Justin Danforth
Born (1993-03-15)March 15, 1993,
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Height
Weight
5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
181 lb (82 kg; 12 st 13 lb)
Position Right wing
Shoots Right
KHL team
F. teams
HC Vityaz
Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Rochester Americans
Lukko
NHL Draft Undrafted
Playing career 2017–present


Justin Danforth (born March 15, 1993) is a Canadian professional ice hockey winger who plays for HC Vityaz in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). He had previously played for the Rochester Americans and Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the American Hockey League and won the ECHL Rookie of the Year in 2018 with the Cincinnati Cyclones.

Prior to turning professional, Danforth played four years at Sacred Heart University where he was honoured as AHA Rookie of the Year and selected for the AHA First All-Star Team, AHA Second All-Conference Team, and AHA All-Rookie Team.

Internationally, he has represented Canada at the 2011 and 2012 World Junior A Challenge.

Playing career[edit | edit source]

Amateur[edit | edit source]

Danforth began skating at the age of four and played hockey around his hometown through the Oshawa Minor Hockey Association and later the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL). Standing at 5 foot 8 as a youth, Danforth stated he was constantly told he was too short to play hockey, although this did not deter him. Before joining the OJHL, Danforth played for the Oshawa Minor Generals in the Oshawa Minor Hockey Association.[1]

After finishing his Midget AAA years with the Oshawa Minor Generals, Danforth played in the OJHL with the Cobourg Cougars starting in the 2009–10 season. In 2012, Danforth participated in the Central Canada Cup where he led the OJHL East Division All-Star Team to a tournament title and was subsequently named tournament MVP.[2] He was named to the OJHL Second All-Star Team at the conclusion of the 2013–14 season.[3]

On June 3, 2013, Danforth committed to play NCAA Division 1 ice hockey for Sacred Heart University while studying sports management. He stated that playing in the OJHL with the Cougars was critical to him earning an NCAA scholarship.[4]

Collegiate[edit | edit source]

Danforth began his rookie season at Sacred Heart during the 2013–14 season. He played in 36 games and led the team with 29 total points during the season.[5] He recorded his first two collegiate points on October 16 in a 3–1 win over Bentley University.[6] He helped the team qualify for the 2014 Atlantic Hockey Tournament where they lost in the first round to Canisius College.[7] At the conclusion of the season, Danforth was named to the AHA All-Rookie Team[8] and AHA Rookie of the Year.[9]

In his sophomore year, Danforth played in 38 games and recorded 22 points.[5] He helped Sacred Heart qualify for the 2015 Atlantic Hockey Tournament where they lost in the Quarterfinals to Canisius.[10] He was named to the 2014–15 Atlantic Hockey All-Academic Team for having a 3.0 grade point average or higher while competing.[11]

In his junior season, Danforth picked up productivity and recorded 41 points in 36 games which set a new career high. He recorded his first collegiate hat trick in a 6–4 win over the Mercyhurst Lakers on January 16, 2016, and was subsequently named Atlantic Hockey Player of the Month for January after tying for third in the nation in points.[12] He ended the season being selected for the Atlantic Hockey All-Conference Second Team[13] and the Atlantic Hockey All-Academic Team.[14]

In June 2016, Danforth was invited to the Florida Panthers development camp which ran from June 11–15.[15] He returned to the Pioneers for his senior year where he was named an assistant captain and led the team with 32 points.[5] He recorded his 100th collegiate point on November 22, 2016, becoming the 13th Pioneer player to reach that milestone and concluded the season being named to the Atlantic Hockey All-Conference First Team.[16]

Professional[edit | edit source]

After graduating, Danforth signed an amateur tryout agreement with the Reading Royals of the ECHL. However, after three games with the Royals, Danforth signed another amateur tryout with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League (AHL).[17] A few days later, Danforth signed another amateur tryout with an AHL team, the Rochester Americans.[18] His amateur tryout converted into an AHL contract for the 2017–18 season on April 22, 2017.[19]

