There is an updated article on this player here: Brett Parnham
Ontario Hockey League grad Brett Parnham has taken a drastic turn in his hockey career this week. After starting the 2013-14 season in the city with the world’s most famous Chinatown, he now will be playing in China. Parnham has left the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL to play for China Dragon in the Asia League of Hockey.
Brett played four years in the OHL from 2005-06 to 2008-09 with the Sudbury Wolves and Oshawa Generals. He was the thirteenth overall pick by Sudbury at the 2005 OHL Priority Selection and played 31 games with the club in his first year before being traded to the Generals.
In 2007-08, Parnham and the Generals went deep into the Robertson Cup playoffs, reaching the Eastern Conference finals. Oshawa came up against the Belleville Bulls and fell in five games. Belleville outscored the Generals 24-9 in the series, including an 11-0 blasting in game five. Brett contributed 13 points over 15 playoff games.
The following year, 2008-09, his last in the OHL, Parnham scored 50 goals in 65 regular season games. The total was Tavares assisted and Brett placed second in the OHL behind just John Tavares. J.T. scored 58 in a season that saw him traded away to the London Knights at the deadline.
Parnham was overlooked at the NHL Entry Draft. His first taste of professional hockey came at the end of the 2008-09 season when he joined the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League. Brett played seven games with Rochester and did not register a point.
He has played pro hockey full-time since the 2009-10 season in the ECHL, Russia’s VHL and in Kazakhstan. His best year for number to date has been 2010-11 when he scored 17 goals in 57 games for the Utah Grizzlies in the ECHL.
Parnham had joined former Oshawa teammate Dale Mitchell with the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL at the start of the 2013-14 season. Brett played ten games with the Bulls, scoring a goal and assisting on two. On the Bulls website on November 20, the team stated that Parnham had left the team to play in China and was suspended by the Bulls.
The Dragon may need a much bigger miracle than the arrival of a former OHL 50 goal scorer to turn their dreadful fortunes around. The team has not won a single game since 2009-10 and has won just nine since 2007-08. The Dragon have started 2013-14 losing their first 16 games. A typical ALH season was 36 games per team but increased to 42 in 2012-13.
The Dragon play out of Shanghai. Home games are played at Sports Center Pavilion, an 8,000 seat venue opened in 2008. The team’s brush with fame came in 2008-09 when Claude Lemieux played two games with the team, then known as the China Sharks.
The Asia League of Hockey is an eight team league with four teams in Japan, three in South Korea and one in China. Typically, there are a handful of Ontario Hockey League grads in the league each year. Former OHLer Michael Swift is once again among the league’s scoring leaders in 2013-14.