Successful 2020-21 WHL Season highlighted by effective Return to Play protocols

WHL Network

Calgary, Alta. – The Western Hockey League concluded the 2020-21 WHL Season on Wednesday evening, which featured 264 highly competitive Divisional games and nearly 10,000 tests for COVID-19 across Western Canada and the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

With an extensive set of protocols, which included regular private PCR testing for COVID-19 provided by DynaLIFE Medical Labs; enhanced daily screening for all WHL players, team staff, officials, and billets; and Hub Centre competition in British Columbia and Saskatchewan; the WHL successfully and safely delivered an extremely important development experience for all WHL players.

“The Western Hockey League is extremely pleased to have safely delivered a very important development opportunity for our players during the 2020-21 season,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “Having completed the 2020-21 WHL Regular Season using protocols, built in consultation with regional health authorities, we believe our WHL Return to Play model was very effective in creating a safe and healthy environment for each of our teams.

“The WHL wishes to express our sincere thanks to the health authorities in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Washington and Oregon, for working in partnership with us to ensure we had a safe return to play. We would also like to extend special thanks to our Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Dhiren Naidu for his guidance and leadership leading up to and throughout the season and to our WHL team billet families for the sacrifices they made in providing a safe home environment for our players.

“To our great fans across WHL territory, we thank you for standing by our side during this challenging time. We miss the roar of the crowd and we miss sharing your passion for our teams in the community. Your support throughout the 2020-21 WHL Season has been greatly appreciated, and we eagerly await the day we can open our doors for you to cheer louder than you have ever cheered before.”

The 2020-21 WHL Awards will be presented beginning Monday, May 31 with WHL Division All-Stars and Awards, followed by overall WHL Awards beginning Monday, June 7.

“We look forward to recognizing and honouring the accomplishments of our players, who are most deserving of our 2021 WHL Awards celebration following the challenges they have overcome to compete in such a unique setting,” Robison said.

The lotteries for the 2021 WHL Draft and 2021 WHL U.S. Prospects Draft will take place on Tuesday, June 1, with both prospect drafts scheduled to be completed in December 2021. More information on the WHL Draft lotteries will be provided at a later date.

The 2020-21 WHL Season concluded with four WHL Division Champions:

  • Kamloops Blazers – RE/MAX Cup & B.C. Division Champions (18-4-0-0, 36 points)
  • Brandon Wheat Kings – Subway Cup & East Division Champions (18-4-2-0, 38 points)
  • Edmonton Oil Kings – Central Division Champions (20-2-0-1, 41 points)
  • Everett Silvertips – U.S. Division Champions (19-4-0-0, 38 points)

Across the WHL, a total of 9,735 tests for COVID-19 were conducted from February 12 through May 7, 2021, returning only 14 positive test results. This serves as evidence that the WHL Return to Play model proved to be very effective in establishing and maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all participants in the WHL this season.

About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 375 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.

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