The two leading teams in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League standings have both garnered recognition from the Canadian Jr. Hockey League in the opening top 20 rankings of 2013.
Both the first place North Bay Trappers and second seeded Soo Thunderbirds were recognized in the listings with the Trappers ranked 14th and the Thunderbirds close behind in 16th spot, which are compiled each week in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting.
North Bay currently paces the NOJHL standings with a 20-3-3-3 record and 46 points, two ahead of Sault Ste. Marie, who sit at 19-5-3-3 overall.
The Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Jr. Hockey League were once again rated as the top club in the CJHL as they enter action this week with a CJHL-best mark of 36-1-1.
Sitting in the No. 2 slot is the Minnesota Wilderness of the Superior International Jr. Hockey League. They are riding a 20-game winning streak, which includes 17 straight victories in league play as well as a trio of triumphs over NOJHL competition over the weekend.
Rounding out the top three is the Yarmouth Jr. Mariners of the Maritime Hockey League. They are 9-1 in the past 10 and 25-5-1 overall.
The following is the CJHL Top 20 as of Jan. 7 listing their overall ranking, their listing last week, the team as well as the league they are a member of.
1.(1) Brooks Bandits (AJHL)
2.(2) Minnesota Wilderness (SIJHL)
3.(5) Yarmouth Jr. 'A' Mariners (MHL)
4.(4) Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL)
5.(11) Summerside Western Capitals (MHL)
6.(4) Yorkton Terriers (SJHL)
7.(6) Truro Bearcats (MHL)
8.(15) Dauphin Kings (MJHL)
9.(8) Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL)
10.(7) Buffalo Jr. Sabres (OJHL)
11.(10) OCN Blizzard (MJHL)
12.(9) Penticton Vees (BCHL)
13.(NR) Humboldt Broncos (SJHL)
14.(HM) North Bay Trappers (NOJHL)
15.(14) Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL)
16.(12) Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL)
17.(13) Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL)
18.(16) Ottawa Jr. Senators (CCHL)
19.(17) Smiths Falls Bears (CCHL)
20.(NR) College Francais de Longueuil (LHJAAAQ)
Honourable Mention: Merritt Centennials (BCHL), Grande Prairie Storm (AJHL), Melville Millionaires (SJHL), Winnipeg Blues (MJHL), Georgetown Raiders (OJHL).
The CJHL is an amalgamation of 10 Jr. A hockey leagues from across Canada.
More information on the CJHL can be found by clicking on the league website www.cjhlhockey.com.