Danforth spent the 2017–18 season moving between the AHL and ECHL. He was named to Team Central at the ECHL All-Star Game after leading all rookies with 37 points.[20] He was also named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team, All-ECHL Second Team and eventually ECHL Rookie of the Year at the conclusion of the season. Despite him spending almost two months in the AHL, he still ranked third amongst all ECHL rookies with 59 points.[21]

On May 8, 2018, Danforth left North America and joined Lukko of the Finnish Liiga.[22] He signed a contract extension with the team on February 27, 2019.[23] Prior to the 2019–20 season, he was named an alternate captain.[24] In the 2019–20 season, Danforth's 27 goals scored were second in Liiga, behind just Julius Nättinen.[25]

As a free agent, Danforth left Finland for Russia, agreeing to a one-year contract with HC Vityaz of the KHL, on May 2, 2020.[26]

International play[edit | edit source]

In November 2011, Danforth was selected to Team Canada East at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge[27] where he helped the team win a silver medal.[28] He was again selected the following year for the 2012 World Junior A Challenge,[29] where the team placed fourth in the tournament.

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Danforth's father Kent played lacrosse as a youth and Danforth followed in his footsteps until the age of 15.[30] His older brother Brandon also played hockey and lacrosse growing up.[31]

Career statistics[edit | edit source]

Regular season and playoffs[edit | edit source]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2009–10 Oshawa Generals Midget AAA ETAHL
2009-10 Cobourg Cougars OJHL 3 0 0 0 2
2010-11 Cobourg Cougars OJHL 47 13 23 36 26 10 2 1 3 3
2011-12 Cobourg Cougars OJHL 41 22 27 49 40 5 2 3 5 4
2012-13 Cobourg Cougars OJHL 43 22 34 56 42 9 3 11 14 8
2013–14 Sacred Heart University AHA 36 5 24 29 24
2014–15 Sacred Heart University AHA 38 7 15 22 26
2015–16 Sacred Heart University AHA 36 20 21 41 22
2016–17 Sacred Heart University AHA 37 10 22 32 53
2016–17 Reading Royals AHL 3 1 2 3 2
2016–17 Bridgeport Sound Tigers AHL 1 0 0 0 0
2016–17 Rochester Americans AHL 5 2 0 2 4
2017–18 Rochester Americans AHL 15 2 3 5 12
2017–18 Cincinnati Cyclones ECHL 44 28 31 59 40 2 0 0 0 2
2018–19 Lukko Liiga 59 18 34 52 73 7 2 2 4 0
2019–20 Lukko Liiga 56 27 33 60 26
Liiga totals 115 45 67 112 99 7 2 2 4 0

International[edit | edit source]

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2011 Canada East WJAC Silver medal icon.svg 4 1 0 1 4
2012 Canada East WJAC 4th 5 1 0 1 18
Junior totals 9 2 0 2 22

Awards and honours[edit | edit source]

