The start of the KIJHL season is set for November 13th, but three teams won’t be participating, one of those teams in the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.

The Nitehawks and 100 Mile House Wranglers have both chosen to opt-out of the upcoming season for various reasons, while the Spokane Braves could not make the season work due to the current COVID-19 travel restrictions in place between Canada and the United States.

To start the season, there will be no fans in attendance due to the 50 person limit in each and every arena at any given time. However, that could change if viaSports’ “Return to Play” guidelines and protocols change.

General Manager of the Beaver Valley Nitehawks, Jamie Cominotto, said the lack of fans is a big factor in why they decided to opt-out.

“At the end of the day, we really have always survived on our local players and our local fans supporting us,” Cominotto told MyKootenayNow.com. “Until we get fans in the stands, it just doesn’t make sense for us to run our organization. It’s always been about the kids and the fans.”

Cominotto said the finances wee another season, the organization decided to sit out this season.

“Based on concerns of financial burden that we are putting on our players with the work that is going to have to go into this season, we wanted to make sure our players were financially ready to flip the bill, so to say.”

All Canadian players with remaining junior eligibility on the Nitehawks, Wranglers, and Braves will all be included in the KIJHL’s Dispersal Draft on Friday. Any players who played Junior A in 2019/20 and have KIJHL rights held by one of the three teams are also eligible to be selected by the 17 other teams for the upcoming season.

The Dispersal Draft order will be in reverse of the league’s 2019/20 standings, giving the Osoyoos Coyotes the first overall selection.

As a result, the Dispersal Draft order will be as follows on Friday:

  1. Osoyoos Coyotes
  2. Grand Forks Border Bruins
  3. North Okanagan Knights
  4. Sicamous Eagles
  5. Castlegar Rebels
  6. Golden Rockets
  7. Kamloops Storm
  8. Summerland Steam
  9. Creston Valley Thunder Cats
  10. Columbia Valley Rockies
  11. Princeton Posse
  12. Chase Heat
  13. Nelson Leafs
  14. Kelowna Chiefs
  15. Fernie Ghostriders
  16. Revelstoke Grizzlies
  17. Kimberley Dynamiters

The KIJHL said the results of the Dispersal Draft will be released upon completion.

MORE: KIJHL to start season without fans in mid-November (Sep. 3, 2020)