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Ontario Hockey League

Ontario Hockey League
Current season, competition or edition:
31px 2014–15 OHL season
Sport Ice hockey
Founded 1933
CEO David Branch
No. of teams 20
Countries Canada(17 teams)
USA (3 teams)
Most recent champion(s) Oshawa Generals
Most titles Oshawa Generals13
TV partner(s) Sportsnet, Sportsnet One, Cogeco Sports, Rogers TV, TV Rogers, Shaw TV
Official website
File:OHL ALL STAR GAME 2006.jpg
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 15–20.

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. Out of the 17 teams based in Ontario, 14 teams are in Southern Ontario, and 3 teams are in Northern Ontario.

The three largest arenas in the OHL are Ottawa's TD Place Arena, London's Budweiser Gardens, and the FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton.


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 General Motors 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 4,043
Sudbury Wolves Sudbury, Ontario, Canada Sudbury Community Arena 4,640
Western Conference
Division Team City Arena Capacity
Midwest Erie Otters Erie, Pennsylvania, USA 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, USA Perani Arena and Event Center 4,021
Saginaw Spirit Saginaw, Michigan, USA Dow Event Center 5,527
Sarnia Sting Sarnia, Ontario, Canada RBC Centre 5,500
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada Essar Centre 4,928
Windsor Spitfires Windsor, Ontario, Canada WFCU Centre 6,450


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

Main article: 2014–15 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 host the Memorial Cup was the London Knights in 2014.

Memorial Cup champions

The Memorial Cup has been captured 14 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 Priority Selection was first conducted the summer before the 1969–70 OHA season, with Kitchener selecting Bill Barber first overall. It has been conducted annually since then. Originally the draft was for 17 year old midgets, and 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.

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.

OHL Records

Updated as of March 20, 2012[1]

Team Records


  • Fewest Ties (with overtime):
    0 - 17 times since 1978-79
  • Longest Undefeated Streak:
    31 games - London Knights Ended December 17, 2004 (29 wins, 2 ties)
    25 games - Kitchener Rangers Jan. 11, 1984 through March 16, 1984 (25 wins)
    24 games - Oshawa Generals Oct. 24, 1982 through Dec. 17, 1982 (22 wins, 2 ties)
  • Longest Road Undefeated Streak:
    12 games - Oshawa Generals Oct. 27, 1982 through Dec. 28, 1982 (10 wins, 2 ties)
  • Longest Home Losing Streak:
    18 games - London Knights Sept. 22, 1995 through Dec. 10, 1995
    12 games - Guelph Platers Jan. 14, 1983 through March 11, 1983
  • Longest Winless Streak:
    33 games - London Knights Sept. 21, 1995 through Dec. 21, 1995 (31 losses, 2 ties)
    28 games - Kingston Canadians Jan. 19, 1988 through March 18, 1988 (28 losses)
  • Longest Home Winless Streak:
    19 games - London Knights Sept. 22, 1995 through Dec. 15, 1995 (18 losses, 1 tie)
    13 games - Guelph Storm Sept. 19, 1991 through Nov. 22, 1991 (8 losses, 5 ties)




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. 

External links