10 of the 22 players on the Team Canada roster at the 2010 IIHF World Hockey Championships are graduates of the Ontario Hockey League. The team is full of youth and most of the OHL alumni are quite recent grads. All ten players are currently members of National Hockey League teams.
Michael Del Zotto played three seasons in the OHL from 2006-07 to 2008-09. His first two full seasons were spent with the Oshawa Generals. Midway through 2008-09, Del Zotto was traded to the London Knights in the same deal that would bring John Tavares from Oshawa. A first round pick of the New York Rangers in 2008, Michael went directly to the NHL club after junior and instantly became a mainstay on the Rangers’ blueline.
Marc Giordano played two seasons in the OHL, 2002-03 and 2003-04, both with the Owen Sound Attack. In the Calgary Flames organization since 2005-06, this past season was his first playing all 82 regular season games. As of the end of the 2009-10 season, Marc has logged 195 NHL games, all with Calgary.
Brent Burns played just one season in the OHL. He played the 2002-03 season with the Brampton Battalion. Burns was picked 20th overall in the first round of the 2003 NHL draft by the Minnesota Wild. Many were surprised that as an 18-year old, Brent wasn’t returned by the Wild to the OHL for the 2003-04 season. Other than 2004-05, the NHL strike season, when he played for the AHL’s Houston Aeros, Brent has played for the Wild throughout his NHL career.
Steve Downie played four seasons in the OHL. He began his junior career with the Windsor Spitfires in 2003-04. Downie was traded to the Peterborough Petes after just one game in 2005-06. In that one game with Windsor, Steve had a hat-trick. Midway through 2006-07, he was traded again, this time to the Kitchener Rangers. Downie had a short but great playoff run with the Rangers with 22 points in just 9 games. A first round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in 2005, Steve has played 140 NHL games between the Flyers and the Tampa Bay Lightning with this past season being his first full season in the NHL.
Corey Perry played four seasons in the OHL from 2001-02 to 2004-05, all with the London Knights. In his final season, he was league scoring champ as well a member of the Robertson Cup and Memorial Cup winning Knights. A first round pick of the Anaheim Ducks in 2005, he has become one of the team’s and the league’s top players.
Marc Staal played four seasons in the OHL from 2003-04 to 2006-07, all with the Sudbury Wolves. In his final season, he was awarded the Max Kaminsky Trophy as the league’s top defenseman. He was also awarded the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award as the OHL playoff MVP despite the Wolves losing out to the Plymouth Whalers in the Robertson Cup finals. A first round pick of the New York Rangers in the 2005 NHL draft, Marc has just completed his third season with the team.
John Tavares played four seasons in the OHL from 2005-06 to 2008-09. He was an Oshawa General until midway through his final season when he was traded to the London Knights. John’s awards in junior hockey are numerous and he holds the OHL record for most points in a career. Picked first overall in the 2009 NHL draft by the New York Islanders, John played all 82 games with the team this season, contributing 54 points.
Steve Ott played three seasons in the OHL from 1999-00 to 2001-02, all with the Windsor Spitfires. A first round pick of the Dallas Stars in the 2000 NHL draft, Steve has continued his pesky ways, totalling 831 PIM in 410 career regular season games with the club.
Steve Stamkos played two seasons in the OHL, 2006-07 and 2007-08, both with the Sarnia Sting. His 58 goals in 2007-08 was second in the league to Brett MacLean’s 61. Stamkos was the first overall pick in the 2008 NHL draft, taken by the Tampa Bay Lightning. In his second full season with the team, 2009-10, he scored 51 goals which made him co-owner of the Maurice Richard Trophy for most goals, sharing with Sydney Crosby.
Matt Duchene played two seasons in the OHL, 2007-08 and 2008-09, both with the Brampton Battalion. In his final season, he was a big part of a Battalion team that would make it to the Robertson Cup finals before succumbing to the almighty Windsor Spitfires. The third overall pick in the 2009 NHL draft, Matt enjoyed immediate success this past season in his rookie year with the Colorado Avalanche, with a 55-point performance in 81 games.
Check out these other posts on OHL grads playing at the 2010 IIHF World Hockey Championships: