Western Hockey League kicks off 2022-23 season tonight – Seattle Thunderbirds

Calgary, Alta. – Western Hockey League Commissioner Ron Robson officially launched the 2022-23 WHL regular season on Friday. The WHL is entering its 57th season as all 22 WHL member clubs across Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest open their quest to become WHL Champions.

WHL Commissioner Ron Robison commented, “WHL is pleased to welcome back our fantastic fans for the 2022-23 WHL regular season.” “As one of the largest producers of NHL talent in the world, this season will truly be the time for the WHL to shine, with a highly talented group of players born in 2005 preparing to take the stage and entertain fans on their journey to the 2023 NHL Draft. The WHL and our member clubs are proud to provide A safe and positive environment for our players, while offering the highest level of competition in the system and the most comprehensive education and scholarship program.

“We look forward to seeing you and feeling your energy again in our world-class facilities throughout the 2022-23 WHL regular season.”

WHL continues to serve as a leading talent resource for the NHL

The 2022 NHL Draft saw another eight WHL players make the top 40, led by Seattle Thunderbirds defenseman Kevin Korchinsky (7th overall, Chicago Blackhawks).

The WHL is poised to be a pioneer in the 2023 NHL Draft, led by Conor Bedard of the Regina Pats, Brayden Yager of the Moose Jaw Warriors, Zach Benson of Winnipeg ICE, Andrew Cristall of the Kelowna Rockets, and Riley Heidt of The Prince George Cougar, among others. many others.

Inter-Conference returns to regular season 68-Game WHL

After two seasons without inter-conference play, WHL fans can look forward to seeing competition outside of the conference during the 2022-23 WHL regular season.

The campaign will see the WHL’s five United States Division clubs make the journey from the Western Conference to the WHL’s Eastern Division, while the WHL’s Eastern Division clubs will travel west to visit the WHL’s BC Division.

The five WHL BC Division clubs are set to visit the WHL Central Division, while American Division fans can look forward to seeing WHL Central Division clubs head south of the border.

Inter-Conference Games:

  • Friday October 21 – Winnipeg ICE in Kamloops Blazers
    • Two of the top clubs will face strength in the WHL as the Blazers welcome ICE to Kamloops.
  • Friday 25 November – Regina Bates at the Vancouver Giants
    • North Vancouver producer Conor Bedard made his debut in his hometown, where the Giants host the Regina Pats.
  • Tuesday December 13 – Spokane Chiefs in Moose Joe Warriors
    • Brayden Yager (Moose Jaw Warriors) and Saige Weinstein (Spokane Chiefs) compete head-to-head for the first time in the WHL.
  • Saturday 14 January – Seattle Thunderbirds at Saskatoon Blades
    • Longtime fan favorite Kyle Crenkovic is returning to Saskatoon for the first time after a successful deal with Seattle this summer.
  • Tuesday 7 February The Red Deer Rebellion in Portland and Winterhawks
    • Two permanent WHL forces meet as Rebels coach Steve Konwalchuk returns to the city where he spent his playing days.

2023 WHL Qualifiers

The 2023 WHL Qualifiers are scheduled to begin on Friday, March 31.

The breakout conference format returns for 2023, with the WHL Board of Governors agreeing to format for the next three seasons. The 2022 WHL qualifier was the first year of the conference competition since the 2014 WHL qualifiers.

The teams that finish first in the two divisions in each conference will receive the Top Manufacturers qualifiers based on regular season points. The next six clubs in each conference, based on regular season points, will take third to eighth places.

Clubs that advance to the second round and conference tournaments will be re-ranked in each round based on regular season points. The conference champions will advance to the WHL Championship Series, with the club with the most regular season points receiving the home ice advantage.

All series in the 2023 WHL Qualifiers will follow the best of seven format.

The 2023 WHL Championship Series is scheduled to run from Friday, May 12 to Monday, May 22 with the WHL champion advancing to the 2023 Memorial Cup presented by Kia in Kamloops, British Columbia from Friday, May 26 to Sunday, June 4.

CHL National Events Coming to WHL in 2023

The WHL will host the first two national events in Canadian Major Junior hockey during the 2022-23 season, including the 2023 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Vancouver (January 25) and the 2023 Memorial Cup presented by Kia in Kamloops (May 2023).

