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What Junior Hockey Leagues are in North America?

Do you dream of playing professional hockey one day? Perhaps you’re an aspiring young hockey player in Edmonton, but you’re not sure what options are out there when it comes to junior hockey leagues. Well, you’re in the right place! In this blog post, we’ll dive into the different junior hockey leagues in North America, so you can start exploring your next step in the hockey world.

United States Hockey League (USHL)

The USHL is the top junior hockey league in the United States and is considered to be one of the best developmental leagues for aspiring young players. This league has 16 teams located in the midwestern United States and offers players exposure to scouts from the National Hockey League (NHL) and college hockey coaches. The USHL also has an extensive scholarship program to help players pursue their academic goals.

Canadian Hockey League (CHL)

The CHL is a three league organization that is made up of the Western Hockey League (WHL), the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). This league operates in Canada and the United States, and is comprised of 60 teams in total. Many NHL stars, such as Connor McDavid and Carey Price, got their start playing in the CHL.

North American Hockey League (NAHL)

The NAHL is a junior hockey league in the United States that operates primarily in the Midwest and Southeast regions. This league has 28 teams, and players can compete while maintaining their NCAA eligibility. The NAHL has a strong reputation for player development, and many of its players have gone on to play college hockey and move up to professional ranks.

USPHL Premier League

The United States Premier Hockey League is an American ice hockey league. Founded in 2012, the USPHL has grown to over 60 organizations from across the United States fielding teams in the National Collegiate Development Conference, Premier, Elite, EHF, 18U, 16U, 15U, and High Performance youth divisions.

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Hockey

While not technically a junior hockey league, the NCAA is a popular pathway for aspiring young hockey players to pursue their dreams while also getting a college education. The NCAA has three divisions, and players can compete while maintaining their eligibility for college athletics. Many NHL stars, such as Jack Eichel and T.J. Oshie, played college hockey before moving on to the professional ranks.


As you can see, there are numerous junior hockey leagues in North America, each offering unique opportunities and experiences for aspiring young hockey players. By exploring these options and determining your goals and priorities, you can begin to pave the way towards a future in hockey that is both fulfilling and successful. Whether you aspire to play in the NHL or pursue a college education while playing hockey, there is a pathway for you in the world of junior hockey. So lace up those skates and hit the ice – your hockey dreams await!

If you would like more information or details on what junior hockey leagues are available in North America, feel free to contact us at Combine Camps