The PJHL is pleased to announce the approval of a new franchise for the City of Port Coquitlam, set to begin play in the 2023-24 season.
While the new franchise is yet to decide on a team name, the club will play out of the newly renovated Port Coquitlam Community Centre (PCCC) making use of the Jon Baillie Arena which seats 780 spectators. This will be the PJHL’s 14th franchise.
An ownership group headed up by local resident Rob Toor approached the PJHL early in 2022 with a proposal to bring Junior hockey back to Port Coquitlam. Based on the group’s planning and vision, the PJHL’s board of governors felt assured the new franchise will be a benefit to the league.
“We are proud to welcome a new franchise in Port Coquitlam to our league,” said PJHL commissioner Trevor Alto. “Rob and his partners have shown us they are prepared to do what it takes to run a successful team so it made sense to offer Junior hockey to players and fans in that community.”
Toor, who has been a hockey dad and coach himself, began thinking about a franchise in Port Coquitlam after seeing the PCCC packed with fans while coaching U18 rep hockey.
“We want to provide further opportunities for hockey players in the area wanting to play Junior and higher levels of hockey,” said Toor. “Our mission is to develop everyone within our organization from players to coaches to volunteers; our vision is to ensure each home game is an event to bring the community together.”
Port Coquitlam has a history with Junior hockey. The Poco Buckeroos operated out of the Poco Rec Centre from 1990 to 2006 before moving to Port Moody where the franchise continues in the PJHL as the Panthers.
“We are very excited about this great opportunity for the City of Port Coquitlam and for hockey in our community. I know our residents will be looking forward to cheering on this new team in our state-of-the-art facility – the Port Coquitlam Community Centre,” said Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West. “ We look forward to showcasing our local hockey community, our great facilities and this amazing city.”
The new franchise will get community participation and input to come up with a team name and logo which will be unveiled later this year. The team will join the league’s Tom Shaw Conference which will put seven teams in each division.