Player Of The Week
RMLL Junior “A”
Junior A is the highest level of box lacrosse in Canada for junior aged players (16-21). Compared to ice hockey, Junior A is at the same level as the Western Hockey League (WHL). There are four Junior A teams in Alberta, the Calgary Jr. A Mountaineers, the Okotoks Jr. A Raiders, the St. Alberta Jr. A Miners, and the Saskatchewan Jr. A Swat.
Players must have the drive & mentality required to succeed at this level. Players are on the floor 4-6 times per week, including games. During Regular Season & playoffs, teams travel to Calgary, Edmonton & Saskatoon on the weekends, with some weekday games in Calgary & Edmonton between inter city rivals.
The age of the majority of players playing Junior A: are 18 to 21 years old. Very few players play Jr. A in their first year of Junior eligibility and may require a year or 2 for development at a lower level, and are eligible to be called up as an affiliate player at the Jr. A team’s request, with permission from the lower division team. This system has produced numerous professional & collegiate athletes due to the high caliber of skill, speed and character associated with the Division.
Every February, Alberta Junior A teams draft 10 first year Juniors. Each Junior A team can protect up to 50 players. This Protected List includes the players on the teams previous season roster (maximum 25 players), plus the 10 drafted first year Juniors and selected Jr. Aged players to fill the list to a maximum of 50. As long as a player is listed on a team’s Protected List, the player can not play for another Jr. A team in Alberta. A player can remain on a Jr. A team’s Protected List as long as the player is eligible to play Junior. For example, a drafted first year Junior could be on a Jr. A teams Protected List for all 5 years of their Junior lacrosse eligibility.
The Junior A Regular Season starts the end of April and ends mid July. Playoffs and Provincials run from mid July to mid August. The Alberta Junior A Champion earns the right to represent Alberta in the Minto Cup, the prestigious trophy awarded annually by the Canadian Lacrosse Association to the top Junior Box Lacrosse team in the Canada. Alberta has made huge strides in meeting the competitive merit required to compete in this tournament recently, and expect this culture to continue. The Minto Cup is held near the end of August. Ontario, BC and Alberta take turns hosting this Championship event.