Award Year Ref
OJHL
Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge MVP 2012 [3]
OJHL Second All-Star Team 2013
College
AHA All-Rookie Team 2014 [5]
NCAA (AHA) Rookie of the Year 2014
AHA Second All-Conference Team 2016
AHA First All-Star Team 2017
ECHL
ECHL All-Rookie Team 2018 [21]
ECHL Rookie of the Year 2018
ECHL Second All-Star Team 2018
ECHL All-Star Game 2018 [20]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Hockey paves way to education for Cobourg Cougar (December 9, 2012). Retrieved on February 18, 2019.
  2. Oshawa’s Justin Danforth jersey on display at Hockey Hall of Fame (July 11, 2013). Retrieved on February 18, 2019.
  3. 3.0 3.1 OJHL ALL-STAR TEAMS ANNOUNCED (February 26, 2013). Retrieved on February 17, 2019.
  4. Justin Danforth to Play for Sacred Heart Pioneers (June 3, 2013). Retrieved on February 17, 2019.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Justin Danforth. Retrieved on February 17, 2019.
  6. Pioneers Use Power Play To Take Down Bentley In Atlantic Hockey Opener (October 16, 2013). Retrieved on February 18, 2019. “Freshmen Mitch Nylen (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and Justin Danforth (Oshawa, Ont.) each had two points in the game, their first points as Pioneers”
  7. Men’s Hockey Falls To Canisius 5-0, Gets Swept Out Of Atlantic Hockey Tournament (March 8, 2014). Retrieved on February 18, 2019.
  8. Justin Danforth And Mitch Nylen Named To Atlantic Hockey All-Rookie Team (March 6, 2014). Retrieved on February 17, 2019.
  9. SARJEANT & DANFORTH TOP AHA AWARDS (March 20, 2014). Retrieved on February 17, 2019.
  10. Pioneers’ Season Ends With 2-1 Loss At Canisius In Game Two of AHC Quarterfinals (March 14, 2015). Retrieved on February 18, 2019.
  11. SHU Men’s Hockey Places 20 Pioneers On Atlantic Hockey All-Academic Team (June 29, 2015). Retrieved on February 18, 2019.
  12. Justin Danforth Named AHC Player of the Month (February 3, 2016). Retrieved on February 17, 2019.
  13. Justin Danforth Named To Atlantic Hockey All-Conference Second Team (March 9, 2016). Retrieved on February 17, 2019.
  14. Twenty Pioneers Named To Atlantic Hockey All-Academic Team (June 22, 2016). Retrieved on February 18, 2019.
  15. Three Pioneers Participate In NHL Development Camps (July 19, 2016). Retrieved on February 18, 2019.
  16. Justin Danforth Selected to Atlantic Hockey First Team All-Conference (March 9, 2017). Retrieved on February 17, 2019.
  17. Sound Tigers Add Sacred Heart Product (March 15, 2017). Retrieved on February 17, 2019.
  18. AMERKS INK THREE TO AMATEUR TRYOUTS (March 24, 2017). Retrieved on February 17, 2019.
  19. AMERKS SIGN DANFORTH TO AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE CONTRACT (April 22, 2017). Retrieved on February 17, 2019.
  20. 20.0 20.1 DANFORTH NAMED TO TEAM CENTRAL ECHL ALL-STAR TEAM. Retrieved on February 17, 2019.
  21. 21.0 21.1 DANFORTH NAMED ECHL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (April 9, 2018). Retrieved on February 17, 2019.
  22. Kanadalaishyökkääjä Justin Danforth Rauman Lukkoon (Finnish) (May 8, 2018). Retrieved on February 17, 2019.
  23. Justin Danforth pysyy Lukko-paidassa (February 27, 2019) (Finnish). Retrieved on October 24, 2019.
  24. Tapio Laaksosta kapteeni, Justin Danforth ja Toni Koivisto kapteenistoon (Finnish) (August 7, 2019). Retrieved on October 24, 2019.
  25. 2019-2020 Regular Season Player Stats. Elite Prospects. Retrieved on 2020-06-24.
  26. "May 2 Transfers" (in Russian). Kontinental Hockey League (May 2, 2020). Retrieved on May 2, 2020.
  27. Justin Danforth to represent the Cobourg Cougars at World Junior A Challenge (November 7, 2011). Retrieved on February 17, 2019.
  28. CANADA EAST MEMBERS HONOURED (November 21, 2011). Retrieved on February 18, 2019.
  29. Whitby's Troy Josephs, Oshawa's Justin Danforth make Canada East roster (November 2, 2012). Retrieved on February 17, 2019.
  30. SM-liigassa häkellyttää jopa NHL-ennätyksen murskannut pikakiitäjä – oma luisteluvalmentaja jo 6-vuotiaana: "Aikaisia aamuja oli paljon" (Finnish) (January 23, 2019). Retrieved on February 17, 2019.
  31. Play Like there is no Tomorrow! Machinists Son Excels in World Under 19 Junior Tournament (December 21, 2011). Retrieved on February 17, 2019.

External links[edit | edit source]

Justin Danforth's career stats at The Internet Hockey Database

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