U-20 Team Will Return in 2023-2024!
BUFFALO, N.Y., January 16, 2023 - - The Buffalo Junior Sabres organization is proud to announce the return of the U-20 team to the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL), beginning in the 2023-2024 season, after a multi-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic & border restrictions. Current Jr. Sabres U-18 head coach Sean Wallace has been named general manager, with additional hockey operations personnel to be announced.
“When COVID-19 hit, restrictions at the US-Canada border put the Jr. Sabres in an impossible situation, as the lone American team in an Ontario-based league,” said Patrick Kaleta, Buffalo Junior Sabres president. “We’re thrilled to be able to bring back this team, which has helped develop players for college hockey and the pros over the years. We look forward to bringing this team back to compete for the Buckland Cup. September can’t come soon enough.”
“The Buffalo Jr. Sabres organization is a strong partner within the OJHL, and the entire league is excited to have the club competing in the 2023-24 season,” said OJHL Commissioner Marty Savoy. “The Jr. Sabres represent an important location for our league, with exposure to a large number of NCAA programs located in close proximity to LECOM HARBORCENTER.”
Information regarding player development and selection camps is forthcoming.
The Jr. Sabres’ last season in the OJHL, the 2019-20 season, saw the team finish with a 31-17-3-2 record. The Jr. Sabres were preparing for the second round of the Buckland Cup Playoffs when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the season’s early termination.
Players on that team went on to pursue Division-I hockey at Quinnipiac, UMass, the University of North Dakota, Niagara, Holy Cross and more. Top scorer Matteo Costantini was drafted by the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, while goaltender Chase Clark was drafted by the Washington Capitals.
About the Buffalo Junior Sabres
The Buffalo Junior Sabres are Western New York’s premier youth hockey organization. Over the past 40 years, young hockey players from across the United States and Canada have become better athletes and better people by playing in the Jr. Sabres organization. The Buffalo Sabres Alumni Organization took control of the Jr. Sabres in 2006, and in 2014 expanded the organization to include younger teams. Today, the Jr. Sabres field teams from 7U all the way up to 20U.
About the OJHL - “League of Choice”
The Ontario Junior Hockey League is the largest Junior ‘A’ league operating under the auspices of the Canadian Junior Hockey League with 22 member clubs. A proud member of the CJHL and the Ontario Hockey Association, the OJHL was originally named the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League, and it was formed out of the Central Junior ‘B’ Hockey League in 1993-94. With a long and storied history of developing players for the next level, including U SPORTS, the NCAA, CHL, minor pro ranks and the NHL, the OJHL has had more than 90 commitments in 2021-22 - including more than 25 NCAA Division I scholarships.