Hockey Canada Player Pathway

This page was last updated: May 2021

In December 2019, the GTHL implemented the U7, U9 and U11 Player Pathway effective Fall 2020. YMHC will be following the newly modified U7 (Tyke), U9 (Novice) and the new U11 (Atom) Player Pathways.  With the implementation of the new U11 Player Pathway, changes have also been made to the U7 and U9 pathways to implement consistency.  

Here are a few selected comments from the GTHL on the implementation of the Pathway to help you understand the reasons for the changes. 

  • The primary focus of the youth hockey system is to develop a lifelong passion for sport, develop important life skills and provide a development system that is progressive in nature and meets players needs based on age and skill appropriate programming.
  • To accomplish this goal, Hockey Canada developed the Canadian Player Pathway, which is supported by the Long-term Player Development (LTPD) model.
  • Player development is at the core of the Pathway with a focus on skill development so that each player will experience success in both practice and game settings.

With the implementation of the new U11 Player Pathway in the 2020-2021 season, key changes have been made to the Player Pathways at U7 and U9. This will create consistency in all programming across the country and create a seamless transition for players from U7 through to U11 based on the Hockey Canada Long-Term Player Development model.

The Player Pathways provide local minor hockey associations a framework of age appropriate development guidelines which includes an optimal seasonal structure.

The policy and recommendations for the U7, U9 and U11 Pathways have been identified with the parent and player in mind; allowing families to have their summer break while still providing on-ice opportunities ahead of evaluations, giving players key seasonal breaks to allow for holidays and the chance to play other sports throughout the year, and establishing consistent age appropriate programming that is in line with the Long-Term Player Development model.

The transition from spring to fall evaluations at these age groups allows the Local Hockey Associations to provide Member sanctioned non-traditional hockey programming (i.e. 3-on-3, 4-on-4, or skills clinics) beginning any time after the conclusion of the OHF Championships and completing no later than June 30th.

The implementation of the U7, U9 and U11 Player Pathways are a step towards creating a long-lasting love for the game for all players within Hockey Canada programming.

The GTHL has mandated a new program called “Introduction to Hockey” which is geared to players age 8 and under. This new program is designed to improve young players knowledge and understanding of the game while improving their skills and abilities. YMHC implemented this new program module in connection with the 2018 / 2019 season and this will continue for the current season.

For a high level overview of how these changes will affect YMHC game play - please Click Here .

To view the OHF "Player Development Model"  - please Click Here .

For detailed information on the Atom (Under 11) Player Pathway - please click here

For detailed information on the Novice (Under 9) Player Pathway - please click here.

For detailed information on the Tyke (Under 7) Player Pathway - please click here.

For the OHF Player Development Model - please click here.

For OHF information on the full U7, U9, and U11 Player Pathways policy and recommendations please visit the OHF Website - please click here.