Ice Hockey Wiki

Canadian Major Junior Outline

Ontario Hockey League
Current season or competition:
2021-22 OHL season
OHL Logo.png
Ontario Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
Founded (1974 as OMJHL) 1933
Commissioner Dave Branch
No. of teams 20
Country(ies) Flag of Canada Canada (17 teams)
Flag of the United States United States (3 teams)
Most recent champion(s) Hamilton Bulldogs (2022)
Most championships Oshawa Generals13
TV partner(s) Rogers Sportsnet, Cogeco Sports, Rogers TV, TV Rogers, Shaw TV
Official website

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; 18 are based in the Canadian province of Ontario,one team in the American state of Michigan and one team in the American state of Pennsylvania. Out of the 18 teams based in Ontario, 15 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.


Junior age ice hockey in Ontario began in 1896, organized by the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA). Since then it has gone through four distinct eras in the organization of junior hockey. In 1933, the junior division was divided into two levels, junior A and junior B. In 1972 the upper level was divided into two more levels, Tier I and Tier II. In 1974 the "Major Junior A Tier I" portion of the OHA separated from the OHA and became the '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 Sadlon Arena 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 Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center 4,021
Saginaw Spirit Saginaw, Michigan, USA 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 6,450

On November 8th 2015, the owner of the Flint Firebirds fired the head coach, John Gruden after the team pulled out a come from behind overtime victory over the defending Memorial Cup champions.  According to published reports the issue was the amount of ice time that owner, Rolf Nilson's 17 year old son was receiving.  Upon hearing of the removal of the coach the whole 24 members of the team quit, not wanting to play for anyone else but Coach Gruden.  Among those quitting the team were the owner's son, Håkon Nilsen.  The whole team went into the team's front office and threw their jerseys on the ground, quit the team and then walked out.  OHL commissioner David Branch was scheduled to meet with the ownership of the franchise on Monday November 9th to try to salvage anything out of what is a very bad situation for all involved.  After the meeting the owner issued a release through the OHL's website stating that he made "an irresponsible mistake" and the coaches were reinstated and meetings were held between the league commissioner, ownership, coaches and players.


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 per cent (90%) of OHL games are scheduled between Thursday and Sunday to minimize the number of school days missed for its players. Ninety-five per cent (95%) of the players in the league are attending high school or college.

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.

Bell OHL All-Star Classic

The 2010 OHL All-Star Classic was be played at the K-Rock Centre in Kingston.  This was the final edition of the game.

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-7 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.

Memorial Cup champions

The Memorial Cup has been captured 15 times by OHL/OHA teams since the tournament went to a 3-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 1974–75 OMJHL season. It has been conducted annually since then. It is a selection of players aged 16 and 17 years old who are residents of the province of Ontario, the states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York, and other designated U.S. states.

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

Individual records

  • Most goals in a season: 87, Ernie Godden, 1980–81
  • Most assists in a season: 123, Bobby Smith, 1977–78
  • Most points in a season: 192, Bobby Smith, 1977–78
  • Most penalty minutes in a season: 487 Trevor Koopmans 1989-1990
  • Most points in a season, rookie: 182, Wayne Gretzky, 1977–78
  • Most points in a season, defenseman: 155, Bryan Fogarty, 1988–89

Team Records

  • Most wins in a season: 59, London Knights, 2004–05
  • Most points in a season: 120, London Knights, 2004–05
  • Most goals in a season: 469, Toronto Marlboros, 1974–75
  • Fewest goals against in a season: 125, London Knights, 2004–05

