Ontario Hockey League

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Ontario Hockey League
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2017–18 OHL season
OHL Logo.svg
Sport Ice hockey
Founded 1933
CEO David Branch
No. of teams 20
Countries Canada (17 teams)
USA (3 teams)
Most recent
Erie Otters (2)
Most titles Oshawa Generals13
TV partner(s) Sportsnet, Sportsnet One, Cogeco Sports, Rogers TV, TV Rogers, Shaw TV
Official website http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com
OHL All-Star Game 2006 Opening Face Off. Game played in Belleville's Yardmen Arena. February 1st, 2006.

The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) is one of the three major junior ice hockey leagues which constitute the Canadian Hockey League. The league is for players aged 16–21.

The league was formed in 1933 with the partition of Junior A and B. In 1970, the OHA Junior A League was one of five Junior A leagues operating in Ontario. The OHA was promoted to Tier I Junior A for the 1970-71 season and took up the name Ontario Major Junior Hockey League. In 1980, the league walked away from Ontario Hockey Association governance with the creation of the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League and its direct affiliation with Hockey Canada.

From 1974 until 1978 (as the Ontario Major Junior Hockey League), Clarence "Tubby" Schmalz was the league's commissioner. Then, for one season (1978–79), former IHL commissioner Bill Beagan served as commissioner of the OMJHL. Beginning with the 1979-80 season, David Branch has been the Commissioner of the OHL (which became the league's official name prior to the 1981-82 season). Branch was appointed on August 11, 1979, and assumed the commissioner's role on September 17, 1979. Since 1980 the league has grown rapidly into a high-profile marketable product, with many games broadcast on television and radio.

There are currently 20 teams in the OHL: 17 are based in the Canadian province of Ontario, two teams in the American state of Michigan, and one team in the American state of Pennsylvania.


Leagues for ice hockey in Ontario were first organized in 1890 by the newly created Ontario Hockey Association (OHA). In 1892 the OHA recognized junior hockey - referring to skill rather than age. In 1896 the OHA moved to the modern age-limited junior hockey concept, distinct from senior and intermediate divisions. Since then the evolution to the Ontario Hockey League has developed through four distinct eras of junior-aged non-professional hockey in Ontario. In 1933, the junior division was divided into two levels, Junior A and Junior B. In 1970 the Junior A level was divided into two levels, Tier I (or Major Junior A) and Tier II (or Minor Junior A). In 1974 the Tier I/Major Junior A group separated from the OHA and became the independent 'Ontario Major Junior Hockey League' (OMJHL). In 1980, the OMJHL became the 'Ontario Hockey League.'

Current member teams

Ontario Hockey League
Eastern Conference
Division Team City Arena Capacity
East Hamilton Bulldogs Hamilton, Ontario, Canada FirstOntario Centre 17,383
Kingston Frontenacs Kingston, Ontario, Canada Rogers K-Rock Centre 5,614
Oshawa Generals Oshawa, Ontario, Canada Tribute Communities Centre 6,125
Ottawa 67's Ottawa, Ontario, Canada TD Place Arena 9,862
Peterborough Petes Peterborough, Ontario, Canada Peterborough Memorial Centre 4,329
Central Barrie Colts Barrie, Ontario, Canada Barrie Molson Centre 4,195
Mississauga Steelheads Mississauga, Ontario, Canada Hershey Centre 5,612
Niagara IceDogs St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada Meridian Centre 5,300
North Bay Battalion North Bay, Ontario, Canada North Bay Memorial Gardens 4,246
Sudbury Wolves Greater Sudbury, Ontario, Canada Sudbury Community Arena 4,640
Western Conference
Division Team City Arena Capacity
Midwest Erie Otters Erie, Pennsylvania, United States Erie Insurance Arena 6,833
Guelph Storm Guelph, Ontario, Canada Sleeman Centre 4,715
Kitchener Rangers Kitchener, Ontario, Canada Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex 7,777
London Knights London, Ontario, Canada Budweiser Gardens 9,046
Owen Sound Attack Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre 3,500
West Flint Firebirds Flint, Michigan, United States Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center 4,021
Saginaw Spirit Saginaw, Michigan, United States Dow Event Center 5,527
Sarnia Sting Sarnia, Ontario, Canada Progressive Auto Sales Arena 5,500
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada Essar Centre 4,928
Windsor Spitfires Windsor, Ontario, Canada WFCU Centre 6,500


The 20 OHL clubs play a 68-game unbalanced schedule, which starts in the third full week of September, running until the third week of March. Ninety percent (90%) of OHL games are scheduled between Thursday and Sunday to minimize the number of school days missed for its players.

