey Canada and the CJHL due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the remainder of the 2019–20 SJHL season and all associated championships were suspended until further notice. The league championship was not awarded.[7][8][9]

The league resumed play for a 2020–21 season in November 2020,[10] with the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) allowing for limited in-person attendance (150 spectators).[11] However, the Flin Flon Bombers were forced to suspend operations on November 12, 2020 until at least the new year, after Manitoba issued a "Code Red" circuit breaker that ordered the closure of non-essential businesses and recreational facilities. The team considered the possibility of conducting all hockey operations out of nearby Creighton, Saskatchewan, but were unable to reach agreements with the SHA and Manitoba Health that would allow them to resume operations.[12][13] In turn, the SJHL was forced to suspend play on November 27, as Saskatchewan ordered the suspension of all group and team sports activities.[14]

In February 2021, the league submitted a return-to-play proposal to the Saskatchewan government that would have involved as many as three hub cities.[10] Despite other provinces such as Alberta having allowed their Junior A leagues to continue,[10] Saskatchewan continued to maintain its prohibitions on sport.[15] The SJHL and its teams have faced growing financial issues due to cancelled games and other events, prompting the provincial government to provide a $1 million relief package to be divided between its teams.[10][16] On March 23, 2021, the SJHL announced that its return-to-play proposal had been rejected, citing concerns surrounding the current state of the pandemic in Saskatchewan. The SJHL therefore announced that the 2020–21 season had been cancelled and will not be resumed. The league championship was not awarded for the second season in a row.[17]



In January 2019, the league announced a broadcasting deal with SaskTel, under which a game will be carried on its television service per-month for the remainder of the season, as well as coverage of the league final.[18]


Map of SJHL teams
Ice Wolves
North Stars
Red Wings
  •   Viterra Division
  •   Nutrien Division
  •   Sherwood Division



The SJHL fields twelve teams, eleven in Saskatchewan and one in Flin Flon, Manitoba, a community on the border between the provinces. The Bobcats based in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan (on the Saskatchewan–Alberta border) elect to play in the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

Viterra Division
Team City Arena Joined
Estevan Bruins Estevan, Saskatchewan Affinity Place 1971
Melville Millionaires Melville, Saskatchewan Horizon Credit Union Centre 1970
Weyburn Red Wings Weyburn, Saskatchewan Crescent Point Place 1968
Yorkton Terriers Yorkton, Saskatchewan Farrell Agencies Arena 1972
Nutrien Division
Team City Arena Joined
Battlefords North Stars North Battleford, Saskatchewan North Battleford Civic Centre 1973
Humboldt Broncos Humboldt, Saskatchewan Elgar Peterson Arena 1970
Kindersley Klippers Kindersley, Saskatchewan West Central Events Centre 1991
Notre Dame Hounds Wilcox, Saskatchewan Duncan McNeill Arena 1987
Sherwood Division
Team City Arena Joined
Flin Flon Bombers Flin Flon, Manitoba Whitney Forum 1984
La Ronge Ice Wolves La Ronge, Saskatchewan Mel Hegland Arena 1998
Melfort Mustangs Melfort, Saskatchewan Northern Lights Palace 1988
Nipawin Hawks Nipawin, Saskatchewan Centennial Arena 1985



League champions

Year League Champion League Runner-up
Hanbidge Cup (Memorial Cup Era)
1969 Regina Pats Weyburn Red Wings
1970 Weyburn Red Wings Regina Pats
Hanbidge Cup (Centennial Cup Era)
1971 Weyburn Red Wings Humboldt Broncos
1972 Humboldt Broncos Melville Millionaires
1973 Humboldt Broncos Estevan Bruins
1974 Prince Albert Raiders Estevan Bruins
1975 Swift Current Broncos Prince Albert Raiders
1976 Prince Albert Raiders Weyburn Red Wings
1977 Prince Albert Raiders Melville Millionaires
1978 Prince Albert Raiders Moose Jaw Canucks
1979 Prince Albert Raiders Moose Jaw Canucks
1980 Prince Albert Raiders Moose Jaw Canucks
1981 Prince Albert Raiders Moose Jaw Canucks
1982 Prince Albert Raiders Yorkton Terriers
1983 Yorkton Terriers Weyburn Red Wings
1984 Weyburn Red Wings Yorkton Terriers
1985 Estevan Bruins Weyburn Red Wings
1986 Humboldt Broncos Estevan Bruins
1987 Humboldt Broncos Lloydminster Lancers
1988 Notre Dame Hounds Yorkton Terriers
1989 Humboldt Broncos Nipawin Hawks
1990 Nipawin Hawks Yorkton Terriers
1991 Yorkton Terriers Humboldt Broncos
1992 Melfort Mustangs Estevan Bruins
1993 Flin Flon Bombers Melville Millionaires
1994 Weyburn Red Wings Melfort Mustangs
1995 Weyburn Red Wings North Battleford Stars
1996 Melfort Mustangs Yorkton Terriers
1997 Weyburn Red Wings North Battleford Stars
1998 Weyburn Red Wings Nipawin Hawks
Membercare Cup
1999 Estevan Bruins Humboldt Broncos
2000 Battlefords North Stars Weyburn Red Wings
2001 Weyburn Red Wings Nipawin Hawks
2002 Kindersley Klippers Humboldt Broncos
2003 Humboldt Broncos Melville Millionaires
2004 Kindersley Klippers Weyburn Red Wings
Credential Cup
2005 Yorkton Terriers Battlefords North Stars
2006 Yorkton Terriers Battlefords North Stars
2007 Humboldt Broncos Melville Millionaires
2008 Humboldt Broncos Kindersley Klippers
2009 Humboldt Broncos Melville Millionaires
Credit Union Cup
2010 La Ronge Ice Wolves Yorkton Terriers
2011 La Ronge Ice Wolves Yorkton Terriers
Canalta Cup
2012 Humboldt Broncos Weyburn Red Wings
2013 Yorkton Terriers Humboldt Broncos
2014 Yorkton Terriers Melville Millionaires
2015 Melfort Mustangs Notre Dame Hounds
2016 Melfort Mustangs Flin Flon Bombers
2017 Battlefords North Stars Flin Flon Bombers
2018 Nipawin Hawks Estevan Bruins
2019 Battlefords North Stars Melfort Mustangs
2020 Not awarded due to COVID-19 pandemic
2021 Not awarded due to COVID-19 pandemic
2022 Estevan Bruins Flin Flon Bombers
Canterra Seeds Cup
2023 Battlefords North Stars Flin Flon Bombers
2024 Melfort Mustangs Flin Flon Bombers

