It has expanded to become a 12-team league with a firm grasp on a northern region that extends from Kirkland Lake to Sault Ste. Marie and towns in between.
With such growth, perhaps it is time for the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League to showcase all of its players at once with an annual pre-season — or mid-season — tournament.
In fact, to make it easier for American college recruiters to attend, an idea might be for the showcase to be held outside NOJHL territory in the Greater Toronto Area.
And why not?
Every year, the North American Hockey League — which, like the NOJHL, is tier 2 junior level — holds a pre-season showcase tournament in Blaine, Minnesota, which is part of the large Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area.
Over the years, the NAHL showcase has grown to the extent that about 200 — yes, 200 — college recruiters from all over the United States converge in metropolitan Minnesota for the annual event.
All NAHL teams play four games at the Minnesota showcase — with all games counting in the regular-season standings.
To be sure, the time is right for the NOJHL to begin the process towards putting on an annual showcase where college recruiters know they can see all players from all teams in a four-day span.
And instead of having the tournament in an NOJHL town that is considered remote to American college recruiters, have it in the GTA — which would make it that much-easier to showcase all players and teams.