WHL to start 2021-22 campaign on Oct. 1

Playoffs returning to 1 vs. 8 format

Western Hockey League fans can start to plan out their schedules.

Following the conclusion of their annual general meeting on Tuesday, the league announced that a full 68-game schedule will begin on Friday, Oct. 1, with all 22 buildings expected to be at full capacity.

The one difference in this year’s schedule, which will conclude on April 3, 2022, is the fact that teams from the Eastern Conference will not square off with teams from the Western Conference until the league final.

Teams across the WHL will be announcing their home openers starting on Wednesday, with a league-wide pre-season slate to follow on June 21.

The Western Conference regular season schedule will come out on June 23, while the Eastern Conference regular season slate being announced at a later date.

The other big announcement by the league was a change back to a conference playoff format, which was last used in 2014.

The top eight teams in order of points will make the post-season, with the division champions earning the top two seeds.

A divisional format that is similar to the one in the NHL had been used by the WHL since 2015.

The league playoffs are expected to conclude on May 30, with the winner advancing to the 2022 Memorial Cup, which will be hosted by a yet-to-be announced team from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Redden steps down from Raiders play-by-play duties

There will be a new voice behind the microphone for the Prince Albert Raiders next fall as Trevor Redden announced on Tuesday that he was stepping down from his play-by-play role after four seasons.

“My decision was based on prioritizing a different work-life balance and being able to spend more time with family and friends moving forward,” Redden said in a prepared statement.

“I’m staying right here in Prince Albert with Pattison Media and am looking forward to attending games as a fan.”

Redden had served as the team’s radio announcer since 2017 when he took over the role from Drew Wilson.

Around the WHL

Medicine Hat Tigers captain Ryan Chyzowski will be heading to the American Hockey League next season after he signed a two-year contract with the Toronto Marlies.

The 21-year-old from Kamloops, who was the 18th overall pick in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft, posted 217 points in 280 regular season games for the Tigers.

He finished third in team scoring this past season with 29 points in 23 games.