How does a player earn a WHL Scholarship?

For each season played in the WHL, a player is awarded with a one-year post-secondary scholarship, which includes:

  • Tuition
  • Compulsory fees
  • Textbooks for required courses

The WHL Scholarship is fully guaranteed and players can earn up to a maximum of five years of Scholarship benefits that they can use at any Post-Secondary or Career Enhancing institution of their choice.

A player qualifies for a half a year of scholarship benefits for being on a Club roster as of October 10th and a full year of benefits for being on a Club roster as of January 10th each season. The value of the WHL Scholarship is based on the annual published cost of tuition and compulsory fees for an Arts, Science, or General Studies Undergraduate Program at the publicly funded university in the player’s home Province or State as designated in their Standard Player Agreement.

How do I access my WHL Scholarship?

Once a player graduates from the WHL, he will receive a WHL Scholarship information package from the WHL Office. This package will include a WHL Scholarship Processing Form and a form to submit textbook receipts. Once the player fills out the Scholarship Processing Form and submits it to the WHL Office, the institution will then be notified of his WHL Scholarship status. The institution will then invoice the WHL Office directly for the tuition fees.

How long do I have to access my WHL Scholarship?

You have one full academic year (following the completion of your last season of junior eligibility) before you must access your WHL Scholarship. For example, a 20-year-old player who graduates from the WHL after the 2019-20 season has until September of 2021 (18-month period) to access his WHL Scholarship benefits. Should a player graduate from the WHL at 19 he would have and additional year (30-month period) to access his WHL Scholarship benefits. This provides the player with the option of playing in a WHL designated minor professional league (i.e., AHL, Europe, ECHL, etc.) for one (1) full season prior to determining whether he wishes to activate his WHL Scholarship or continue playing Junior Hockey as a 20-year-old.

What is the WHL Draft?

The WHL Draft, held in late April or early May of each year, is similar to other Leagues Drafts in that all WHL Clubs select players in inverse order based on the previous WHL Regular Season standings. WHL Clubs have extensive scouting staffs that evaluate graduating Bantam hockey players across Western Canada and the Western United States in advance of the WHL Draft.  The WHL Clubs individually rank the players eligible for the Draft and then select the players that they believe are the top ranked prospects at that time.


What happens if I am drafted?

After a player is chosen in the WHL Draft, the WHL Club will immediately contact the family. The player will then have the opportunity to attend the WHL Club’s Rookie or main Training Camp before returning to play for their Club team in the minor hockey system. The Camp experience provides an opportunity for the player and their family to experience the city and facilities of their WHL Club, as well as meet with teammates and members of the organization. As well, it will provide the player an opportunity to evaluate the level of play in the WHL.

What happens if I am not drafted?

The evaluation of player talent is an ongoing process for every WHL Club. Regardless of whether a player is or is not selected in the WHL Draft, WHL Clubs continue to evaluate players and add them to their protected lists if they display potential to play in the WHL. Many prominent NHL players, such as Shea Weber, Jamie Benn and Duncan Keith, were not selected in the WHL Draft. Over 20% of WHL rosters consist of players who were not selected in the WHL Draft.

What is a Standard Player Agreement?

A Standard Player Agreement (SPA) is the agreement all WHL players enter with a WHL Club that outlines the benefits the player will receive and the responsibilities of the player and Club while playing in the WHL. The SPA outlines the WHL Clubs obligations to the player in all areas including: the WHL Scholarship Program and education benefits, medical and dental insurance coverage, hockey equipment, billets and other benefits. All SPAs are submitted to the WHL Office for approval.

Can players be traded?

All WHL players except 15 and 16-year-old players who have signed a WHL Standard Player Agreement, can be traded up until the January 10th deadline. All WHL Clubs have the option to add an addendum to the Standard Player Agreements stipulating that a player cannot be traded while in high school. All trades must be submitted and approved by the WHL Office.

What happens if I am invited to a WHL Camp, but I was not drafted or listed?

WHL Training Camps are open for any player that receives an invitation unless the player is on another Clubs Player Protected List. Should a non-listed player be invited to more than one Camp, the player may choose which Camp he prefers to attend.

How does playing in the WHL affect my eligibility to play in the NCAA?

There are three ways NCAA eligibility can be affected when it comes to the WHL. According to NCAA rules, they are as follows:

  1. A player signs a WHL Standard Player Agreement.
  2. A player participates in a WHL pre-season, regular season or playoff game.
  3. A player remains in a WHL Training Camp for more than 48 hours at the Clubs expense. Please note that if a players family pays for any costs after the 48-hour period, a player can remain in a WHL Camp for as long as they want.

Players can still attend WHL training camps, talk with WHL General Managers, coaches, scouts and visit WHL Clubs facilities without having any impact on their NCAA eligibility.