In 1979, Manitoba got its first NHL team: the Winnipeg Jets.
Known as the “Original Winnipeg Jets”, the team was active from 1972 to 1996. In 1979, the team moved from the World Hockey Association (WHA) to the National Hockey League (NHL).
In 1996, the original Jets left Manitoba for Phoenix, Arizona to become what are now the Arizona Coyotes.
For 15 years, Manitoba was without a beloved NHL team. But, in 2011, the Jets came to life again in 2011 (reborn from the former Atlanta Thrashers).
In this article, I’ll show you what professional hockey teams are in Manitoba and what university and junior hockey teams compete in the province.
Let’s dive in.
Here’s What Hockey Teams Are In Manitoba:
Manitoba’s top hockey team is the Winnipeg Jets (NHL). The other professional hockey team is the Manitoba Moose (AHL). The top D1 university team is the Manitoba Bisons. The top major junior team (WHL) is the Brandon Wheat Kings.
Does Manitoba Have a Hockey Team?
So, what is Manitoba’s hockey team?
Manitoba has dozens of high-level hockey teams and two professional teams. The top hockey team in the province is the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League (NHL).
The other professional team is the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League (AHL).
The top D1 university hockey team is the Manitoba Bisons.
The top junior hockey team is the Brandon Wheat Kings which competes within the Western Hockey League (WHL), a major junior hockey league.
Does Manitoba Have an NHL Team?
So, will you find an NHL hockey team in Manitoba?
Definitely. Manitoba is home to one NHL team: The Winnipeg Jets.
The Jets compete in the Central Division of the NHL’s Western Conference. The original Winnipeg Jets (1972-1996) were brought over to the National Hockey League (NHL) from the World Hockey Association (WHA) in 1979 alongside three other professional hockey teams:
- Edmonton Oilers
- Hartford Whalers (now the Carolina Hurricanes)
- Quebec Nordiques (now the Colorado Avalanche)
So, why did the Jets leave Winnipeg?
In 1996, after years of financial issues within ownership, the team moved from Winnipeg to Phoenix, Arizona to become the Phoenix Coyotes (now the Arizona Coyotes).
After 15 years without an NHL team, Manitoba got their Jets back as the Atlanta Thrashers needed a new home. In 2011, the new Winnipeg Jets were born.
Success of the Original Jets (1972-1996)
While the Original Jets had plenty of playoff success in the WHA (3 titles in 7 years), they struggled in the NHL.
In 18 seasons in the NHL, the highest the Jets finished in the regular season was second in their division (twice).
They made the playoffs 12 times. However, the furthest they went in nearly two decades was the second round (twice).
Famous Original Winnipeg Jets (1972-1996) players include:
- Teemu Selanne
- Dale Hawerchuk
- Bobby Hull
- Shane Doan
- Keith Tkachuk
- Thomas Steen
- Anders Hedberg
- Phil Housley
- Dave Babych
- Ulf Nilsson
Success of the New Winnipeg Jets (2011-Present)
Since 2011, the new Winnipeg Jets have had some success, but it has been a struggle. In 11 seasons, they placed second in their division twice in the regular season.
They have also made the playoffs 6 times. The furthest they have gone is to the Conference Finals in 2018 where they would lose to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Famous New Winnipeg Jets (2011-Present) players include:
- Blake Wheeler (Active – New York Rangers)
- Dustin Byfuglien
- Ilya Kovalchuk
- Connor Hellebuyck
- Andrew Ladd
- Mark Scheifele (Active)
- Kyle Connor (Active)
- Bryan Little (Active – Arizona Coyotes)
- Nikolaj Ehlers (Active)
- Evander Kane (Active – Edmonton Oilers)
- Tobias Enstrom
- Ondrej Pavelec
What Hockey Teams Are in Manitoba?
So, what hockey teams are in Manitoba? Manitoba has one professional hockey team in the NHL and dozens of junior and university teams as listed below:
Manitoba has one NHL team: The Winnipeg Jets.
The Jets play their home games out of Canada Life Centre in downtown Winnipeg at 300 Portage Ave.
The AHL is a high-level professional sports league just one step below the NHL. Manitoba has one team in the American Hockey League (AHL) team.
What is the name of the Manitoba AHL team? The Manitoba Moose. They’re the affiliated minor league farm team for the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets.
So, where do they play? The Moose play their home games at the Hockey For All Centre located at 3969 Portage Ave, Winnipeg.