Approximately 20% of players on active rosters in the National Hockey League have come from the OHL, and about 54% of NHL players are alumni of the Canadian Hockey League.

Current OHL season

Bell OHL All-Star Classic

OHL playoffs and Memorial Cup

The J. Ross Robertson Cup is awarded annually to the winner of the Championship Series. The Cup is named for John Ross Robertson, who was president of the Ontario Hockey Association from 1901 to 1905.

The OHL playoffs consist of the top 16 teams in the league, 8 from each conference. The teams play a best-of-seven game series, and the winner of each series advances to the next round. The final two teams eventually compete for the J. Ross Robertson Cup.

The OHL champion then competes with the winners of the Western Hockey League, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and the host of the tournament to play for the Memorial Cup, which is awarded to the junior hockey champions of Canada. The host team of the tournament is alternated between the three leagues every season. The most recent OHL team to win the Memorial Cup was the Windsor Spitfires in 2017.

Memorial Cup champions

The Memorial Cup has been captured 15 times by OHL/OHA teams since the tournament went to a three-league format in 1972:

The Cup was also won 16 times by OHA teams in the period between 1945 and 1971:

Priority Selection

The OHL's predecessor, the OHA, had a midget and juvenile draft dating back to the 50s, until voted out in 1962. In 1966 it was resumed, though not publicized. Starting in the 70s the draft went through several changes. Originally the draft was for 17-year-old midgets not already associated with teams through their sponsored youth programs. In 1971 the league first allowed "underage" midgets to be picked in the first three rounds. In 1972 disagreements about the Toronto team's rights to its "Marlie" players (and Greg Neeld) and claims to American player Mark Howe led to a revised system. In 1973 each team was permitted to protect 8 midget area players (Toronto was allowed to protect 10 players from its midget sponsored teams). In 1975 the league phased out the area protections, and the 1976 OHA midget draft was the first in which all midget players were eligible. In 1999 the league changed the draft to a bantam age (15 and 16 year old). It is a selection of players who are residents of the province of Ontario, the states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York, and other designated U.S. states east of the Mississippi River plus Missouri.

Prior to 2001, the OHL held the Priority Selection in a public forum, such as an arena. Drafts were attended by many players and family members. In 2001, the OHL decided to hold the "draft" via the Internet, greatly reducing the costs the league and its member teams incurred in hosting a public draft. This move reduced the stress and pressure that prospective players faced with a large crowd present.

The Jack Ferguson Award is presented annually to the first overall selection. The award was named in honour of long time OHL scout and former Director of Central Scouting Jack Ferguson. First overall picks 1966 London Rejean Houle 1967 Oshawa Dale Tallon 1968 Toronto Lorne Stamler 1969 Kitchener Bill Barber 1970 Niagara Falls Paulin Bordeleau 1971 Niagara Falls Wilf Paiement 1972 Hamilton Lee Fogolin 1973 SSM Jack Valiquette 1974 Hamilton Danny Shearer 1975 Kitchener Gaston Gingras 1976 Windsor Jimmy Fox 1977 Oshawa Tom McCarthy 1978 Sudbury Mike Allison 1979 Brantford Mark Hunter 1980 Kitchener Brian Bellows 1981 Belleville Dan Quinn 1982 Guelph Kirk Muller 1983 Guelph Trevor Steinberg 1984 Sudbury Dave Moylan

OHL Records

Updated as of March 20, 2012[1]

Team Records





Single Game


Trophies and awards

Team Trophies
Executive Trophies
Player Trophies

See also


  1. ^ "OHL Records". Ontario Hockey League. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "OHL Standings". Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "OHL Standings". Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "OHL Standings - Home/Away". Retrieved 12 May 2016. 
  5. ^ "OHL Standings - Home/Away". Retrieved 12 May 2016. 
  6. ^ "OHL Standings - Home/Away". Retrieved 12 May 2016. 
  7. ^ "OHL Standings - Home/Away". Retrieved 12 May 2016. 
  8. ^ "OHL Standings". Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  9. ^ http://blogs.windsorstar.com/2013/12/29/spits-top-spirit-6-5-at-comerica-park/

External links

  • Ontario Hockey League Official website
  • Canadian Hockey League Official website
  • Internet Hockey Database archive of standings and statistics
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