OJHL announces Oct. 1 start for 2021-22 season

A 54-game 2021-2022 regular season for Ontario Junior Hockey League teams, starting Oct. 1, has been approved by the Board of Governors.

The OJHL Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held in Mississauga this weekend with the Board of Governors looking ahead to next season while also paying tribute to one of its leaders from Cobourg.

The league has developed a Social Media and Branding Plan utilizing an extensive social media ecosystem in conjunction with a specific workflow plan. The plan will see OJHL content shared in real time during and after games to bring the OJHL’s players, teams and excitement to a much larger audience.

Over the past number of years, the league has developed a number of properties and events including: the OJHL Governors’ Showcase, OJHL All-Star Celebration weekend, Ontario Junior Development League, OJHL Combine, Junior Hockey Pre-Camp Showcase, OJHL Fan Favourite Award and the OJHL Championship Series. 

These properties are supported by OJHL programming such as the OJHL CHCH nationally televised Game of the Week, its national televised weekly show – The OJ Today and OJHL Images. The newly designed Social Media and Brand Plan is the next evolution in the promotion of the league, teams and players.

“Over the past several months, our OJHL team has developed a very extensive and unique Social Media and Branding plan that will tap into our industry-leading OJHL Images to capture in-game content for distribution through our newly developed social media ecosystem,” OJHL Director of Business Development Rick Morocco stated in a release. “We expect our plan will increase the OJHL brand 10-fold during the next year.”

The Board of Governors also approved the 2021-22 OJHL Season Opening date and special events: start date for the full 54-game 2021-22 season is set for October 1, 2021; the Governors’ Showcase will take place during the third or fourth week of October; the OJHL All-Star Celebration weekend will be played during the third or fourth week of January in Collingwood; the full schedule will be released in the coming weeks.

The 2021-2022 season will see a change with the league’s Chairman of the Board.  

Long-time Markham Royals Governor Stuart Hyman moves from his role as the OJHL’s 1st Vice Chair into the Chairman’s position, taking over the position from outgoing Chairman Marc Mercier.  

Hyman’s first order of business was presenting a motion to re-name the current OJHL Chairman’s Award to the Marc Mercier Chairman’s Award in honour of the outgoing chairman, the long-time governor of the Cobourg Cougars. The motion was passed unanimously.

“The OJHL Chairman’s Award is provided to an individual who has gone above and beyond for the betterment of the OJHL and hockey in Ontario,” Hyman stated in the release. “Marc Mercier’s dedication to the OJHL and all 22 member clubs has always gone above and beyond during over 15 years of service.  The OJHL Board of Governors wanted to recognize all of his efforts and the dedication of our Chairman’s Award in his honour is a very fitting manner in which to do so.”

OJHL Commissioner Marty Savoy thanked Mercier “for all of his leadership, guidance and dedication during his term as chairman” in the release.

“Marc has been a leader in driving improvement of not only the OJHL but Junior hockey within our province,” Savoy also stated. “The OJHL has a history of dedicated individuals that have served as our Chairman and the league staff and myself look forward to working with incoming Chairman Stuart Hyman.”