CIHL drafts record number of Hong Kong players
October 7th, 2020
The China Ice Hockey League (CIHL) has drafted a record number of Hong Kong players for the 2020-2021 season and for the first time in league history, the CIHL features more players from Hong Kong than Canada.
This milestone comes on the eve of the league’s 10th anniversary season. When the puck dropped on the first CIHL season in 2011-2012, the aim of Hong Kong and the region’s first elite, full-contact ice hockey league was to grow and develop the sport and provide opportunities for the next generation of Hong Kong ice hockey players. With the number of Hong Kong players competing in this season’s CIHL, it’s clear those goals are being achieved.
Throughout the CIHL’s history, there have always been more players from Canada than any other country. However, this season 21 or nearly 40 percent of the players on the league’s four teams were born in Hong Kong, with 18 players coming from Canada. This season, the CIHL also welcomes players from the United States, South Africa, Norway, Finland, Japan and Germany.
“We’re delighted to see Hong Kong rank first in the 2020-2021 CIHL draft,” said CIHL commissioner Grant Phillips. “The league has always been a platform to assist in the development of ice hockey in Hong Kong and the region and we’re happy to see so many players from Hong Kong compete in the CIHL this season.”
The participation of Hong Kong hockey players also bodes well for the future of the league -- while the average age of all CIHL players is 30, the average age of the 21 Hong Kong players is just 21.5 years of age. Many of the league’s younger players have grown up with the CIHL, participating in the CIHL’s development programs, including mentorship and U18 development programs.
The CIHL’s 10th season opens on Thursday, October 22 at Mega Ice at MegaBox in Kowloon Bay. Each Thursday night double-header features games between the Kowloon Warriors, the Hong Kong Tycoons, the South China Sharks and the Macau Aces.