On Thursday of this week, the puck drops on the 2017/2018 Canadian Hockey League (@CHLHockey) regular season. Fans across Canada will once again flock to Twitter to cheer on their favourite teams and share the love for their favourite players, personalities and teams.
The @CHLHockey is comprised of 60 teams from across three leagues: the Ontario Hockey League (@OHLHockey), the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (@QMJHL) and the Western Hockey League (@TheWHL). At the end of each season, the winners from each league, plus a host team, come together to compete for the #MemorialCup.
The @CHLHockey conversation continues to grow on Twitter with hockey fans in Canada and the U.S. joining the conversation in record numbers. For example, mentions of the #MemorialCup hashtag grew by 15% during the 2016/2017 season, when compared with the 2015/2016 season. Looking at a two-year stretch, mentions of #MemorialCup grew 28% when you compare the 2014/2015 and 2016/2017 campaigns.
The Windsor Spitfires (@SpitsHockey) captured the #MemorialCup this past Spring and saw huge wins on Twitter too as a result. The team has already 1.6x more Twitter followers than they had heading into the past @CHL and they gained more new Twitter followers during the 2016/2017 season than any other team in the @OHL.
Entering the 2017/2018 season, the London Knights (@GoLondonKnights) are once again the most followed team in @OHL and the @CHLHockey with more than 60,000 followers. The Edmonton Oil Kings (@EdmOilKings) are the most followed team in the @WHL with more than 50,000 followers while the Halifax Mooseheads (@HFXMooseheads) are the most followed team in the @QMJHL with more than 38,000 followers.
The Erie Otters (@ErieOtters) and Kitchener Rangers (@OHLRangers) round out the Top Five list of most followed @CHLHockey teams.
Team mentions on Twitter also paint a picture of which fanbases are most active on the platform. These were the most mentioned CHL team accounts (by league) during the 2016/2017 hockey season:
Ontario Hockey League:
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League:
Western Hockey League:
Interestingly, the Twitter discussion of the top US-based teams in the @CHLHockey was especially strong during the 2016/2017 season. If you take a cross section of the three most mentioned Canada-based teams (@GoLondonKnights, @SpitsHockey, @sjseadogs) and the three most mentioned US-based teams (@ErieOtters, @SeattleTbirds, @PDXWinterhawks), the American squads had 12% more total mentions during the past season than their Canadian counterparts.
Emerging @CHLHockey talents were also hot topics on Twitter over the past year. These were the most mentioned @CHLHockey players during the 2016/2017 hockey season:
Stay locked to Twitter this season for the best content, insights and live reactions as the 60 @CHLHockey teams vie for the #MemorialCup.