At the end of the 2011-12 season, B.J. Crombeen sits just shy of 200 NHL games behind his father Mike. B.J., who will start the 2012-13 season with the Tampa Bay Lightning after a nearly four year run with the St. Louis Blues, has the Ontario Hockey League in his blood. Along with his father, there are two uncles that also played in the OMJHL and a cousin that played parts of the past three seasons in the OHL.
After being drafted eighth overall by the Barrie Colts at the 2001 OHL Priority Selection, B.J. played four years with the Colts from 2001-02 to 2004-05. In his first year, Barrie charged to the Robertson Cup finals before losing to the Erie Otters in five games. He captained the team in his final season.
The Dallas Stars took B.J. in the second round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, 54th overall. It wasn’t until the 2007-08 season before Crombeen got his first games in the big league. Since, he has been a regular in the NHL with Dallas and the St. Louis Blues.
2006-07 was an interesting year for B.J. He started the season with Assat of Finland’s SM-Liiga and placed third in the league for penalty minutes with 152 over 55 games. Four of Assat’s players made the top ten in that category. With the Finnish season ending earlier than the North American leagues, Crombeen joined the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL for the end of their regular season and their Kelly Cup playoff run. Idaho downed the Dayton Bombers 4-1 in the finals to take the championship.
Mike Crombeen was the only ever first round pick of the NHL’s Cleveland Barons, going fifth overall at the 1977 NHL Amateur Draft. Bjorn Johansson was taken fifth overall the year before but the team was technically still the California Golden Seals until after the draft. Despite also being chosen fourth overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the WHA draft, Mike chose to play in Cleveland’s second and last year in the NHL. The following season, he was a member of the St. Louis Blues and fit in as a regular for the next five years. Crombeen finished off his NHL career with two years as a member of the Hartford Whalers.
Mike’s brother Brian Crombeen played three years with the Kingston Canadians from 1975-76 to 1977-78. In 151 OMJHL games, Brian recorded 18 goals and 96 assists for 114 points. He went undrafted and did not continue on professionally once his junior career was over.
B.J.’s other uncle, Pat Crombeen, started his junior career in the QMJHL with the Cornwall Royals in 1976-77. A short time into his second season, he moved to Ontario to play for the London Knights. The Knights had originally drafted Pat eleventh overall in 1976. Pat played with the Knights until the end of the 1979-80 season. Like Brian, he went undrafted and didn’t continue on professionally.
Pat’s son, and B.J.’s cousin, Curtis Crombeen has played in the OHL since 2009-10. He was a ninth overall pick at the 2009 OHL Priority Selection by the Owen Sound Attack and began his career with the club in 2009-10. Midway through the 2010-11 season, he switched to the Plymouth Whalers and was with that club this past season.