The Western Hockey League (WHL) is one of the three major junior ice hockey leagues that make up the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), which is the top level of junior hockey in Canada. The WHL is based in Western Canada and the Western United States, and it features 22 teams across four Canadian provinces and four American states.
The WHL is for players aged 16-20, and it is known for developing young players who go on to play in the National Hockey League (NHL) or other professional leagues around the world. Many notable NHL players got their start in the WHL, including Patrick Marleau, Ryan Getzlaf, and Carey Price, among others.
The WHL season runs from September to March, with each team playing a total of 68 regular-season games. The top 8 teams from the Eastern and Western Conferences advance to the playoffs, which culminates in the WHL Championship and a chance to compete in the prestigious Memorial Cup tournament.
The WHL places a strong emphasis on player development, with teams providing a range of training and educational resources to help young players grow on and off the ice. The league also has strict rules and regulations to ensure the safety and well-being of its players, including policies on fighting and body checking.
Overall, the WHL is an important part of the Canadian hockey landscape and is recognized as one of the top junior leagues in the world.
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