Where Are They Now

The Ontario Ball Hockey Association has been known for producing excellent ball hockey players since 1974, but did you know many in the association have come through the minor ball hockey programs in our association and played at the OBHA Minor Provincial Championships, Nationals and Internationally and below is an update – Where Are They Now!.

Graduates of Minor Ball Hockey Programs in Ontario

Andrew Agozzino - member of the Vaughan Minor program for seven years prior to moving on with the OHL’s Niagara Ice Dogs and currently in the Colorado Avalanche system with the Lake Erie Monsters.

Andre Benoit * - member of the Penetanguishene Minor program for three years and member of the Bronze Medallists at the 2002 WJC’s. A member of the 2003 Memorial Cup Champions, Kitchener Rangers where he led the tournament in scoring as a defenseman and has played for the Ottawa Senators, Colorado Avalanche and currently with the Buffalo Sabres.

Chris Bigras - member of the Penetanguishene Minor program for eight years and drafted by the Colorado Avalanche and currently with the Owen Sound Attack.

Jesse Blacker – member of the North York Lynx program for three years and led his team to the Provincial final. He was drafted in the second round by the Toronto Maple Leafs and currently in the Anaheim Ducks system with the Norfolk Admirals.

Luca Caputi * – member of the Vaughan Minor program for four years and played on the Toronto Jaguars in 2006 winning the National Championship. A member of the Bronze winning Junior Team Canada in 2006 and was drafted in the 4th round by the Pittsburgh Penguins and played with the Toronto Maple Leafs and in the Swedish Elite league with Oskarshamn IK.  Currently an assistant coach with the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League. 

Matt Cooke - member of the Belleville Minor program for four years. A member of the 1997 Junior Provincial Champions, Belleville Bulls and 1998 CHA Junior Team Canada and won the Stanley Cup in 2008/09 with the Pittsburgh Penguins and is currently with the Minnesota Wild.

Carlo Colaiacovo - member of the Vaughan & Downsview Minor programs for six years prior to receiving the 1999 OBHA Athlete of the Year award before moving onto the OHL’s Erie Otter’s, and being selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1st round of the 2001 entry draft.   Carlo has played for the Leafs, St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings and is currently with the Buffalo Sabres.

Paulo Colaiacovo * - member of the Downsview Minor programs for six years prior to moving on with the Belleville Bulls and Barrie Colts of the OHL. In his final year with the Barrie Colts, he was recognized as the league’s most outstanding goalie. His team won the CHL League championship in 2005/06 with the Colorado Eagles.

Nick Cousins - member of the Belleville Minor program for eight years prior to moving on with the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.  He was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers and currently with the Arizona Coyotes.

Marc Cundari - member of the Vaughan Minor program for five years prior to moving on with the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires where he was part of a team that captured back to back Memorial Cups.  He was drafted by the St. Louis Blues and and currently with the Augsburg Panthers in the DEL league

Justin Di Benedetto - member of the Vaughan Minor program for four years and played on the Vaughan Top Guns 2004 Bantam AA Champions. He was drafted 2006 in the sixth round by the NY Islanders and is currently with Dornbirn EC in Austria.

Brian Elliott – member of the Newmarket Minor program. He was a member of the 2003 National Finalist, Toronto Jaguars. He was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award in 2006 for the top player in NCAA playing for the Wisconsin Badgers and was drafted in 2003 by the Ottawa Senators he is currently a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.

Ryan Ellis – member of the North York Lynx program for three years and led his team to the Provincial final. He was a member of the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires where he was part of a team that captured back to back Memorial Cups and drafted in the first round and is currently with the Nashville Predators.

Matt Foy - member of the Downsview Minor programs for three years prior to moving on with the OHL’s Ottawa 67's, and being selected by the Minnesota Wild in the 2002 entry draft and is currently with the Berlin Polar Bears of the DEL league in Germany. 

Mike Futa - member of the 1985 Downsview Minor league Champions, before moving onto York University and four years of pro hockey in Europe, general manager of the Hockey Canada Under 17 Team Canada. He enjoyed a brief stint as Assistant Coach with the Oshawa Generals and as the General Manager of the Owen Sound Attack of the OHL and is currently the Player Personal Director of the Los Angeles Kings and two time Stanley Cup champion.  Inducted into the OBHA Hall of Fame in 2000.