D1 University Hockey
While Manitoba is better known for its junior hockey, the province has one D1 university hockey team that competes within the Canada West Universities Athletic Association as a part of the U Sports League: the Manitoba Bisons. They play out of the Max Bell Centre located at 109 Sidney Smith Street in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Manitoba has over forty junior ice hockey teams spread across seven leagues. Here are all the junior hockey teams in Manitoba, broken down by the different leagues:
Manitoba’s Western Hockey League (WHL – Major Junior) Teams:
- Brandon Wheat Kings
Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL – Junior A) Teams:
- Dauphin Kings
- Neepawa Titans
- Niverville Nighthawks
- OCN Blizzard
- Portage Terriers
- Selkirk Steelers
- Steinbach Pistons
- Swan Valley Stampeders
- Virden Oil Capitals
- Waywayseecappo Wolverines
- Winkler Flyers
- Winnipeg Blues
- Winnipeg Freeze
Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL – Junior A) Teams:
- Flin Flon Bombers
Platinum Promotions Division (Junior B) Teams:
- Arborg Ice Dawgs
- Lundar Falcons
- North Winnipeg Satelites
- Selkirk Fishermen
- St. Malo Warriors
Keystone Junior Hockey League (Junior B) Teams:
- Cross Lake Islanders
- Fisher River Hawks
- NCN Flames
- Norway House North Stars
- Peguis Juniors
- OCN Storm
Hanover Tache Junior Hockey League (Junior C) Teams:
- Grunthal Red Wings
- La Broquerie Habs
- Lorette Comets
- Mitchell Mohawks
- Niverville Clippers
- Red River Mudbugs
- Springfield Xtreme
- Steinbach Huskies
Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League (Junior ‘OA’) Teams:
- Charleswood Hawks
- Fort Garry/Fort Rouge Twins
- Pembina Valley Twisters
- River East Royal Knights
- St. Boniface Riels
- St. James Canucks
- St. Vital Victorias
- Raiders Junior Hockey Club
- Stonewall Jets
- Transcona Railer Express
Is There High School Hockey in Manitoba?
Yes, there is high school hockey in Manitoba. The province has two leagues: the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) and the Winnipeg High School Hockey League (WHSHL).
Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL)
The Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) is the top high school hockey league in Manitoba. It’s a high-level national league that features high school teams from across Canada.
Manitoba has two teams that compete within the Prep West Division. Here are all the teams in the CSSHL’s Prep West (bolded are Manitoban teams):
- Edge School (AB)
- BWC Academy (BC)
- Yale Hockey Academy (BC)
- South Manitoba Hockey Academy (AB)
- Okanagan Hockey Academy (BC)
- Prairie Hockey Academy (SK)
- St. George’s School (BC)
- Northern Manitoba Xtreme (AB)
- Shawnigan Lake School (BC)
- RINK Hockey Academy Winnipeg (MB)
- Pacific Coast Hockey Academy (BC)
- RINK Hockey Academy Kelowna (BC)
- Delta Hockey Academy (BC)
- International Hockey Academy (AB)
- OHA Edmonton (AB)
- North Shore Warriors (BC)
- Notre Dame Hounds (SK)
- Coeur d’Alene Hockey Academy (ID)
- Wenatchee Wild (WA)
- Pilot Mound Hockey Academy (MB)
Winnipeg High School Hockey League (WHSHL)
The second high school league in Manitoba is the Winnipeg High School Hockey League (WHSHL).
The league is made up of 38 teams across three divisions: Platinum Promotions, Winnipeg Free Press, and Price divisions:
Platinum Promotions Division
- Garden City
- St. Pauls
- Lord Selkirk
- Sturgeon Heights
- Oak Park
- Vincent Massey
- College Beliveau
- JH Bruns
- River East
- Miles Mac
Free Press Division
- West Kildonan
- Leo Remillard
- John Taylor
- Gabrielle Roy
- Kildonan East
- College Jeane Sauve
- Murdoch MacKay
- Windsor Park
- Fort Richmond
- Edward Schreyer
- Louis Riel
- Linden Christian
What AHL Teams Are in Manitoba?
There is one American Hockey League (AHL) team in Manitoba: the Manitoba Moose. They play their home games in Winnipeg, Manitoba out of Hockey For All Centre. The Manitoba Moose are the affiliated minor league hockey team for the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets.
What Team Did Winnipeg Jets Replace?
In 2011, the Winnipeg Jets were reborn thanks to the relocation of the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers. The Thrashers were originally founded in 1999 and competed for 12 seasons in the National Hockey League.
However, the Thrashers failed to have much success in the NHL and ownership struggled to generate significant revenue from Georgian locals. So, after just over a decade as the Thrashers, the team eventually moved to a familiar hockey market in Winnipeg to re-establish the Jets.
The company True North Sports & Entertainment bought the hockey team from the Atlanta Spirit group for $170 million. The company also paid the NHL a relocation fee of $60 million to make the deal happen.
How Many Hockey Teams Does Winnipeg Have?
Winnipeg has two professional hockey teams: The Winnipeg Jets of the NHL and the Manitoba Moose of the AHL.
However, the city is a major hockey city and has a few dozen other high-level teams, spanning from junior hockey to college and high school hockey.
Are you curious to know what hockey teams compete in different American states? Be sure to check out our post: Hockey Teams in Every U.S. State: Complete NHL & College List (2023).