Trade freeze underway between BCHL and CJHL teams

As is customary each year, the BC Hockey League’s 18 teams aren’t permitted to make trades with any of the 118 teams in the Canadian Junior Hockey League due to a holiday trade freeze. Each year, the halt on deals is between Dec. 10 and New Year’s Day.

However, it doesn’t prevent BCHL teams from making trades with each other.

One of the big questions that arose after the BCHL withdrew from the CJHL in April 2021 was how the separation would affect transactions between BC’s junior A league and the other leagues at the level across the country. The truth is, it hasn’t affected the transaction wire to – and from – Canada’s westernmost province at all.

This month alone, four of the six trades posted on the transactions page of the BCHL website involved teams from outside of British Columbia. Two of those deals were struck with the Hawkesbury Hawks of the Central Canada Hockey League.

One move saw the Prince George Spruce Kings send 2004-born defender Aleksy Bandu to the Hawks for future considerations and the other had the Cranbrook Bucks pick up 2002-born forward Jeremy Tremblay from Hawkesbury for 2003-born forward William Blackburn and futures.

Since transactions for the 2022-23 season started on June 1, BCHL clubs have made a total of 140 trades, with 91 of them involving teams in the CJHL. That’s 65 percent of all trades in the BCHL this season being made with teams outside of the league.

Leagues in the CJHL# of trades involving BCHL teams (since June 1)
Alberta Junior Hockey League43
Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League15
Central Canada Hockey League14
Ontario Junior Hockey League9
Manitoba Junior Hockey League8
Maritime Junior Hockey League1
Quebec Junior Hockey League1
Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League0
Superior International Junior Hockey League0

The 2021-22 season saw 20 trades consummated between BCHL and CJHL teams from the lifting of the trade freeze on Jan. 1 through to the trade deadline of Jan. 10. In comparison, there were only 11 deals between BCHL clubs

With the 2022-23 season at the halfway mark and all teams either in a playoff position or within striking distance of a playoff spot, trade activity leading up to the deadline should ramp up as teams tinker with their rosters in anticipation of the second half of the season, the stretch drive, and post-season sprint to the awarding of the Fred Page Cup.