Players who graduate from the junior hockey ranks now have another option to keep playing the sport competitively.
Allan Cup Hockey has announced the creation of the Senior AA G-League (graduate league), which will serve players aged 21 to 28 with a focus on graduates of Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) junior programs. The league has received approval and sanctioning from the OHA and Ontario Hockey Federation.
“The focus of the league is on junior players displaced by COVID-19,” G-League Commissioner Tom Strauch stated in a press release. “We know the impact of physical activity on mental health and wellness.”
This Senior AA loop will complement the current Senior AAA. The AA teams will be affiliated with AAA teams, Strauch noted. One difference is Senior AA teams will not be permitted to roster former professional players.
The OHA currently has three junior leagues within its jurisdiction – the Ontario Junior Hockey League (junior A including the Wellington Dukes and Trenton Golden Hawks), Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (junior B) and Provincial Junior Hockey League (junior C including the Picton Pirates). These leagues have players aging out of eligibility at 20 or 21, leaving them with few places to continue a competitive hockey career outside of the Canadian Hockey League, U Sports and NCAA.
Age eligibility affected a large number of junior players during the 2020-21 season when the season was wiped out due to COVID-19, leaving some players without hockey in their final year of eligibility.
Players can get more information by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.