Mark Giordano - member of the Downsview Minor program for three years where he was a member of the 2001 Metro Cup Champions, Downsview Bulls. He led all defenceman in OHL scoring in 2003 as a member of the Owen Sound Attack and is currently with the Calgary Flames.

Taylor Hall – member of the Kingston and Belleville Minor program for four years and led his teams to Provincial Championship Junior finals in two straight years. He was a member of the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires where he was part of a team that captured back to back Memorial Cups and was drafted 1st overall in 2010 by the Edmonton Oilers and is currently with the New Jersey Devils.

Dougie Hamilton – member of the North York Lynx program for three years and led his team to the Provincial final. He was drafted in the first round in the 2011 draft and is currently with the Calgary Flames.

Lucas Lessio - member of the Vaughan Minor program for three years prior to moving on with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals.  He was drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes and currently with Kunlun Red star of the KHL.

Anthony Luciani - member of the Vaughan Minor program for seven years and signed a s free agent with the Florida Panthers.  He is currently playing for the Sparta Warriors of the Norwegian GET-ligaen

Connor McDavid – member of the Newmarket Minor program. He played in the Newmarket Viper program from Tyke to Atom. He was drafted 1st overall by the Edmonton Oilers where he continues to play.

Victor Mete – member of the Vaughan Minor program for six years and played for the London knights of the Ontario Hockey League and was drafted in the 4th round by the Montreal Canadiens.  He won gold at the IIHF World Championships in 2018.

Zack Nastasiuk - member of the Etobicoke Minor program for four years and drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in 2013 in the second round and currently with the Grand rapid Griffins.

Anthony Nigro - member of the Vaughan Minor program for five years prior to moving on with the OHL’s Guelph Storm/Ottawa 67’s.  Drafted by the St. Louis Blues and currently playing in Asiago of the Alps HL.

Steven Pinizzotto - member of the Downsview Minor programs for two years followed by two years with the Toronto Ball Hockey League and is currently in the Munich EHC in the DEL.

Brad Richardson - member of the Belleville program the past four years and member of the 2003 Junior Provincial Champions, OHL Rookie of the Year in 2002 and 2003 Colorado Avalanche 4th round draft pick and played for the Avalanche, Kings and currently with the Arizona Coyotes.

Mark Scheifele – member of the Kitchener-Waterloo Minor league before being drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the first round of the 2011 entry draft and is currently with the Jets.  

Tyler Seguin – member of the North York Lynx program for three years and led his team to the Provincial final and was drafted second overall by the Boston Bruins in 2010 and currently with the Dallas Stars.

Andrew Shaw * – member of the Belleville Minor ball hockey organization and led his teams to numerous championships over the years at provincial and national events.  He was the leading scorer in the 2011 Memorial Cup and earning all star selection as a member of the Owen Sound Attack.  He was drafted in the fifth round in 2011 by the Chicago Black Hawks where he won a Stanley Cup and is currently with the Montreal Canadiens.

Gemel Smith – member of the Brampton Minor programs for three years and drafted by the Dallas Stars in the fourth round and is currently with the Stars. 

Givani Smith - member of the Brampton Minor program for six years prior to moving on with the OHL’s and being drated by the Barrie Colts.   He was drated nt the Detroit Red Wings in the 2016 entry draft in the 2nd round and is currently with the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL.   

Natalie Spooner – member of the Oshawa Minor league and was a star during her four years at Ohio State University and still holds the all time goal scoring record for the school.  She is a currently a member of the National Women’s Ice Hockey team and Olympic Gold medallist.   Currently with the Toronto Furies of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.    

Matt Stajan - member of the Downsview Minor program for three years prior to moving on with the OHL’s Belleville Bulls, and being selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2nd round of the 2001 entry draft and also played for the CHA’s Junior Team Canada and is currently with the Calgary Flames.

Steven Valiquette - member of Downsview Minor program winning the Metro Cup in 1996. He was awarded the Harry (Hap) Holmes Memorial Award in the AHL for the lowest goals-against average with a minimum of 25 games played. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 1996 and played for the Edmonton Oilers, and New York Rangers.

Mike Vernace - member of the Toronto Minor program. He was a member of the 2003 National Finalist, Toronto Jaguars and was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the 2004 draft in the seventh round and is currently with Rungsted ISHockey in Denmark.

Jennifer Wakefield – member of the Oshawa Minor league and was a member of Team Ontario at the 2007 Winter Games where she led the tournament in scoring and played university hockey for New Hampshire and Boston University.  She is currently a   member of the National Women’s Ice Hockey team and Olympic Gold medallist.  

