Hockey Canada introduces new junior-level rules in western pilot project

Hockey Canada is trying out a series of changes in the western provinces in an attempt to streamline the development of junior players.

That includes mandating that junior A players under the age of 18 must continue to wear full-face protection, in line with the International Ice Hockey Federation.

Players over 18 may now choose to wear half-face protection.

The pilot project also allows Western Hockey League teams to have up to nine 15-year-old players play up to 10 games in a season.

That is up from the former limit of five affiliate players on the roster for only five games.

WHL clubs can also now dress two 15-year-old affiliate players if the team is unable to field a full lineup otherwise. That is an increase from the previous limit of one.

The new rules are part of the Western Canadian Development Model pilot project for the 2024-25 season, following an extensive proposal submitted to Hockey Canada by its four western members, their respective Junior A leagues and the WHL.

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