Former Windsor Spitfire and Mississauga IceDog, Ben O’Connor, is entering into territory few Ontario Hockey League alumni dare to tread. O’Connor has signed on for the 2010-11 season with Les Pingouins de Morzine-Avoriaz in France’s Ligue Magnus.
The England born defenseman played two partial seasons in the OHL, 2005-06 and 2006-07. He began his career with the Windsor Spitfires and in his second season was traded to the Mississauga IceDogs after playing just one game with the Spits.
For the past three seasons, Ben has been playing in Great Britain’s Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL). This past season, he played for the Edinburgh Capitals, a team that finished the season sixth in the eight team league. O’Connor played in all of the team’s 56 regular season games, helping out with 28 points from the blue line.
His new team, Morzine-Avoriaz, also finished sixth in their league’s regular season but the Ligue Magnus is made up of fourteen teams instead of eight. Morzine is a small mountain community quite near the border of Switzerland.
Although the Ligue Magnus is laced with graduates of the QMJHL, there are very few OHL grads playing in the French league each season. Five Ontario Hockey League alumni played in the league this past season (read more about it in this previous post). In 2008, former Brampton Battalion, Brad Woods, was part of a Coupe de France winning Grenoble team.
Les Pingouins official website hasn’t updated Ben O’Connor’s arrival yet, but you can check out the site here.