Featuring a combined slate of 168 contests, each NOJHL club will play a balanced 48-game schedule competing in 24 home and 24 away contests.
This season each of the NOJHL member clubs will now compete in a single seven-team conference and will go up against each other a total of eight times during the course of the regular season, squaring off four times apiece at home and away.
The shootout has also been removed as a tiebreaker and is being replaced by a one four-on-four, five-minute overtime period followed by, if necessary, a second five-minute OT session with the teams skating three players aside. Should a winner not be determined, the game will end as a tie with each side earning a point.
Game action will commence Sept. 5 as the newly minted Sudbury Nickel Barons host the Blind River Beavers at McClelland Arena in Copper Cliff. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
As for the playoff format, the first-place club will receive a first-round bye. From there, the remaining six sides will face each other in quarter-final play with the regular season winner joining the remaining three squads in semifinal action. The finalists then meet up to play for the NOJHL championship.
The league will also have some additional post-season hockey for fans to enjoy as the North Bay Trappers host the 2013 Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canadian Jr. A Championship April 30 to May 4.