The Ontario Hockey League officially canceled the 2020-21 season on Tuesday due to rising COVID-19 numbers in the Canadian province.
The OHL is a major pipeline of talent to the NHL, producing five players who were among the first 10 picks in the 2020 draft.
"We have worked tirelessly with the province and the chief medical officer of health (Dr. David Williams) for the past year on different scenarios and different windows of opportunity, but the reality is the conditions in Ontario have never been right to start and complete an uninterrupted, safe opportunity for players to showcase their skills," OHL commissioner David Branch said in a statement.
"We owe it to our players and their families to be definitive. We were committed to return and play this season, but our hopes and desires have been dashed by the cruel realities of COVID-19."
The 20-team OHL features 17 clubs from Ontario and three from the U.S. -- two in Michigan and one in Pennsylvania.
The regular September start of the 2020-21 season had been delayed, and the league had hoped to return to play in hub cities.
--Field Level Media