The most important shows during the first half of the week’s match schedule appeared on CHL TV

Five WHL games featuring the best odds for the 2023 NHL Draft will enjoy the spotlight of CHL TV Game of the Week from September through December.

On Saturday, September 24, Brayden Yeager and Moose Jaw Warriors will host Conor Bedard and Regina Bates to unlock the roster. Tuesday October 11th will see Andrew Crystal and the Kelowna Rockets head to Vancouver Island for a mile with the Victoria Royals.

During November, defensemen take center stage as Lukas Drajicevic, Tri-City Americans visit Prince Albert the Raiders (November 1) and Sage Weinstein and the Spokane Chiefs welcome the Vancouver Giants (November 23).

The first half of the CHL TV Game of the Week schedule ends on Wednesday, December 14, as Ed Chynoweth Cup holders, the Edmonton Oil Kings, visit Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Fans can watch CHL TV Game of the Week on WHL Live on CHL TV by signing up for a free CHL TV user account at watch.chl.ca.

WHL Live on CHL TV has a new home for 2022-23

New for the 2022-23 WHL regular season, fans can find WHL Live on CHL TV within the CHL app, as well as new OTT apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku.

Get all the WHL and CHL content you can handle along with live streaming games with the CHL app.

For the low price of $119.99 (plus taxes and fees), you can sign up for WHL Live All-Access at watch.chl.ca.

The WHL Scholarship continues to be successful

The 2022-23 WHL season marks the 29th anniversary of the WHL Scholarship. With WHL alumni receiving nearly 7,400 WHL scholarships since 1993, WHL clubs have invested nearly $33 million over the history of the WHL Scholarship Program.

Every player who plays in the WHL is eligible for a WHL scholarship. For each season a player plays in the WHL, they receive a guaranteed WHL scholarship for one full year, including tuition, textbooks, and compulsory fees for the post-secondary institution of their choice. WHL players can also access financial aid for post-secondary courses while playing in the league before accessing their WHL scholarship. The WHL and Athabasca University have partnered to offer fully accredited undergraduate courses, through the Internet and other distance learning vehicles, to any WHL player or WHL graduate interested in pursuing post-secondary studies while playing in the WHL or after graduating from the league.

Over 70 percent of Canada West’s men’s hockey rosters are made up of WHL alumni. Recent WHL alumni who have played Canadian Western hockey and have gone on to sign NHL entry contracts include Derek Ryan (Edmonton Oilers), Zach Suchenko (Carolina Hurricanes), Luke Philp (Chicago Blackhawks), and Noah Philp (Edmonton Oilers).

WHL Promotes Respect in Hockey Network Programs and Security

On September 1, the WHL hosted the 2022 WHL Leadership Conference, unveiling a number of improvements to WHL Respect in its hockey network and security programs.

The WHL Player Advisory Board will provide WHL players and staff with access to an independent complaint, and the Player Advisory Board will review all complaints received through an independent channel before determining next steps. Read more

What we stand for: The WHL Player Experience

WHL is fully committed to providing our players with a world-class hockey experience. We believe that our WHL member clubs offer our players the highest quality of hockey experience available in the world today and this can best be described through our three core pillars: Development, Education and Environment.

The WHL provides the highest level of competition for young players in North America. Our quality training, facilities and professional support services provide an ideal environment for players to develop their skills and advance to the next level in the game.

WHL offers the most comprehensive education program in North America. WHL clubs are subject to university-wide education standards to ensure that players not only achieve their academic goals in high school, but also qualify for post-secondary studies. While playing in the WHL, players receive financial assistance for their post-secondary cycle. WHL also offers a fully guaranteed scholarship to all of our players, which can be applied to any post-secondary institution of your choice.

The WHL is committed to providing the best possible experience for our players, including a mandatory series of national health and wellness programs, such as the Respect in Hockey Program, CHL’s Drug and Anti-Doping Education Program, and Canadian Mental Health Initiatives, among others. When combined with the WHL Seven Point Plan player safety initiative, these programs provide our players with a safe and healthy environment in which to develop.

About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s premier development league for emerging hockey players, the head office of the Western Hockey League (WHL) is from Calgary, Alberta. The WHL has 22 member clubs, 17 in western Canada and five in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a major supplier of talent to the National Hockey League for more than 50 years. WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with more than 375 alumni each year receiving WHL scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the core of the Canadian national junior hockey team.

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