Our third and final edition of the top junior ice hockey leagues in Canada wraps up with a review from Mark Rivkin on the Ontario Hockey League.
The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) is one of three of the world’s top junior ice hockey leagues that constitute the Canadian Hockey League (the highest level of junior hockey in Canada), along with the Western Hockey League (WHL) and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). The league is for players between the ages of 15–20 and it operates with an Eastern and Western Conference under the Ontario Hockey Federation of Hockey Canada.
The league was formed in 1974, after separating from the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) and becoming the independent Ontario Major Junior Hockey League (OMJHL), which was changed to the Ontario Hockey League in 1980. Since then the league has become very popular, and many professional leagues turn here for future prospects.
There are currently 20 teams in the OHL, seventeen of which are based in Ontario, two teams in Michigan and one in Pennsylvania. Out of the seventeen teams based in Ontario, thirteen teams are in Southern Ontario, two teams are in Eastern Ontario and two teams are in Northern Ontario.
The J. Ross Robertson Cup is awarded every year to the winner of the Championship Series. The top sixteen teams in the league make up the OHL playoffs (8 from each conference). The teams compete in a best-of-seven game series, and the winner of each series moves on to the next round. The final teams eventually compete for the Cup. The OHL champion then competes with the winners of the Western Hockey League, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and the host of the tournament to play for the Memorial Cup, which is awarded to the junior hockey champions of Canada.
Keep up with the latest stats and scores from your favorite Ontario Hockey teams at the league’s official website OntarioHockeyLeague.com. Stay tuned for more from Mark Rivkin on the Canadian Hockey League!