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

SeasonSeason start dateRegular season end datePostseason end date
2014-15October 8thApril 11thJune 15th
2015-16October 7thApril 10thJune 12th
2016-17October 12thApril 9thJune 11th
2017-18October 4thApril 8thJune 7th
2018-19October 3rdApril 6thJune 12th
2021-22October 12thpendingpending

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

SeasonSeason start dateRegular season end datePostseason end date
2016-17August 22ndFebruary 18thApril 16th
2017-18August 21stMarch 1stApril 22nd
2018-19September 1stFebruary 22ndApril 19th
2019-20September 1stFebruary 27thMarch 12th
2020-21September 2ndFebruary 27thApril 28th
2021-22September 1stpendingpending

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

SeasonSeason start dateRegular season end datePostseason end date
2014-15October 10thApril 19thJune 13th
2015-16October 9thApril 17thJune 11th
2016-17October 14thApril 15thJune 13th
2017-18October 6thApril 15thJune 14th
2018-19October 5thApril 15thJune 8th
2021-22October 15thpendingpending

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

SeasonSeason start dateRegular season end datePostseason end date
2014-15October 17thApril 11thJune 14th
2015-16October 16thApril 9thJune 9th
2016-17October 14thApril 19thJune 5th
2017-18October 13thApril 8thJune 9th
2018-19October 12thApril 7thJune 4th
2021-22October 21stpendingpending

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

SeasonSeason start dateRegular season end datePostseason end date
2014-15September 24thMarch 22ndMay 15th
2015-16September 24thMarch 20thMay 11th
2016-17September 24thMarch 21stMay 12th
2017-18September 21stMarch 18thMay 13th
2018-19September 19thMarch 17thMay 12th
2021-22October 7thpendingpending

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

SeasonSeason start dateRegular season end date
2014-15October 4thApril 11th
2015-16October 3rdApril 9th
2016-17October 1stApril 8th
2017-18October 1stApril 7th
2018-19October 6thApril 13th
2021-22October 2ndApril 9th

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What’s up! I’m Shayne, and I’ve been immersed in the world of winter sports since before I could walk. My dad was a hockey player who had a passion for snowmobiling, which he passed down to me, and my mom was a figure skater who loved to take us on snowboarding and skiing trips as kids. Safe to say, I’ve learned so much about most winter sports over the years and have a passion for passing on my knowledge to others, as my parents did with me.