Trophies and awards

Team Trophies
Executive Trophies
Player Trophies

Team Timeline

Team Centre Arena Seasons Fate
Hamilton Red Wings Hamilton, Ontario Barton Street Arena 1970-1974 renamed Hamilton Fincups
Kitchener Rangers Kitchener, Ontario Kitchener Memorial Auditorium 1970-present
London Knights London, Ontario London Ice House (1970-2002) (known as London Gardens 1970-1994) Budweiser Gardens (2002-present) (known as John Labatt Centre 2002-2012) 1970-present
Montreal Junior Canadiens Montreal, Quebec Montreal Forum 1970-1972 transfer to Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Niagara Falls Flyers Niagara Falls, Ontario Niagara Falls Memorial Arena 1970-1972 relocated to Sudbury, Ontario; renamed Sudbury Wolves
Oshawa Generals Oshawa, Ontario Oshawa Civic Auditorium (1970-2006) Tribute Communities Centre (2006-present) (known as General Motors Centre 2006-2016) 1970-present
Ottawa 67's Ottawa, Ontario TD Place Arena (1970-2012, 2014-present) also known as Ottawa Civic Center 1970-2009, 2012, Urbandale Centre 2009-2010, J. Benson Cartage Centre 2011-2012) Canadian Tire Centre (2012-2014) (known as Scotiabank Place 2012-2013) 1970-present
Peterborough Petes Peterborough, Ontario Peterborough Memorial Centre 1970-present
St. Catharines Black Hawks St. Catharines, Ontario Garden City Arena 1970-1976 relocated to Niagara Falls, Ontario; renamed Niagara Falls Flyers
Toronto Marlboros Toronto, Ontario Maple Leaf Gardens 1970-1989 relocated to Hamilton, Ontario; renamed Dukes of Hamilton
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Sault Memorial Gardens (1972-2006) GFL Memorial Gardens (2006-present) (known as Steelback Centre 2006-2008 and Essar Centre 2008-2018) 1972-present
Sudbury Wolves Sudbury, Ontario Sudbury Community Arena 1972-present
Kingston Canadians Kingston, Ontario Kingston Memorial Centre 1973-1988 renamed Kingston Raiders
Hamilton Fincups Hamilton, Ontario Barton Street Arena 1974-1976 relocated to St. Catharines, Ontario and renamed St. Catharines Fincups when icemaking equipment fails and arena is torn down just prior to start of 1976-77 season
Windsor Spitfires Windsor, Ontario Windsor Arena 1975-1984 renamed Windsor Compuware Spitfires
Niagara Falls Flyers Niagara Falls, Ontario Niagara Falls Memorial Arena 1976-1982 relocated to North Bay, Ontario; renamed North Bay Centennials
St. Catharines Fincups St. Catharines, Ontario Garden City Arena 1976-1977 return to Hamilton, Ontario as Hamilton Fincups when work out lease with Mountain Arena for 1977-78 season
Hamilton Fincups Hamilton, Ontario Mountain Arena 1977-1978 relocated to Brantford, Ontario; renamed Brantford Alexanders
Brantford Alexanders Brantford, Ontario Brantford Civic Centre 1978-1984 relocated to Hamilton, Ontario; renamed Hamilton Steelhawks
Cornwall Royals Cornwall, Ontario Cornwall Civic Complex 1981-1992 relocated to Newmarket, Ontario; renamed Newmarket Royals
Belleville Bulls Belleville, Ontario Yardmen Arena (known as Quinte Sports Centre 1981-?) 1981-2015 relocated to Hamilton, Ontario; renamed Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)
Guelph Platers Guelph, Ontario Guelph Memorial Gardens 1982-1989 relocated to Owen Sound, Ontario; renamed Owen Sound Platers
North Bay Centennials North Bay, Ontario North Bay Memorial Gardens 1982-2002 relocated to Saginaw, Michigan; renamed Saginaw Spirit
Hamilton Steelhawks Hamilton, Ontario Copps Coliseum 1984-1988 relocated to Niagara Falls, Ontario; renamed Niagara Falls Thunder
Windsor Compuware Spitfires Windsor, Ontario Windsor Arena 1984-1989 revert to Windsor Spitfires name
Kingston Raiders Kingston, Ontario Kingston Memorial Centre 1988-1989 renamed Kingston Frontenacs
Niagara Falls Thunder Niagara Falls, Ontario Niagara Falls Memorial Arena 1988-1996 relocated to Erie, Pennsylvania; renamed Erie Otters
Dukes of Hamilton Hamilton, Ontario Copps Coliseum 1989-1991 relocated to Guelph, Ontario; renamed Guelph Storm
Kingston Frontenacs Kingston, Ontario Kingston Memorial Centre (1989-2008) Leon's Centre (2008-present) (known as K-Rock Centre 2008-2013 and Rogers K-Rock Centre 2013-2018) 1989-present
Owen Sound Platers Owen Sound, Ontario Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre 1989-2000 renamed Owen Sound Attack
Windsor Spitfires Windsor, Ontario Windsor Arena (1989-2008) WFCU Centre (2008-present) 1989-present
Detroit Compuware Ambassadors Detroit, Michigan Cobo Arena (1991-1992) Joe Louis Arena (1992-1993) 1990-1992 renamed Detroit Jr. Red Wings
Guelph Storm Guelph, Ontario Guelph Memorial Gardens (1991-2000) Sleeman Centre (Guelph) (2000-present (known as Guelph Sports and Entertainment Centre 2000-2007) 1991-present
Newmarket Royals Newmarket, Ontario Newmarket Recreational Complex 1992-1994 relocated to Sarnia, Ontario; renamed Sarnia Sting
Detroit Jr. Red Wings Detroit, Michigan Joe Louis Arena 1992-1995

