His time in the OHA started in 1950-51 but it was 1951-52 that immortalized him in the history of the OHL. Ken Laufman played for the powerhouse Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters in 1951-52. The Biltmores won the Memorial Cup championship with a win over the Regina Pats.
The team was stacked with the likes of Andy Bathgate, Harry Howell, Dean Prentice, Ron Murphy and Lou Fontinato. Bathgate and Howell went on to Hockey Hall of Fame careers. Yet, it was Ken Laufman that led the way offensively. He would go on to compete in the Olympic games twice for Canada before winning two scoring crowns in the EHL.
Ken Laufman – OHL
Ken Laufman played just the 1951-52 season in the OHA Junior ‘A’ circuit. Laufman made the most of this opportunity. In 54 regular season games for the Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters, Ken scored 53 and assisted on 86 for 139 points. He not only led the star studded Mad Hatters in scoring but the whole league, earning the Eddie Powers Trophy.
Guelph finished second overall in the ten team league with 78 points in 54 games, six points behind the first place Toronto Marlboros. The Biltmores ousted the Marlboros in the semi-finals before taking out the St. Catherines Teepees in the finals.
The Mad Hatters then took the Richardson Cup with a win over the Montreal Junior Canadiens in the finals. That set the stage for a match up with the Regina Pats in the Memorial Cup finals. Guelph dominated, sweeping the Pats in four games.
Ken Laufman – Amateur Hockey
After his year in Guelph, Ken Laufman was meant for the 1952-53 Ottawa Senators of the QSHL, as per his 1952-53 St. Lawrence Sales hockey card. Instead, he played for the Halifax Atlantics in the MMHL. Laufman followed that up with seven years of OHA Senior A hockey with the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen where he was often among the league’s top scorers.
It was with the Dutchmen that Laufman got to compete for his country at the 1956 and 1960 Winter Olympics. The 1956 Olympics were held in Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy. Canada took home the bronze medal with the Soviets taking gold and the United States leaving with the silver. Ken was ninth in the tournament with nine points on one goal and eight assists over eight games.
The 1960 Olympic Winter Games were held at Squaw Valley, U.S.A. Canada won silver with the United States winning gold and the Soviets taking bronze. Laufman was teamed with the likes of Harry Sinden and Bobby Rousseau. The Dutchmen lost just one game in the round-robin tournament, unfortunately to the U.S.
Bill Durnan was the head coach of those K-W Dutchmen teams. Durnan played goal in the National Hockey League with the Montreal Canadiens from 1943-44 to 1949-50. In six of those seven seasons, Durnan was named the Vezina Trophy winner. Despite that accomplishment and his involvement on the international stage, it took until 1964 for Bill to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Ken Laufman – Pro Hockey
After the 1960 Olympics were in the books, Ken Laufman joined the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens for the 1959-60 EPHL playoffs. He followed that up with two outstanding seasons in the EHL, 1960-61 and 1961-62, with the Johnstown Jets. In both years, the Jets won the playoff championship and Laufman was awarded the John Carlin Trophy as the EHL’s top scorer.
In 1960-61, Ken scored 41 and assisted on 75 for 115 points over 64 regular season games. He placed seventh in the league for goals, first for assists and tied for first with teammate Dick Roberge for points. In the playoffs, he added 14 points while playing in just seven of Johnstown’s games. He was named a Second Team All-Star.
The 1960-61 Johnstown Jets tied for first overall in the EHL regular season with the Greensboro Generals. In the playoff finals, they took out the New Haven Blades for the title. Marv Edwards played goal in all the team’s regular season and playoff games.
The following year, Laufman led the EHL with 90 assists and 128 points, again earning the John Carlin Trophy. His 38 goals over 68 games tied him for tenth. Marv Edwards again played the bulk of regular season games for the Jets with a committee of eight accounting for the other 13. Edwards was absent from the playoffs, however, with Jim Helkie playing in all 15 games. Laufman moved up the ladder and was named a First Team All-Star.
The Jets once again won the championship in 1961-62 with a win over the Greensboro Generals in the finals. Laufman contributed 21 points over 15 games.
1962-63 brought a change in league and a definite geographical adjustment. Laufman headed to the northwest to play in the WHL for the Portland Buckaroos. The Hal Laycoe coached Buckaroos finished first overall in the regular season but lost in the semi-finals to the San Francisco Seals in seven games. Each series in the 1962-63 EHL playoffs went the maximum amount of games.
Laufman started the 1963-64 season with the Seals but after 15 games, headed back east to play for the Indianapolis Capitols of the CPHL. The Capitols had started their season off as the Cincinnati Wings but the move was forced after nine games with the rink in Cincinnati was damaged due to an explosion.
The Capitols finished last in the five team league. Their 12 wins and 31 points over 72 games put them 42 points behind the fourth place St. Louis Braves. The league was packed with soon to be famous head coaches, including Scotty Bowman, Fred Shero and Harry Sinden.
Ken Laufman Career Stats
|1959-60||Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen||OHASr||Statistics Unavailable|
|1959-60||Hull-Ottawa Canadiens||EPHL||Playoffs Only|