The 1999-00 Barrie Colts were the bad boys of OHL hockey. In only their fifth season in the Ontario Hockey League, the Colts won the J. Ross Robertson Cup as playoff champions. They would come up short of a Memorial Cup victory, however.
Sheldon Keefe was the league scoring champion with 121 points and teammates Denis Shvidki and Mike Danton would also make it into the top 10. Keefe also won the Jim Mahon Memorial Award for the top scoring right winger. Goaltender Brian Finley won the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award for playoff MVP.
There are currently 7 players from the 1999-00 Colts roster that are still active in professional hockey. Interestingly, 5 of the 7 players were in their OHL rookie season that year. This does not include Mike Danton’s return to University hockey but we hope he will return to the professional ranks in the future.
Where available, click on the player’s names below to view their profile page on their current team’s official website.
Denis Shvidki was the team’s second highest point getter in the 1999-00 season, his second with the Colts, with 106 points. He played two seasons in the OHL, both with Barrie. Denis has played 76 games in the NHL scattered over 4 seasons and all with the Florida Panthers. Currently, he is with Karpat of the SM-Liiga in Finland, although his season consisted of only 4 games.
Michael Henrich (to view his profile, click the ‘Senior’ drop-down box and click on ‘Roster’ – scroll across until you find him) started his OHL career with the Colts in 1996-97 and finished in 1999-00. A sniper with 41, 38 and 38 goals in his final three seasons with the team. He was a first round pick of the Edmonton Oilers in 1998, 13th overall. He has never played a game in the NHL and has never been able to reproduce his OHL scoring ability until this season. With Asiago HC in Italy, Michael maintained nearly a 2-point per game pace.
Matt Dzieduszycki was in his first of two seasons in the OHL with Barrie during the 1999-00 season. Matt is now in his 4th season in Germany’s DEL and his third with the Hannover Scorpions.
Blaine Down played for the Colts from 1999-00 to 2001-02. Down has been in Europe for the past 4 seasons, 1 in Italy, 1 in Denmark and two in Switzerland. Currently, he is with ZSC Lions of the Swiss-A league. ZSC is out of Zurich and is done for the 2009-10 season after bowing out in the quarter-finals of the league’s playoffs. To view a previous post on Blaine Down, click here.
Tim Branham played in the OHL from 1999-00 to 2001-02. His first two seasons were with the Colts and his final season was with the Guelph Storm. Branham was a 3rd round pick of the Vancouver Canucks in 2000 but has never played a game in the NHL and has, for the most part, been a career ECHL player since graduating from the OHL. Currently he is on the Injured Reserve list for the Reading Royals of the ECHL.
Aaron Power enjoyed a 4 year career with the Barrie Colts from 1999-00 to 2002-03. After 5 seasons, mostly in the ECHL, Aaron left for Europe. He spent last season in Germany’s Bundesliga 2 and this season he played for HC Fassa in Italy.
Eric Reitz played three seasons in the OHL with the Colts from 1999-00 to 2001-02. Drafted very deep in the 2000 draft by the Minnesota Wild (6th round, 170th overall), Eric was able to put in 48 games in the NHL with the Wild and the New York Rangers. He is currently playing in Russia’s KHL with Sibir Novosibirsk. His profile page on the KHL official site can be found here.