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SJHL set for puckdrop on new season, pushing emphasis on local

It’s a new year, and a new hope for optimism for the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s (SJHL) 12 clubs.

The puck is set to drop Friday night on the SJHL season, with 10 teams in action across the province.

For this season though, the second full year for commissioner Kyle McIntyre, it’s all about local, and all about keeping local talents within the province.

“The success to a franchise above fan engagement and community engagement is you have to have some local products on your team. And I think some of our teams have really taken some strong efforts to do that and certainly connection with minor hockey, a connection with sponsors, but more importantly, a connection with the community always puts bums in the seats,” he told CTV News Friday morning.

McIntyre said at the league’s last AGM, a big emphasis was given to coaches and clubs to look for homegrown — with a new Saskatchewan waiver wire now implemented to prevent players from making an out-of-province jump, when teams within our borders could use the extra help.

A new franchise template was also given to clubs to ensure that all clubs and management are on the same playing field, with that added emphasis on growing franchises locally.

The league’s initial set of games on Friday are as follows:

  • Melville vs. Estevan, 7 p.m.
  • Flin Flon vs. Nipawin, 7 p.m.
  • Yorkton vs. Weyburn, 7 p.m.
  • Kindersley vs. North Battleford, 7:30 p.m.
  • La Ronge vs. Melfort, 7:30 p.m.

For Saturday, a group of home and homes, but also the beginning of the year for Nipawin and Humboldt:

  • Melfort vs. Flin Flon, 7:30 p.m.
  • Notre Dame vs. Humboldt, 7 p.m.
  • Estevan vs. Melville, 7 p.m.
  • Weyburn vs. Yorkton, 7 p.m.
  • North Battleford vs. Kindersley, 7:30 p.m.
  • Nipawin vs. La Ronge, 7:30 p.m.

The SJHL’s 12 teams will play 56 games each, including the SJHL Showcase in Warman from Nov. 13 to 16.

The season ends on March 16, with the Canterra Seeds Cup Playoffs beginning shortly thereafter. Top Stories

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