In 1976-77 the MTHL (now GTHL) won the National Midget Championship in Moncton, New Brunswick. Since that time, no team from Toronto has won this prestigious Championship, now called the Telus Cup.
This Championship has been dominated over the past twenty years by teams from Quebec and the West, where the structure of hockey is considerably different than Ontario. Currently, we have a club system with fairly strict residency rules, while they focus more on private sport schools and “all star” type teams.
Midget AAA hockey in Ontario has been under a great deal of stress in recent years. Lowering the age of the OHL Midget Draft to 15 from 16 has had a profound impact. Drafted players felt they were too good to play Midget, and those that were not drafted, felt their dream of Jr., College, or professional hockey was over, and it was time to focus on other things, which may or may not include Midget AAA hockey. Thankfully, things are changing, and for the better.
Until recently, there were 36 Provincial Jr “A” teams in the GTA. After several years of poor performance, and an almost complete disappearance of US College scouts, the league decided to cut back to 22 teams (2012-13). This will greatly strengthen their league and bring back the College scouts.
The benefits of this cut back in Jr “A” teams to midget hockey in the GTHL are clear and substantial. Many more top end players will be available, and with the high quality of coaching that exists in the GTHL AAA Midget loop, the upside for players is huge. OHL clubs are now recommending Midget AAA for many of their drafted players.
In recent years the GTHL and its member clubs have worked hard to strengthen Midget AAA hockey, with weekend double headers, a more focused approach on the needs of the 16 and 17 year old student athlete, and a significant improvement in the level of coaching and training, all designed to ensure a players overall hockey and personal development continues at a high level.
|19||Jason Di Perna||LW|
|93||Jonathan Da Silva||RW|
Midget AAA hockey in the GTHL is the best environment for 16 and 17 year olds to play on a regular basis and develop their skills for the next level, especially if that level involves hockey thru education for the student/athlete.
Parents and players need to understand US Colleges and Canadian Universities typically do not place student/athletes in their hockey programs until they are 19+ years old. Therefore, this year’s graduating Minor Midget players have another four years of growth, maturity, and development ahead of them before achieving their goal of College/University hockey. There is no rush, and the fact that players may be drafted late to the OHL, or not at all (not because they are not good enough; but because they are not ready yet), has absolutely nothing to do with where they can be in three or four years, especially if they continue to work hard and play at a high level. Players can play one or two years of midget hockey (grade 11 and 12), and still have two years left to play Junior; there is no rush.
Midget AAA hockey in Ontario has been under some stress in recent years. OHL drafted players felt they were too good to play Midget, and those that were not drafted, felt their dream of Jr., College, or professional hockey was over, and it was time to focus on other things. Thankfully, things are changing for the better.
Until recently, there were 36 Provincial Jr “A” teams in the GTA. After several years of poor performance, and an almost complete disappearance of US College scouts, the league decided to cut back to 22 teams (2012-13). This will make their league an “older player” league and greatly strengthen the overall quality of their programs.
The benefits of this decision to midget hockey in the GTHL are real and substantial. Many more top end players became available, and with the high quality of coaching that exists in the GTHL AAA Midget loop (see www.gthlmidgetAAA.com) , there is nothing but upside for players. Some OHL clubs are now recommending Midget AAA for many of their drafted players.
In recent years the GTHL and its member clubs have worked hard to strengthen Midget AAA hockey, with weekend double headers, a more focused approach to the needs of the 16 and 17 year old student athlete, and a significant improvement in the level of coaching and training, all designed to ensure a players overall hockey and personal development continues at a high level.