In the third post of a series of three on the New York Rangers system, we profile the 7 Ontario Hockey League alumni that are playing for the big team. There were 9 OHL grads on the Rangers’ ECHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers and 8 OHL grads on the Rangers AHL affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Click on each player’s highlighted name to view their profile page on the Rangers’ official website.
The always controversial, Sean Avery, played in the Ontario Hockey League from 1996-97 to 1999-00. He began his OHL career with the Owen Sound Platers and switched to the Kingston Frontenacs midway through the 1998-99 season.
Ryan Callahan wears the ‘A’ for the Rangers. Callahan had a very successful career with the Guelph Storm from 2002-03 to 2005-06. The highlight of his career with the Storm was a 52 goal performance in his final season. In that final season with the Storm, he would also take home the Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy as the league’s best overage player. A 4th round pick of the Rangers, Ryan has spent some time with the AHL squad in Hartford but has mostly been a regular with the Rangers.
Brandon Prust was a London Knight from 2002-03 to 2004-05. Brandon was the team muscle in their 2005 Memorial Cup victory. Drafted by the Calgary Flames, he was in the team’s system until being traded at the trade deadline this season.
Michael Del Zotto came to the London Knights last season from the Oshawa Generals in the blockbuster trade that brought John Tavares to the Knights. His OHL career began in 2006-07 with the Generals. He was a first round pick of the Rangers and has stuck on the big team from day 1.
Dan Girardi started his OHL career playing for the Barrie Colts in the 2000-01 season. He was traded to the Guelph Storm during the 2002-03 season and then traded to the London Knights in the 2004-05 season where he became part of the 2005 Memorial Cup winning team. Dan spent a season and a half with the AHL Hartford Wolf Pack before becoming a mainstay on the Rangers’ blueline.
Marc Staal is one of three Staal brothers currently playing in the NHL with one brother, Jared, currently in the OHL. After 4 seasons in the OHL with the Sudbury Wolves, starting in 2003-04, Marc went directly to the Rangers, the team that drafted him in the first round, 12 overall in 2005.
Alex Auld was between the pipes for the North Bay Centennials from 1997-98 to 2000-01. A Florida Panthers draft pick, Alex started his NHL career in Vancouver with the Canucks. In 2006-07, he would return to the team that drafted him and play a season with the Panthers. Before he would become a Ranger, he would play for Phoenix Coyotes, Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators and Dallas Stars.
For the first two posts in this series, follow these links: