MONTREAL — The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has cancelled a Maritimes-based prospects event, citing concerns over COVID-19.

The second leg of the QMJHL Cup was scheduled to be held Feb. 3-6 in Dartmouth, N.S., but will not take place.

The annual event provides prospects a chance to showcase their talents ahead of the league's entry draft.

QMJHL director of hockey operations Pierre Leduc said in a statement that the Omicron variant has created a lot of uncertainty and the last thing the league wants to do is jeopardize the safety of players and staff.

The third and final stage of the QMJHL Cup is set to be held April 27 through May 1 in Boisbriand, Que.

The event will feature 120 prospects, including 80 players from Quebec and 40 from the Atlantic provinces.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 11, 2022.