renamed Detroit Whalers

when relocated to Auburn Hills, Michigan

Sarnia Sting Sarnia, Ontario Sarnia Arena (1994-1998) Progressive Auto Sales Arena (1998-present) (known as Sarnia Sports and Entertainment Centre 1998-2009, 2015-2016 and RBC Centre 2009-2015) 1994-present
Barrie Colts Barrie, Ontario Barrie Arena (1995-2008) Barrie Molson Centre (2008-present) 1995-present
Detroit Whalers Auburn Hills, Michigan Palace of Auburn Hills 1995-1997 relocated to Plymouth, Michigan; renamed Plymouth Whalers
Erie Otters Erie, Pennsylvania Erie Insurance Arena 1996-present
Toronto St. Michael's Majors Toronto, Ontario Maple Leaf Gardens (1997-2000) St. Michael's College School Arena (2000-2007) 1997-2007 relocated to Mississauga, Ontario; renamed Mississauga St. Michael's Majors
Plymouth Whalers Plymouth, Michigan Compuware Arena 1997-2015 relocated to Flint, Michigan; renamed Flint Firebirds
Brampton Battalion Brampton, Ontario Powerade Centre (known as Brantford Centre for Sports and Entertainment 1998-2005) 1998-2013 relcoated to North Bay, Ontario; renamed North Bay Battalion
Mississauga IceDogs Mississauga, Ontario Hershey Centre 1998-2007 relocated to St. Catharines, Ontario; renamed Niagara IceDogs
Owen Sound Attack Owen Sound, Ontario Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre 2000-present
Saginaw Spirit Saginaw, Michigan Dow Event Center (known as Saginaw Civic Center 2002-2004) 2002-present
Mississauga St. Michael's Majors Mississauga, Ontario; Hershey Centre 2007-2012 renamed Mississauga Steelheads
Niagara IceDogs St. Catharines, Ontario Gatorade Garden City Complex (2007-2014) Meridian Centre (2014-present) 2007-present
Mississauga Steelheads Mississauga, Ontario Paramount Fine Foods Centre (known as Hershey Centre 2012-2018) 2012-present
North Bay Battalion North Bay, Ontario North Bay Memorial Gardens 2013-present
Flint Firebirds Flint, Michigan Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center 2015-present
Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL) Hamilton, Ontario First Ontario Centre 2015-present

External links

See also