Today the three Canadian junior hockey leagues, the OHL, WHL and QMJHL have announced the cancellation of their playoffs, and therefore the Memorial Cup.

This ends the season, and in some cases the junior career of multiple Leafs prospects. For a full rundown on where the prospects ended their seasons:

Toronto Maple Leafs prospects see their season end

The CHL/NHL transfer agreement is up for renewal this summer, but assuming there are no changes to the age eligibility rules for playing pro hockey out of the CHL, the following Leafs prospects could play on the Marlies or Growlers next season if they are signed to contracts:

  • Semyon Der-Arguchintsev (previously signed to an ELC)
  • Zach Bouthillier (rights expire on June 1*)
  • Filip Kral (rights expire on June 1)
  • Riley Stotts (rights expire on June 1)
  • Kalle Loponen (drafted from Europe, he will be eligible even though he won’t be 20)/

*As of now, we don’t know if this rights expiration date will be changed, since the date of the draft is unknown.

For teams like the Peterborough Petes, home of Der-Arguchintsev and Nicholas Robertson, this is a huge blow. They and other contenders spent draft picks loading up for a playoff run that will now never happen.

For draft-eligible players, they lose the ability to make a good impression and move up the draft ranks. And for drafting NHL teams, they have less information about draft prospects to judge them from.

For the junior teams, none of whom pay their players, they will lose large amounts of ticket revenue and their only period of sustained TV coverage.

For the players and the fans of junior hockey, the best part of the season will never happen.