Registration for the LJK 2020-21 Season is Open, News (London Junior Knights)

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Registration for the LJK 2020-21 Season is Open
Submitted By Webmaster on Saturday, September 12, 2020
At this time U10 (Minor Atom) registration is not open as we are still working out all the details.  We will post a message about this as soon as we know more information.

For all other age groups, please click the link at the top of the page to register.

The London Junior Knights are excited to announce the opening of registration for the 2020-21 season.

While there are still many unknowns, the London Junior Knight’s foremost concern is the health and safety of our players. As we have all become aware during these extraordinary times, the only constant seems to be change.

With this in mind the London Junior Knights will continue to work with its governing bodies and neighbouring associations in an effort to develop a return to hockey program that meets the needs of our players, coaches and parents adjusting and reacting to changes as they happen.

Registration Open: Coming Soon
Registration Deadline: Sept 26, 2020

Costs: $1800 per player
Payment 1: $300 at registration
Payment 2: $750 (Oct 30)
Payment 3: $750 (Nov 30)

Program Highlights:

● Season: September 28, 2020 - March 30, 2021
● A minimum of 3 Hours of ice time per week per team
● Skills development by qualified LJK Coaches
● AAA and AA teams at all age groups
● Modified game play as Public Health Units permit

Please note that it is the intention of the LJK that teams NOT charge team fees in the coming season. The registration costs therefore represent the full cost of the program. Team fees are typically charged by the teams to cover the cost of tournaments, additional ice time, team equipment apparel, hockey development costs etc. These items are not planned to be part of the hockey program in the coming year. Players and parents are able to raise sponsorship funds as in previous years.

IMPORTANT NOTE - Eligibility for LJK Hockey for 2020-21 Season

As per OHF Return to play rules, all players must play within their home center. Only players who were on a LJK AAA or AA roster in 2019-20 are eligible for registration for the LJK 2020-21 season.

The following players can contact the LJK Convenors for their age group who will determine if they qualify for registration with the LJK association;

1. Players residing in LONDON who played last year outside of London and wish to return to play in LONDON this year.

2. Players residing in LONDON who did not play with a Hockey Canada sanctioned team last year and wish to return to play within Hockey Canada this year.

3. Players that have recently moved into LONDON.

Highlights of the LJK return to hockey structure:

● It is the LJK intent to ice 23 teams for the 2020-21 season. The plan includes one AAA team and two AA teams at each age group from U10 (Minor Atom) to U16 (Minor Midget) and one AAA and one AA at U18 (Major Midget).

● The AAA team, and AA teams will be selected through an on-ice skills assessment and development process that will occur during the first two weeks of the season. Evaluations are scheduled to start September 28.

● At the end of the evaluation period, the AAA and AA teams will roster 18 players (16 skaters + 2 goalies) on each LJK team.

● Each team will be split into two cohorts of 8 skaters + 1 goalie.

● Team practices will include both cohorts attending with player development being the focus of the first 2 months of hockey.

● Currently the Gameplay plan will be a modified 4v4 full ice format with no body contact with competition within LJK cohorts.

● The League structure and variety of competition will increase as the Province opens up and the OHF and Alliance rules allow.

FAQ - Frequently Ask Questions

The LJK Board of Directors have compiled a list of questions relevant to the pandemic and the return to hockey this fall that we feel is helpful to the membership. These questions and answers are current today but as we have experienced things do change, if not daily almost weekly. We will update with any changes that may occur and will also encourage people to reach out to your age convenor or VP of hockey Kevin Gardner with scenarios that we may have not covered.

1. Who is eligible to play and will tryouts occur?

Answer: The RTP ( return to play ) model endorsed by the OHF has all players returning to their home association this year. This means any player that was on a AAA /AA roster last season will be a offered spot within the program. There will not be tryouts as we know them, but assessments will occur by the AAA coach to select a roster of 18 players. This means players can move within our program from AA to AAA, and visa versa. The assessments will be made over 3 hour time slots.

2. How many teams will we have?

Answer: Our goal is to field teams at all age groups.

3. Can players move if they do not want to play LJK to another AAA centre?

Answer: There will be no player releases (F1’s) this year. This means that you cannot move to another AAA Alliance team and specific to midget AAA there will be no freedom of movement. The midget program is still being looked at for potential changes however.

4. If players do not return how does a coach replace a player?

Answer: This is an issue we are dealing with behind the scenes. We believe the LJK is the city wide program and all players within the city should be afforded the opportunity to play with us. We have been working with the GLHA in terms of minor atom players. We can only say we will do our very best to find solutions to the AA program if the numbers are not there.

5. Can a player participate both with the LJK and another league at the same time?

Answer: No, if you are rostered as an LJK player you cannot play in another league. The cutoff date for this is Sept. 28th. Private skills outside of the LJK are permitted ( power skating, goalie training etc )and will not affect you playing with your LJK team.

6. Will the AA teams be the same as last year?

Answer: The plan is to have a draft of players by the coaches when the assessments are completed.

7. What’s the plan for the season?

Answer: We will focus on skills initially and transition into 4 on 4 non contact hockey. Our hope is that as the province opens we will get back to 5 on 5 hockey at some point. Teams of 18 will practice as a team but will be divided into two cohorts for the games. This will entail 8 players and a goalie. We will play within our own association to begin with but as the league size increases ( currently 50 ) we will hopefully work and play against other local cohorts like Elgin as an example.

AA age groups with two full teams will have 4 cohorts and play each other while also open to playing other cohorts outside of the LJK as permitted. We will also potentially look at having different age groups playing against each other in cohorts within the LJK.

8. Will there be an OHF, tournaments or playoffs?

Answer: Presently no, but the door has been left open for some form of championship.

9. My son is in his draft year. How will this season affect him?

Answer: This is particularly difficult, and we have been in contact with the OHL scouts and have been assured they will be out watching players. We are also pursuing showcase weekends as a possible option in the future. The LJK is a program known for its talent and has a long history of draft picks within the OHL. The talent will be identified.

10. Why is the cost $1800?

Answer: The board understands the economic effect the pandemic has had on some of our families. We are doing our best to keep costs to a minimum but understanding there is also a financial impact to the association. We will not be receiving fee’s from our tryouts nor tournaments. Team budgets will be kept to a bare minimum if at all. With no travel, tournaments, and other team related costs we are hoping this helps with the cost of hockey.We are fortunate that we are in a good financial position and can run a program, hockey will not happen in any form this year for some associations unfortunately.

11. Why should I stay with the LJK?

Answer: We are proud of our history of developing some of the best hockey players in the world. We are equally as proud of many others that move on and do great things in life. Some of those former players have returned as coaches hoping to give the same experience they received while playing with the LJK. We are very proud of our slate of coaches, they have the ability and motivation to help our players become better at hockey but also life skills and memories of having fun playing hockey. This season will be new to them, but even with all the unknowns we have not had one coach indicate they are not interested in coming back. They are here for the right reasons. The LJK board has met hours and hours trying to deal with the pandemic and 95 % of our board are non parent volunteers. The parents on the board are also committed to the program and have been invaluable during these challenging times.
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