Tara Watchhorn - member of the Oshawa Minor league and was a member of Boston University where her team advanced to the NCAA quarter finals.  She is a currently a member of the National Women’s Ice Hockey team and Olympic Gold medallist.   Currently with the Boston Blades of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. 

Garrett Wilson * - member of the Penetanguishene Minor program for twelve years and drafted in the 2009 draft in the fourth round by the Florida Panthers and is currently in the Pittsburgh Penguin system with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

*played ball hockey internationally for Canada

OTHER PLAYERS WHO PLAYED IN ADULT PROGRAMS IN THE OBHA

Brandon Bell – member of the Ottawa-Carleton league before being drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2001 and played for the Leafs, Ottawa Senators, Phoenix Coyotes and New York Rangers.

Dan Boyle - member of the Ottawa-Carleton league before signing as a free agent with Florida Panthers and is currently with the New York Rangers

Derek Brassard - member of the Ottawa-Carleton league before being drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2006 and is currently with the New York Rangers

Mike Bullard – member of the Ottawa-Carleton league and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1980.   He played for the Penguins, Calgary Flames, Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs before retiring from hockey in 2003 after playing in the German Elite league. 

Sean Burke – member of the Northwest Toronto league and was drafted by the New Jersey devils in 1985 and after an eighteen year career in the NHL retired.  He is currently the goalie coach for the Arizona Coyotes. 

Therese Brisson – member of the Toronto Women’s league for a couple of years.  Also, was a ten year member of the National Women’s Ice Hockey team.

David Broll - member of the Peterborough Men’s program for the past four years.  Drafted in the sixth round by the Toronto Maple Leafs and currently with the Toronto Marlies.

Anson Carter – member of the Northwest Toronto league and was drafted by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1992 draft and  after a fifteen year career in the NHL retired after a brief stint with Lugano of the Swiss Elite league.

Dino Ciccarelli – member of the Sarnia league and was drafted in 1980 by the Minnesota North Stars.  He retired from the NHL after 19 seasons and scoring over 600 goals with the Stars, Washington Capitals, Detroit Red Wings, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers.

Casey Cizikas – member of the Mississauga league drafted in 2009 by the New York Islanders and is still currently with the Islanders.

Dave Clarkson - member of the Greater Toronto Tier II program for five years and signed as a free agent with the New Jersey Devils in 2006 and is currently with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Tahir (Tie) Domi – member of the Toronto league and was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1988.  He retired after seventeen seasons while playing for the Leafs, New York Rangers and Winnipeg Jets.  

Cory Emmerton - member of the Lambeth Ball hockey League for four years and was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the second round and after four seasons in the NHL is currently with Sochi HC in the KHL..

Lou Franceschetti – member of the Toronto league and was drafted in 1978 by the Washington Capitals.  He retired from hockey in 1996 after playing for the Capitals, Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres.  Inducted into the OBHA Hall of Fame in 2002.

Adam Graves – member of the Northwest Toronto league.  He was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the second round of the 1986 draft and played for the Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers and San Jose Sharks before retiring after the 2003 season.    

Geraldine Heaney – member of the Toronto Women’s league and the ‘Bobby Orr of Women’s Hockey’, she was a long standing member of the National Women’s Ice Hockey team.  Inducted into the OBHA Hall of Fame in 2004 and Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013.   

Scott Howson – member of the Northwest Toronto league.  He was General Manager for the Columbus Blue Jackets and is currently an assistant General Manager for the Edmonton Oilers.   Inducted into the OBHA Hall of Fame in 2001.

Angela James - member of the Toronto Women’s league and the ‘Wayne Gretzky of Women’s Hockey’, she was a long standing member of the National Women’s Ice Hockey team.  Inducted into the OBHA Hall of Fame in 2006 and Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010.

Josh Leivo – member of the Innisfil league and drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2011 and is currently with the Maple Leafs.‎

Curtis Joseph – member of the Toronto league and signed as free agent with the St. Louis Blues in 1989 and played for the Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Phoenix Coyotes and Calgary Flames and retiring in 2009.  

Darren Lowe – member of the Northwest Toronto league and played professional hockey for six seasons before moving onto being a coach with the University of Toronto Blues.

Craig MacTavish - member of the Toronto league and was drafted by the Boston Bruins in 1978 and played for the Bruins, Edmonton Oilers, New York rangers, Philadelphia Flyers and St. Louis Blues.  He is currently the General Manager for the Edmonton Oilers.

