MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – The Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) announced today that the Leamington Flyers have been approved as a 2023-2024 OJHL expansion team to begin play in the league next season.
“The OJHL is extremely excited to welcome the Leamington Flyers to the OJHL starting in the 2023-2024 season,” said OJHL Commissioner Marty Savoy. “Throughout the OJHL Expansion process the entire Flyers organization displayed a commitment to be part of the OJHL in every aspect of the operations of a Junior A hockey team. The club has driven proven results both on the ice with their recent Sutherland Cup Championship and with the advancement of players to the next level. The competitiveness of the team on and off the ice combined with the club’s business and community operations will be great assets to the entire OJHL.”
The Flyers become the 23rd team in the OJHL and were selected through an extensive process lead by the OJHL Expansion Committee that consisted of members from the OJHL, the Ontario Hockey Association and the Ontario Hockey Federation.
Along with this announcement, Leamington has retained general manager Justin Solcz and head coach Dale Mitchell to lead the club next season.
“Joining the OJHL is a significant step forward for the Leamington Flyers organization and junior hockey in Southwestern Ontario,” Solcz states. “We are excited to continue our tradition of success at the Junior A level and provide our players with even more opportunities to develop and advance to the next level. We are committed to operating a first-class organization both on and off the ice, and we look forward to contributing to the competitiveness and success of the entire league. We are grateful for the continued support of our fans, volunteers and the Leamington community, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for the Flyers in the OJHL.”
The Flyers, who play out of the Nature Fresh Farms Recreation Centre in Leamington, Ontario, have been one of the most successful teams within the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League in both attendance and standings over the last number of years. The club was formed in 1954 as an Intermediate team, then in 1992 moved to the Junior B level of the Ontario Hockey Association. In 2018, the club was purchased by a group of five local businessmen with strong hockey ties – Jason Melo, Dan Jancevski, David Halliwill, Cam Crowder and Craig Mahon – with a commitment to continuing to build on the tradition of success of the franchise.
“We are thrilled to announce our entrance into the OJHL, marking a significant milestone for the Leamington Flyers organization,” Melo said. “This move represents more than just a change in the playing field; it symbolizes our unwavering commitment to developing young talent and propelling them to the next level of their hockey careers. We wholeheartedly embrace the responsibility of fostering their growth, providing them with top-tier training and preparing them to excel at the highest level.”
“Our dedication to running a first-class organization has always been at the core of our mission and we look forward to our new partnership with the OJHL, who have continued to demonstrate why they are the ‘League of Choice’,” he continues. “None of this would be possible without the unwavering support of our loyal fans. Their steadfast belief in our team and their unyielding enthusiasm create an electrifying atmosphere that fuels our players’ determination. We are deeply grateful for their unwavering loyalty, and we look forward to entertaining them and delivering more unforgettable moments and championships to the Town of Leamington.”
The Flyers recently captured the 2023 Sutherland Cup Championship after winning the Stan Moore Trophy for the best regular season in the GOJHL’s Western Conference. The Flyers currently have two players on the NHL 2023 Central Scouting List, three players committed to NCAA DI programs and two players committed to the OHL for next season.
As they begin preparations for next season, Leamington will be holding an OJHL tryout camp on June 3 and 4, 2023 at the Nature Fresh Farms Recreation Centre.
More details will be available at www.leamingtonflyers.com.