|Minnesota Junior Hockey League|
|No. of teams||14|
|Most recent champion(s)||Rochester Ice Hawks (regular season), Dells Ducks (play-offs)|
|Official website||MJHL League Website|
The Minnesota Junior Hockey League (MnJHL) was a USA Hockey Tier III sanctioned junior ice hockey league operated out of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota. The league had seventeen member teams (with 3 being inactive) in upper midwest region of the United States for its final season. The league's purpose was to develop 16-20 year olds hockey skills to prepare athletes for career advancement in a collegiate and/or professional opportunity, while providing them secondary school educational opportunities.
History[edit | edit source]
Established in 1974, the MnJHL developed players 20 years old and younger for over 40 years. Many MnJHL players, coaches and officials alumni have moved on to college hockey and professional hockey leagues.
The league has a history of USA Hockey national championship teams. League members won national championships six times in the 1990s.
In 2012, the MnJHL expanded outside of the Minnesota and Wisconsin areas adding teams from the Great Lakes Junior Hockey League. The GLJHL switched from USA Hockey to the Amateur Athletic Union and eight of its teams refused to go with it. The eight Great Lakes Division teams formed their own division in the MnJHL while the original teams compete in the Minnesota Division. The Great Lakes Division would be renamed the Central Division prior to the 2014–15 season.
The United States Premier Hockey League announced on December 18, 2014 the formation of a Midwest Division to begin in the 2015–16 season by adding the entire Central Division of the MnJHL. By the end of the season most of the remaining teams in the MnJHL (all teams other than the Rochester Ice Hawks and the dormant Twin Cities Northern Lights) had announced their intentions to join the USPHL Midwest. On April 29, 2015, it was announced that the league had disbanded for the 2015–16 season. On May 21, 2015, the Rochester Ice Hawks were approved to join the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) to begin playing in the 2015–16 season. In June, the Wooster Oilers would drop out of the USPHL and only field a team in the NA3HL using the Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks franchise it had purchased on February 12, 2015. Prior to starting their first season in the USPHL, the Ironwood Fighting Yoopers and Minnesota Owls announced they would go dormant for the 2015–16 season due to lack of players, the Crystal Lake Rampage were replaced with the Chicago Cougars, the Fort Wayne Federals were replaced with the Indiana Attack but ceased operations prior to their first season, the Hudson Crusaders were renamed the SCV Magicians, the St. Louis Frontenacs were renamed the St. Louis Storm but ceased operations prior to their first season, and the Maple Grove Energy were relocated to become the Blaine Energy
Teams at the conclusion of the 2014–15 season[edit | edit source]
Former teams[edit | edit source]
- Dubuque Thunderbirds (2000-2006) - moved to CSHL
- Edina Jr. Stingers - folded
- Granite City Lumberjacks (2007-2011) - moved to NA3HL
- Iron Range Yellow Jackets (1999-2002) - folded
- Minnesota Flying Aces (2007-2011) - moved to NA3HL
- Jr. Kodiaks (?-2000) - folded
- North Suburban Hawks - folded
- St. Louis Lightning (2004-2005) - sold & relocated to Maple Grove (Wildcats)
- Shattuck-St. Mary's Sabres (?-2003) - team now plays a Midget Major schedule in CSDHL
- Tri-Metro Whalers - folded
- Wisconsin Mustangs (2004-2010) - moved to SIJHL
Playoff champions[edit | edit source]
|Season||League/Bush Cup Champion||National Tournament Qualifier|
|1973–74||North St. Paul|
|1974–75||West St. Paul|
|1975–76||West St. Paul|
|1977–78||West St. Paul|
|1979–80||West St. Paul|
|1983–84||West St. Paul|
|1985-86||Edina Jr. Stingers||Edina Jr. Stingers|
|1988–89||North Suburban Hawks|
|1989–90||West Suburban Kodiaks||Northland Voyageurs|
|1992–93||West Suburban Kodiaks|
|1993–94||North Metro Owls|
|1997–98||North Metro Owls||South Suburban Steers|
|1998-99||East Metro Lakers||—|
|1999–00||Iron Range Yellow Jackets||—|
|2000—01||Iron Range Yellow Jackets||—|
|2001–02||Iron Range Yellow Jackets||—|
|2002–03||Twin Cities Northern Lights||Dubuque Thunderbirds|
|2003–04||Dubuque Thunderbirds||Minnesota Ice Hawks|
|2004–05||Minnesota Ice Hawks||Dubuque Thunderbirds|
|2005–06||Minnesota Ice Hawks||Twin Cities Northern Lights|
|2006–07||Minnesota Ice Hawks||Minnesota Owls|
|2007–08||Minnesota Ice Hawks||Minnesota Owls|
|2008–09||Minnesota Ice Hawks||Granite City Lumberjacks|
|2009–10||Rochester Ice Hawks||Twin Cities Northern Lights|
|2010–11||Granite City Lumberjacks||Hudson Crusaders, Rochester Ice Hawks|
|2011–12||Twin Cities Northern Lights||Rochester Ice Hawks|
|2012–13||Twin Cities Northern Lights||—|
|2013–14||Marquette Royales||Dells Ducks|
|2014–15||Dells Ducks||Dells Ducks|
National champions[edit | edit source]
- 1989–90: Northland Voyageurs
- 1991–92: Northland Voyageurs
- 1992–93: West Suburban Kodiaks
- 1994–95: Minneapolis Kodiaks
- 1996–97: Jr. Kodiaks
- 1998–99: East Metro Lakers
See Also[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- mnjhl.com (deadlink)
- Minnesota Junior Hockey League gets a shakeup (18 December 2014).
- DAILY DISH: So long Soo? Not So Fast…, RIP MnJHL - Junior Hockey News. Junior Hockey News (April 29, 2015).
- NA3HL approves sale and relocation of Cleveland to Wooster, Ohio. NA3HL (February 12, 2015).
- THE DEATH POOL – PAY TO PLAY TEAMS STRUGGLING WITH RECRUITING – ONE DOWN TWENTY TO GO. The Junior Hockey News (June 8, 2015).
- THE DEATH POOL – SPECIAL REPORT – INDIANA ATTACK TAKE BULLET TO THE HEAD. The Junior Hockey News (September 10, 2015).
- State Champions And Runners-Up. Retrieved on 5 January 2015.
- Connecticut Clippers Win National Title (11 April 2001).
- Jace Childs finds his scoring touch for Twin Cities Northern Lights (28 March 2013).