The Memorial Cup is the most anticipated event on the junior hockey calendar and will kick off today as the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League (WHL) and the hosts, the Saginaw Spirit of the OHL will battle for Canadian Hockey League (CHL) supremacy. London, Drummondville, and Moose Jaw were each crowned champions of their respective leagues while Saginaw will participate as hosts of the annual tournament. The CHL Memorial Cup is set to begin on Friday at 4:30 p.m. PT when Saginaw takes on Moose Jaw.

Golden Knights prospect Matyas Sapovaliv is set to compete with the Spirit in his first Memorial Cup after another successful season in the OHL. The 20-year-old center has spent all three seasons of his junior career in Saginaw, owning 170 points (64G, 106A) in 183 games and most recently finishing with 62 points (19G, 43A) in just 54 games this regular season. The Czech native was drafted in the second round (48th overall) in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft by Vegas.

Sapovaliv recorded nine points (3G, 6A) in his team’s 17 playoff games before Saginaw was defeated by London in the OHL Western Conference Final in six games. The Spirit were seeded second in the Western Conference after the club’s most successful regular season in history owning a 50-16-1-1 record and posting a club record of 102 points. As hosts of the 2024 Memorial Cup, Saginaw was awarded an automatic bid to the tournament and will compete for their first CHL Championship.

Six members of the Golden Knights organization won the Memorial Cup previously in their hockey careers:

1982-83: Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

  • Bruno Campese (G)

1983-84: Ottawa 67’s (OHL)

  • Bruce Cassidy (D)

1990-91: Spokane Chiefs (WHL)

  • Tim Speltz (General manager)

2006-07: Vancouver Giants (WHL)

  • Craig Cunningham (F)

2007-08: Spokane Chiefs (WHL)

  • Tim Speltz (General manager)

2012-13: Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

  • Dominique Ducharme (Head coach)

2013-2014: Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

  • Dysin Mayo (D)

In addition to past champions, several competed for the Memorial Cup crown, most recently Vegas 2021 fourth-round (128th overall) NHL Entry Draft pick, Jakub Demek, in the 2022-23 season with the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL. Below are some of the notable figures in the organization that appeared in the event:

1994-95: Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

  • Bob Lowes (Head coach)
  • Kelly McCrimmon (Owner/general manager)

1995-96: Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

  • Bob Lowes (Head coach)
  • Kelly McCrimmon (Owner/general manager)

2009-10: Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

  • Kelly McCrimmon (Owner/general manager/head coach)
  • Mark Stone (F)

2010-11: Kootenay Ice (WHL)

  • Brayden McNabb (D)

2013-14: Val-d’Or Foreurs (QMJHL)

  • Anthony Mantha (F)

2014-15: Kelowna Rockets (WHL)

  • Gage Quinney (F)

2015-16: Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

  • Kelly McCrimmon (Owner/general manager/head coach)
  • Logan Thompson (G)
  • Jordan Papirny (G)

2016-17: Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)

  • Keegan Kolesar (F)

2018-19: Guelph Storm (OHL)

  • Daniil Chayka (D)

2021-22: Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

  • Jakub Demek (F)

2022-23: Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)

  • Jordan Gustafson (F)

2022-23: Kamloops Blazers (WHL)

  • Jakub Demek (F)