Canadian Development Model

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The Canadian Development Model (CDM) was created during the summer of 2005 at the Hockey Canada Annual General Meeting in Saint John, New Brunswick. The Canadian Development Model was set up to create a uniform system for players from Vancouver to St. John's.

The model[edit]

The CDM stipulates the maximum amount of players at ages fourteen (14) through seventeen (17). It seeks to make Midget AAA the primary development ground of players sixteen (16) years old, as most players ended up moving on to Junior hockey, after Minor Midget.

Player Matrix[edit]

Players sixteen (16) years of age will be allowed to register and participate in Junior Hockey under the guidelines indicated in the following matrix:

Level 05-06 06-07 07-08
Major Junior 4 4 4
Junior A 2 2 2
Junior B 2 2 2
Junior C/D 1(local) 1(local) 1(local)

Under the Canadian Development Model the league may be allowed to use a league average system. Hypothetically a Major Junior team could have five 16 year-olds signed as long as the league average per team remains four.


The Canadian Development Model has come under fire by many, including most notably, President of the Greater Toronto Hockey League John Gardiner. At the 2007 annual general meeting the criticized the direction the CDM was taking hockey. The CDM is also criticized by others not in the hockey administration, most cite that the CDM is "holding players back". In fact the CDM has allowed for the creation of niche market, as seen through the creation of leagues such as the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League and the WHA Junior Hockey League. These leagues are not members of Hockey Canada and therefore not subject to the Canadian Development Model.


The Canadian Development Model also allows for the exceptions to be made. Players who are extremely talented are given Exception Player status to play in a higher category, typically Major Junior.

The restrictions on 16-year-olds at the Junior A level can be seen as an attempt by Hockey Canada to reduce the amount of Canadian-born players leaving for the NCAA. The CDM hurts players' chances of being recruited by NCAA coaches and subsequently makes it easier for Hockey Canada to filter players through the Major Junior system.

Exceptional Players[edit]

In 2007, John McFarland of the Toronto Jr. Canadiens (Bantam at the time) applied for such status and was denied.

External links[edit]