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With the BCHL officially becoming an independent league, a gap was created in BC Hockey’s junior system.
The question was more who or when, not if, one of the Junior B leagues in the province would reclassify – and today we might have an answer.
After holding their annual general meeting this past weekend, the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) have applied to become BC’s next Junior A hockey league.
Wasting no time the reclassification would be in effect for the upcoming 2023-24 season.
“Not having a sanctioned Junior A league in BC creates a significant void that we are well-positioned to help fill,” said KIJHL Chairman Brett Holt.
The reclassification would mean that all 20 KIJHL clubs, including the Kelowna Chiefs, Kamloops Storm, Summerland Steam and Osoyoos Coyotes, would transition to the Junior A level and adopt new operating standards.
It also means that a team from BC would potentially compete in the Centennial Cup for the first time since 2019.
“We’re looking forward to further dialogue with BC Hockey on our application and our desire to further the growth of grassroots junior hockey in our province and ultimately a vote by their board,” added Holt.
Now all that can be done is to wait and see what the BC Hockey board will vote.
The upcoming KIJHL season is set to start Sept. 22, 2023.