When does hockey season end? (All major leagues)

In this article, I will cover when hockey season ends throughout all the major hockey leagues.

Let’s take a look.

Hockey season ending dates

There are literally hundreds of different hockey leagues all over the world. Today, I’ve picked the six biggest leagues in hockey and will provide you with the end dates of their respective seasons.

  • NHL season end date: April 5th-10th
  • KHL season end date: February 20th-28th
  • AHL season end date: April 15th-20th
  • ECHL season end date: April 7th-19th
  • OHL season end date: March 17th-22nd
  • College Hockey season end date: April 7th-13th

when does hockey season end

National Hockey League (NHL)

The National Hockey League regular season ends in April, typically between April 8th and April 10th. This is when the NHL playoffs start each year. Playoffs will go on for two months and end in June.

Unfortunately, due to recent worldwide events, this schedule has been a little sporadic. The 2019-20 NHL season was abruptly ended in March and the playoffs didn’t take place until August 1st, and eventually ended on September 28th.

The 2020-21 regular season was a shortened season with just 56 games and began on January 13th, the last game was played on the 19th of May, which is funny because the playoffs started on May 15th. These playoffs concluded in line with that of previous years in the month of June.

League Officials have announced that the 2021-22 NHL season will go back to its normal 82 game schedule and will begin on October 12th and end in April as per usual with the NHL playoffs kicking off shortly thereafter.

Historic NHL season dates

Season Season start date Regular season end date Postseason end date
2014-15 October 8th April 11th June 15th
2015-16 October 7th April 10th June 12th
2016-17 October 12th April 9th June 11th
2017-18 October 4th April 8th June 7th
2018-19 October 3rd April 6th June 12th
2021-22 October 12th pending pending

As you can see from the chart, the NHL is a fine-tuned machine, starting and ending around the same date range every year. Obviously, I left out the previous two season as they are outliers.

Kontinental Hockey League (KHL)

The KHL season starts in September, usually the 1st of the month, and ends between February 20th and 28th with the postseason ending in April.

If you’re a big hockey fan, you know the KHL always starts before the NHL. Their playoffs actually come to an end around the same time that the NHL regular season ends.

Historic KHL season dates

Season Season start date Regular season end date Postseason end date
2016-17 August 22nd February 18th April 16th
2017-18 August 21st March 1st April 22nd
2018-19 September 1st February 22nd April 19th
2019-20 September 1st February 27th March 12th
2020-21 September 2nd February 27th April 28th
2021-22 September 1st pending pending

American Hockey League (AHL)

Much like the NHL, the AHL starts playing hockey in October and their season ends typically between the 15th and 20th of April.

The AHL season and NHL season coincide because the AHL is a feeder league to the National Hockey League.

Players need to be available and be in game shape should they be called up during the season.

Historic AHL season dates

Season Season start date Regular season end date Postseason end date
2014-15 October 10th April 19th June 13th
2015-16 October 9th April 17th June 11th
2016-17 October 14th April 15th June 13th
2017-18 October 6th April 15th June 14th
2018-19 October 5th April 15th June 8th
2021-22 October 15th pending pending

East Coast Hockey League (ECHL)

The ECHL season starts in the month of October between the 10th and 20th, and typically ends between the 7th and the 19th of April.

You’ll notice that the East Coast Hockey League has a pretty identical schedule to that of the American Hockey league.

It’s the same reason why the AHL schedule is so similar to the NHL; the ECHL acts as a feeder league for the AHL, and players need to be in game shape and ready to go if their name is called upon.

Historic ECHL season dates

Season Season start date Regular season end date Postseason end date
2014-15 October 17th April 11th June 14th
2015-16 October 16th April 9th June 9th
2016-17 October 14th April 19th June 5th
2017-18 October 13th April 8th June 9th
2018-19 October 12th April 7th June 4th
2021-22 October 21st pending pending

Ontario Hockey League (OHL)

The Ontario Hockey League season normally starts on September 24th and ends between the 17th and the 22nd of March. Playoffs are decided between the 10th and 15th of May.

As you’ll see in the chart below, the 2021-22 OHL will have a different start date than usual, on the 7th of October. This is due to current global events and will likely revert to September in the following year.

Historic OHL season dates

Season Season start date Regular season end date Postseason end date
2014-15 September 24th March 22nd May 15th
2015-16 September 24th March 20th May 11th
2016-17 September 24th March 21st May 12th
2017-18 September 21st March 18th May 13th
2018-19 September 19th March 17th May 12th
2021-22 October 7th pending pending

College Hockey (NCAA)

A typical college hockey (NCAA) schedule starts in the first week of October and wraps up in the second week of April.

The NCAA season follows a similar schedule in terms of starting and ending as the NHL, although they play far fewer games. Their season ends with the NCAA division I men’s tournament each year.

Historic NCAA hockey season dates

Season Season start date Regular season end date
2014-15 October 4th April 11th
2015-16 October 3rd April 9th
2016-17 October 1st April 8th
2017-18 October 1st April 7th
2018-19 October 6th April 13th
2021-22 October 2nd April 9th