Hockey Edmonton and the Edmonton Oilers announced a significant update to the Edmonton Junior Oilers program by establishing an Edmonton Junior Oilers U18 AAA Female program.
The new Edmonton Junior Oilers program, which is already the first of its kind in Canada, becomes even more monumental by supporting Edmonton’s U18 AAA Female team, as this program soars to new heights and makes strides to shatter the glass ceiling. The Oilers are stepping up to help Hockey Edmonton give these girls an identical opportunity as the males, showing girls all over that there is an equal space for them in a typically male-dominated sport.
The Oilers and Hockey Edmonton also unveiled the Edmonton Junior Oilers logo. This is another seemingly minor detail that promotes gender equality, as all three Junior teams have an identical logo incorporating the iconic Oilers emblem. In having a consistent brand identity that hasn’t been altered to have a stereotypical female-targeted look, and by designating both the ‘female’ and ‘male’ teams in its names, these are ways the Edmonton Junior Oilers partnership aims to close the gap and promote equality in the sport of hockey.
The presence of the U18 AAA Female team in this partnership will provide girls ages 15 to 18 with the same inimitable opportunities and benefits as the two previously announced male counterpart teams. All 60 athletes chosen for the first-ever Edmonton Junior Oilers squads will receive access to world-class resources, including player and coach development opportunities, Oilers facility utilization, official NHL apparel and equipment, and other valuable off-ice support. In addition to these unique opportunities, another element that makes this program so alluring is the affordability of this elite, one-of-a-kind experience, especially in comparison to other options offered regionally.
The U18 AAA Female squad are the reigning provincial champions, who garnered national attention after competing in the quest for the 2021-22 Esso Cup, Canada’s most prestigious title in U18 AAA Female hockey, after being at the bottom of the standings a mere few seasons prior.
All three Edmonton Junior Oilers teams will be managed by Hockey Edmonton’s Hockey Development Committee (HDC). This prestigious consortium of respected hockey development experts includes Matt Davidson, Umberto Fiorillo, Dan Kordic, Joel Lenius, Craig MacTavish, Billy Moores, and Stephen Zipp, all with NHL, AHL, WHL and AJHL, and post-secondary, playing and coaching experience. The U18 AAA Female team will strive to maintain and grow the relationship with the Edmonton Female Athletic Club (EFAC). EFAC operates U15 AA and U18 AA female teams and will support with the Junior Oilers administrative component in the inaugural season. Through player and coach development opportunities, the goal is to have EFAC players/coaches striving to earn a future position on the Junior Oilers U18 AAA team.
The U18 AAA Female team’s new Head Coach, Shanya Shwetz, joins Nathan Papirny and Derek Hemsley as bench bosses for the teams’ inaugural seasons.
The Edmonton Junior Oilers teams are seeking support from corporate partners for their 2022-23 debut season.
More details on the Edmonton Junior Oilers U18 AAA program can be found here.