Kirk Maltby – member of the Kitchener league and was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers and also played for the Detroit Red Wings where he won four Stanley Cups. 

Kirk McLean – member of the Mississauga league and was drafted by the New Jersey Devils and played for the Devils, Vancouver Canucks, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers and New York Rangers before retiring in 2001.  He is currently a goalie coach for the Colorado Avalanche.

Manny Malhotra - member of the United Ball Hockey League for four years and played for the New York Rangers, Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, Carolina Hurricanes and currently a member of the Montreal Canadiens.

Steve Mason – member of the London league drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2006 and has played for the Blue Jackets and is currently with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Glen Metropolit – member of the Northwest Toronto league and signed as a free agent with the Washington Capitals and played for the Capitals, Tampa Bay Lightning, Atlanta Thrashers, St. Louis Blues, Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, Montreal Canadiens, and currently with Mannheim Eagle of the DEL German league.  

Jeff O'Neill – member of the York Central league before being drafted by the Hartford Whalers in 1994 in the first round.  He has played for the Whalers, Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs and retired in 2007 and is currently a TSN hockey analyst.

Adam Payerl – member of the Kitchener league before signing as a free agent with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2010.  He is currently in the Penguins system with the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins.

Theo Peckham - member of the Northwest Toronto program for five years and drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the third round.  He played for the Oilers until 2012 and now is with the Rockford Icehogs of the AHL.

Corey Perry – member of the London league and was drafted by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in 2003.  He has won the Hart Memorial and Rocket Richard Trophies both in 2011 and the been on championship teams in winning the Memorial Cup, Olympic Gold and the Stanley Cup and is currently with the Ducks.

Brandon Prust – member of the London league and was drafted in 2004 by the Calgary Flames and has played for the Flames, Phoenix Coyotes, New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens.

Wayne Simmonds - member of the Durham program for five years and led his team to the Men’s B Provincial final and was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 2007 and is currently with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Denate Smith-Pelley - member of the Durham program for three years before being drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in 2010 and is currently with the Washington Capitals.

Chris Stewart - member of the Durham program for five years and led his team to the Men’s B Provincial final.  He was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the first round in 2006 and has also played for the St. Louis Blues and is currently with the Minnesota Wild.

Steve Thomas - member of the Toronto league and signed as a free agent with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1984 and played for the Leafs, Chicago Black Hawks, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, Chicago Blackhawks, Anaheim Ducks and Detroit Red Wings retiring in 2004.

Joe Thornton - member of the Lambeth Wildcats program for three years and was drafted first overall in 1997 by the Boston Bruins and is currently with the San Jose Sharks.

Rick Tocchet – member of the Metro Toronto league and drafted in 1983 by the Philadelphia Flyers and played for the Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals and Phoenix Coyotes and retired in 2002.

Tyler Toffoli - member of the Ottawa-Carleton league and drafted in the second round by the Los Angeles Kings and currently remains with the Kings

Raffi Torres - member of the Greater Toronto Tier II program for three years and was drated fifth overall in 200 by the New York Islanders.  He has played for the Islanders, Edmonton Oilers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks, Phoenix Coyotes and is currently with the San Jose Sharks.

Scott Walker – member of the Kitchener league and drafted in 1993 by the Vancouver Canucks.  He played for the Canucks, Nashville Predators, Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals before retiring in 2010. 

Jason Williams – member of the London league and signed as a free agent with the Detroit Red Wings in 2000.   He played for the Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks, Atlanta Thrashers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Dallas Stars before retiring from hockey in 2014. 

Daniel Winnik – member of the Northwest Toronto league for three years and drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes in 2004.  He has played for the Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and is currently a free agent finishing last year with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Phil Varone - member of the Premier Ball Hockey League and was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the fifth round in 2009 and is currently in the Philadelphia Flyers system with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the AHL.

Steve Yzerman - member of the Ottawa-Carleton league for three years and drafted fourth overall in 1983 by the Detroit Red Wings where he won three time Stanley Cups.  He also won the Lester B Pearson (1989), Conn Smythe (1998), Frank Selke (2000) and Bill Masterton (2003) trophies.  He is currently the General Manager with the Tamp Bay Lightning.

Note: This is a list based on players we are aware of and career accomplishments and should a player have not been listed we welcome any names and information.

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