Two Ontario Hockey League grads are far from home but in quite familiar territory. Corey Locke has won the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga scoring title for 2016-17 while John Hughes has placed third. Locke has won scoring titles in the OHL and American Hockey League while Hughes is a three time EBEL scoring champ.
This duo joins the trio of Dale Mitchell, Tony Romano and Harrison Reed as league leaders in Europe for 2016-17. Mitchell, Romano and Reed finished 1-2-3 in Denmark’s Metal Ligaen. More detailed article here: Trio of OHL grads lead Metal Ligaen in scoring.
Corey Locke led the EBEL with 76 points in 52 games this season on 12 goals and 64 assists. His assist total was also best in the league. Unfortunately, all those points for his team Villacher SV weren’t enough to put the club through to the post season. Villacher finished ninth in the 12 team EBEL.
Locke played three years in the Ontario Hockey League from 2001-02 to 2003-04 with the Ottawa 67’s. In 2002-03, he was awarded the Eddie Powers Trophy with 151 points. The following year, he won the scoring title again but this time with just 118 points.
Corey got back the scoring touch in 2010-11 with the Binghamton Senators in the AHL. Locke led the league with 86 points, earning the John B. Sollenberger Trophy.
John Hughes finished third overall with 65 points on 32 goals and 33 assists over 53 games. He led the EBEL in goal scoring and his +37 was also a league best. His EC Red Bull Salzburg performed quite a bit better than Locke’s Villacher, placing second overall behind just the Vienna Capitals.
Hughes played four years in the OHL from 2004-05 to 2007-08 with the Belleville Bulls and Brampton Battalion. John has played in the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga since 2008-09 (with exception of 2009-10, a season he split between Finland’s Liiga and Germany’s DEL2).
John has been with Salzburg since 2014-15. Ironically, he spent two seasons with Villacher SV in 2012-13 and 2013-14. If timing had been different, it would have been nice to see both Locke and Hughes on the same team.
On three occasions, Hughes has been an EBEL scoring champion. In 2011-12 while playing for Olympija Ljubljana, he led the league with 68 points. In 2013-14, his 85 points were tops while playing for Villacher SV. In 2015-16, he led the league while playing for EC Salzburg with 66 points. John has led the EBEL in assists four times.
Interestingly, both Corey Locke and John Hughes are not signed for the 2017-18 season. We’ll keep our eyes open to see if Villacher and Salzburg snatch these players back up or if they’ll be off to new hockey homes for the upcoming campaign.