FREDERICTON – The MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) will hold its annual general meeting and draft in Summerside.
The MHL made the announcement in a media release late Tuesday night, and commissioner Derryl Smith confirmed on Wednesday morning that the dates are Friday, June 13, and Saturday, June 14.
“It’s great to move it around the league, and it’s great for the teams to be able to showcase their franchise,” said Smith. “Every team does a great job.
“Every year you wonder how it’s going to come off, and every year it turns out to be a success no matter what venue it is held in.”
Summerside Western Capitals general manager Pat McIver said the organization is excited to host the weekend event.
“We are looking forward to putting on a top-notch event in Summerside,” added McIver.
Moved from Campbellton
This year’s draft was originally scheduled to be held in Campbellton, but a scheduling conflict with the league’s golf tournament resulted in the venue change.
“We’ve been running the Jed Ritchey Memorial (tournament in recent years), and we want to continue to do that,” said Smith. “(Team president) Lionel (Ahier) from Campbellton was good enough to say, ‘We will forego it this year if you come back and give us the opportunity to do it next year.’
“We thanked Campbellton very much for that, will give them first right of refusal for next year and moved forward to Summerside.”
While plans are still being finalized, Smith added the teams generally arrive on Thursday evening. The league’s AGM will take place on Friday morning, followed by an afternoon golf tournament. A dinner and social will be held for the teams that evening.
Any unfinished business from the AGM will be wrapped up on Saturday morning, followed by a meeting for the general managers. The draft, which will feature 10 rounds in addition to two rounds of territorial picks, will take place on Saturday afternoon.
“It’s going to be a hectic three days, especially this year with an expansion draft with St. Stephen (N.B.) coming in,” said McIver. “We have the meeting side of things, and we are going to have the draft down at Credit Union Place.
“We feel with the amenities that they (Credit Union Place) have and their track record of putting on good events, we think it can be a professionally-done draft.”