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Changes to the Northwest Junior Hockey League

League expands to eight teams for 2022-23
Beaverlodge Blades
Game action between the Fort St. John Huskies and Beaverlodge Blades.

The Northwest Junior Hockey League is expanding to eight teams for the upcoming 2022-23 season.

The Beaverlodge Blades and La Crete Spruce Kings will join the Fort St. John Huskies, Dawson Creek Kodiaks, North Peace Navigators, Fairview Flyers, Sexsmith Vipers, and Grande Prairie Kings beginning in September.

Huskies GM Jeremy Clothier said the decision was made at Sunday's annual general meeting.

"I think it's a good thing for the league. We've been trying to grow it for the past couple of years. We've had interest from teams but not as interested as the two teams were this year. They put their proposal together, showed up for the meeting, they answered all the questions we had of them."

"It will be less games against every team but more teams to play against," added Clothier.

In the case of the Huskies, a trip to La Crete could take upwards of six hours, or longer, depending on the roads.

"We play each team three times in their own rink, so one weekend, it might be a two-game weekend or we'll go play (in La Crete) Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and then come home," said Clothier.

The league will also have a new president in place for the coming season.

Former Dawson Creek Kodiaks president Rob Huttema was elected to the role replacing Michael Mercredi.

Darcy Heartt will step in as the Kodiaks president.