Some players fly under the radar and go unnoticed.
Some players impact and value are only truly appreciated by their teammates, coaches and hockey purists.
You could say the exact same thing about certain junior hockey leagues across this country. The Maritime Hockey League is undoubtedly one of the most underrated and unappreciated junior hockey leagues around.
Year after year, the MHL continues to develop players at a torrid pace.
Year after year, the brand of hockey and the caliber of players within the league continue to skyrocket. The Maritimes and Atlantic Canada are well known for our hospitality, honesty and our modesty.
Collectively self-promotion isn’t a top priority when it comes to the game of hockey in this neck of the woods.
We usually let our pride, skill and passion for the game speak for itself. Perhaps I’m preaching to the choir here, but the Maritime Hockey League is an outstanding league with a tremendous history deeply rooted within the game in this region.
Junior hockey has the ability to connect communities like no other sport. Countless players and coaches alike have used the Maritime Junior A ranks as a springboard to a career within the game.
From the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, to the university ranks, to professional hockey, the work force and beyond, the MHL continues to be a staple in this region.
The list of players, coaches and officials to cut their teeth in the league over the years is too numerous to mention.
Every single one of their journey’s started in the MHL.
Every single one of them have fond memories of playing the game they love close to home.
“The Maritime Junior Hockey League has a long history in the fabric of communities throughout the region,” said Steve Dykeman, President of the MHL.
Dykeman believes playing locally transcends the game on so many levels.
“Many players get the opportunity to play for the team they grew up watching, which is the fulfillment of a dream.”
“Over the years the league has provided a chance for players and coaches to grow and learn, with an opportunity to showcase their skills and move on to a higher level, whether that’s in the CHL, USport, NCAA or beyond.”
Hockey dreams in Atlantic Canada often take on a world of their own. Those dreams are shared amongst the masses and are forged in backyard rinks and local community arenas across our region.
“Teams are deeply connected to their small communities and give back in many ways whether it’s coaching the next generation of stars or being involved in school programs. Fans, especially those who watch these players from a young age, have a special connection to these local players,” stressed Dykeman.
Education, the creation of a highly competitive league with fantastic venues, coupled with high level coaching and player development continues to drive the MHL.
From the outside looking in, the MHL continues to fight for creditability and its rightful place within the game.
Unappreciated and underrated, junior A hockey in Atlantic Canada is flourishing and the MHL is the driving force behind it. The next crop of highly skilled Atlantic Canadian’s is about to arrive with the MHL holding its entry draft tomorrow.
“The MHL has always aimed to provide players with the tools necessary to be successful in life after Junior A hockey,” Dykeman said proudly.
The 2020 MHL Entry Draft will take place June 13th beginning at 10 a.m. Live coverage of the first two rounds in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland on Eastlink Community TV, channels 10 and 610, and also available in New Brunswick on Rogers TV, channel 10. Full draft results will be available at themhl.ca and @THEMHL on Twitter.