Timeline of teams in the SJHL

  • 1968 – Current version of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is founded
  • 1968 – Moose Jaw Canucks, Weyburn Red Wings and Regina Pats rejoin league from WCJHL
  • 1970 – Regina Pat Blues replace Regina Pats who join WCHL
  • 1970 – Melville Millionaires rejoin league
  • 1970 – Humboldt Broncos join league
  • 1970 – Notre Dame Hounds join league
  • 1971 – Estevan Bruins rejoin league
  • 1971 – Prince Albert Raiders join league
  • 1972 – Yorkton Terriers join league
  • 1973 – Battleford Barons join league
  • 1974 – Swift Current Broncos join league
  • 1976 – Notre Dame Hounds leave league
  • 1982 – Prince Albert Raiders leave league to join Western Hockey League
  • 1982 – Lloydminster Lancers join league
  • 1982 – Regina Pat Blues and Saskatoon J's fold
  • 1983 – Swift Current Broncos become Swift Current Indians
  • 1983 – Battleford Barons become North Battleford Stars
  • 1984 – Moose Jaw Canucks fold to make way for the Western Hockey League franchise Moose Jaw Warriors
  • 1984 – Flin Flon Bombers rejoin league as Creighton Bombers
  • 1986 – Swift Current Indians fold to make way for the Western Hockey League franchise Swift Current Broncos
  • 1986 – Creighton Bombers become the Flin Flon Bombers
  • 1986 – Nipawin Hawks join league
  • 1987 – Notre Dame Hounds rejoin league
  • 1987 – Minot Americans join league
  • 1988 – Lloydminster Lancers leave league to join Alberta Junior Hockey League and become the Lloydminster Blazers
  • 1988 – Melfort Mustangs join league
  • 1991 – Saskatoon Titans join league
  • 1993 – Saskatoon Titans relocate to Kindersley and become the Kindersley Klippers
  • 1993 – Lebret Eagles join league
  • 1994 – Minot Americans become Minot Top Guns
  • 1997 – Minot Top Guns relocate to Beardy's 97 aboriginal reserve and become Beardy's Rage
  • 1998 – Beardy's Rage relocate to Saskatoon and become Saskatoon Rage
  • 1998 – La Ronge Ice Wolves join league
  • 1999 – Saskatoon Rage fold
  • 2001 – Lebret Eagles fold

See also



  1. ^ "Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League [1948–1966] history and statistics". Hockey Database. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  2. ^ "CAHA, Juniors Meet Sunday". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. July 5, 1968. p. 19. 
  3. ^ "CAHA Gives Special Concessions To West". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. July 13, 1968. p. 49. 
  4. ^ "15 dead in Canadian junior hockey bus crash". Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  5. ^ "Humboldt Broncos Home Opener to air live on TSN and CTV Saskatchewan". June 22, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  6. ^ "In wake of tragic bus crash, the Humboldt Broncos' opener will be broadcast across North America". Awful Announcing. September 12, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  7. ^ "CJHL announces cancellation of 2020 season, until further notice, due to COVID-19 pandemic". Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  8. ^ "Sask. Junior Hockey League to continue coronavirus-shortened playoffs via video game simulation". CBC News. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  9. ^ "The SJHL playoffs suspended following directive from Hockey Canada". Regina. March 12, 2020. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  10. ^ a b c d "'Every team is in a tough spot': SJHL facing financial uncertainty as return to play talks continue". CTV News Regina. March 3, 2021. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  11. ^ "SJHL season paused until 2021 due to COVID-19". Global News. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  12. ^ "Flin Flon Bombers pause season as Manitoba enters code red". CTV News Winnipeg. November 12, 2020. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  13. ^ Westhaver, Eric. "Bombers to pause play, postpone games until New Year: SJHL". Flin Flon Reminder. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  14. ^ "Coronavirus: New Saskatchewan public health measures for restaurants, sports teams". Global News. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  15. ^ "Sask.'s COVID-19 restrictions to remain until March 19". CTV News Regina. February 16, 2021. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  16. ^ "Sask. provides $4M to support WHL, SJHL". Regina. January 15, 2021. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  17. ^ "SJHL return to play proposal denied by province". CTV News Regina. March 23, 2021. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  18. ^ Cairns, John. "SJHL coming to SaskTel Max TV". Battlefords News-Optimist. Retrieved January 27, 2019.