The Ontario Hockey League, referred to as the OHL, is part of the Canadian Hockey League. The other leagues that make up the CHL include the Western Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
The OHL’s current CEO is David Branch, and the defending league champions are the Erie Otters from Pennsylvania. This was their second league trophy, but the most league championships belong to the Oshawa Generals, with 13.
The Ontario Hockey League was formed in 1933. There are currently 20 teams in the league: 17 based in Ontario, two from Michigan and one from Pennsylvania. This is a full list of teams participating in the upcoming 2017-18 season:
• Hamilton Bulldogs • Kingston Frontenacs • Oshawa Generals (most league championships) • Ottawa 67’s • Peterborough Petes
• Barrie Colts • Mississauga Steelheads • Niagara IceDogs • North Bay Battalion • Sudbury Wolves
• Erie Otters (based in Pennsylvania and current league champions) • Guelph Storm • Kitchener Rangers • London Knights • Owen Sound Attack
• Flint Firebirds (Michigan) • Saginaw Spirit (Michigan) • Sarnia Sting • Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds • Windsor Spitfires
The official regular season of the OHL began on September 21, 2017. The season opener featured the defending champions, the Erie Otters, versus the Peterborough Petes at the Peterborough Memorial Centre. The Otters are hoping for a repeat performance and championship victory in the new season. However, the eyes of the league are also on the Windsor Spitfires, the defending MasterCard Memorial Cup Champions. Ironically, the Spitfires defeated the OHL 2016-17 League Champion Erie Otters 4-3 in the MMC Finals back on May 28 of this year.
The Spitfires are hoping to cash in with a younger group of players this season. This includes 19-year-old forwards Igor Larionov, Jr. and Joseph Mizzi, and overage winger Jake Smith. The newest arrival for the Otters, Stephane Patry, is also slated to make a huge impact in the new season.
With the new season just starting, OHL fans are gearing up for another action-packed and exciting year of hockey. Keep your eyes on Sudbury’s David Levin, Owen Sound’s Sean Durzi and Barrie’s Lucas Chiodo. These three were among the top standouts from the OHL preseason that wrapped up last week.