Going into this weekend’s action in Italy’s Lega Italiana Hockey su Ghiaccio, Ontario Hockey League alumni held the numbers one and two spots in the scoring race. At nearly the halfway point of the 40 game 2011-12 LIHG season, David Ling and Rob Hennigar are knotted at 34 points apiece. Ling holds a one goal edge in goals but has played one more game than Hennigar. Both are four points ahead of third place. OHL grads Dan Tudin and Adam Henrich also find themselves in the league’s top 20.
David Ling, who will turn 37 in January, is in his first season in Italy, playing with Val Pusteria. Ling played three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League from 1992-93 to 1994-95, all with the Kingston Frontenacs. In his final season with Kingston, he scored 61 and assisted on 74 for 135 points. He was the OHL’s top scoring right winger and was named league MVP. He was also named CHL Player of the Year.
David, a seventh round pick of the Quebec Nordiques in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, played a total of 93 games in the National Hockey League with the Montreal Canadiens and Columbus Blue Jackets. He was third overall in the AHL in 2004-05, contributing 88 points with the St. John’s Maple Leafs. He started the 2010-11 season with Amur Khabarovsk and ended up back in the AHL with the Providence Bruins.
Rob Hennigar is enjoying his first experience east of the Atlantic. He was a member of the Windsor Spitfires from 2000-01 to 2003-04. Hennigar followed that up with four years with the University of New Brunswick. After spending three years from 2008-09 to 2010-11 mostly in the ECHL, he finds himself with Cortina. Rob may just be the difference that has taken Cortina from last place in the nine team LIHG last season to a tie with two other teams, including Ling’s Val Pusteria, nineteen games into 2011-12.