Written by Compose.ly’s Gaurav Bhatt
One of the three major junior leagues that make up the Canadian Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League has been a stepping stone to professional hockey for NHL stars such as Connor McDavid, Patrick Kane and countless others.
Here is a list of the most dominant individual seasons in OHL history.
Doug Gilmour (1982-83)
Gilmour was untouchable in the 1982-83 seasonleading the league in goals and assists to total a single-season record of 177 points.
The OHL’s most outstanding player that season scored 70 goals and 107 assists in 68 games for the Cornwall Royals. Ron Handy of the Kingston Canadians came the closest to Gilmour’s tally, with 148 points (52 goals and 96 assists).
Gilmour’s impressive 55-game point streak from Oct. 19, 1982, to Feb. 27, 1983 is an OHL records. The Kingston, Ont., native then moved to the NHL, where he earned two All-Star nods, a Selke Trophy and the 1989 Stanley Cup with Calgary over a 24-year career. He also holds Maple Leafs franchise records for most assists and points in a single season.
Stan Drulia (1988-89)
Drulia’s season to remember came with the Niagara Falls Thunder. The then 20-year-old scored 52 goals in 47 games while also chipping in 93 assists to give him 145 points on the season.
With the fantastic run in his final OHL season, Drulia capped his career with a records 479 points.
While his tally of 145 points would have been enough to take the scoring crown in most seasons, he missed 19 games and wound up 10 points behind teammate Bryan Fogarty. Robert Cimetta of Toronto Marlboros finished on top of the goals list with 55. Still, Drulia’s production of 3.1 points per game still stands as an OHL record.
Starting in 1986, Drulia made 126 appearances in the NHL and scored 15 goals and 27 assists for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Bryan Fogarty (1988-89)
Drulia’s Niagara teammate, Fogarty led the league in scoring in 1988-89 with 155 points (47 goals, 108 assists) in 60 games. Fogarty racked up these numbers as a defenseman, earning the Canadian Major Junior Hockey Player of the Year award.
During the season, Fogarty also broke Bobby Orr and Al MacInnis’ shared record for most goals scored in a season by a defenseman, and he did so despite missing two weeks with acute bronchitis.
Fogarty had stints with the Quebec Nordiques, Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens in the NHL, but was primarily a career minor-leaguer. He died of an enlarged heart in 20002 at the age of 32.
Eric Lindros (1990-91)
Lindros ruled the 1990-91 season with the Oshawa Generals. The exemplary power forward scored 71 goals (sixth most in OHL history) and 78 assists to finish on top with 149 points in 57 games — the third-best points-per-game mark ever. Gilmour’s points tally was 21 more than the closest rival: Chris Taylor of the London Knights.
During his memorable season, Lindros won the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy as top scorer, the Red Tilson Trophy as MVP, the CHL Player of the Year award and the CHL Top Draft Prospect Award. The previous season, Lindros had led the Generals to a Memorial Cup title.
Lindros moved to the NHL and formed the famed “Legion of Doom” line in Philadelphia with John LeClair and Mikael Renberg. He was named one of the league’s 100 greatest players.
For his contributions, the Flyers retired the Hall of Famer’s No. 88 jersey in 2018.
Connor McDavid (2014-15)
McDavid ended his incredible junior career with a bang.
McDavid finished third on the points list with 120, behind Erie Otters teammate Dylan Strome (129) and London’s Mitchell Marner (126). However, while Strome and Marner played over 60 games, McDavid’s tally came in 47 games — that’s a 173 point pace over a full season. With 44 goals, his goals-per-game average ranks seventh all-time, which is even more impressive when you factor in the era he accomplished the feat and the improved quality of goal tending.
McDavid hasn’t looked back since. One of the fastest players ever to lace ’em up, the 25-year-old is the best player in hockey, winning the Hart Trophy twice and the Art Ross Trophy four times, with a fifth looking likely this season.
Patrick Kane (2006-07)
At 18 years old, Patrick Kane led all OHL rookies in the 2006-07 season with the London Knights.
He scored 62 goals and 83 assists for a haul of 145 points in only 58 games. That year, John Tavares came closest to Kane’s tally, finishing at 134 with 72 goals and 62 assists in 67 games.
Since then, Kane has won three Stanley Cups in the NHL with the Blackhawks (2010, 2013, and 2015) and was the MVP for the 2013 playoffs. the youngest American to score 1,000 points and the first to win the Art Ross Trophy as scoring champion in the 2015-16 season, Kane was named one of the 100 greatest NHL players.
John Tavares (2006-07)
As mentioned, Tavares had a great 2006-07 season of his own. Playing for the Oshawa Generals, he scored 72 goals in 67 games – as a 16-year-old.
On his way to the extravagant goals tally, which ranks fifth all-time, Tavares broke Wayne Gretzky’s OHL record for most goals by a 16-year-old. Tavares earned the Red Tilson Trophy for being the most outstanding player in the league and was named the CHL Player of the Year.
Since then, Tavares has captained the New York Islanders and the Maple Leafs and won the 2014 Olympic gold medal for Canada.
Ernie Godden (1980-81)
True to the Windsor Spitfires’ name, Godden breathed fire during the 1980-81 season. He scored 87 goals and 66 assists to record 153 points.
John Goodwin of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds finished on top of the points list with 166, but Godden’s 87 goals still stand as an OHL record. That season, Godden had more multi-goal games (24) than games without a goal (18). His longest goalless streak was a mere three games. He tallied 35 times on the power play and 10 more while Windsor was shorthanded.
Godden played only one season in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs but remains a legend in the Essex County region.
Mike Murphy (2008-09)
The then 20-year-old had a 40-9-2-2 record with five shutouts in 54 games and finished with a league-best .941 save percentage and 2.08 goals-against average. His .941 SV% that season is tied for the best ever in a season, and stands alone among goalies who played more than 40 games in a season. Murphy, who was drafted by the Hurricanes in the sixth round in 2008, still holds the all-time OHL record for career save percentage at .929.
Murphy only appeared in two games for the Hurricanes, earning a unique record by becoming the first goalie in NHL history to record a loss before surrendering his first goal against.
Rob Schremp (2005-06)
In an unforgettable individual season, Schremp scored 155 points (57 goals and 88 assists) in only 57 games. Schremp’s 2,544 points per game that season ranks ninth all-time.
The closest to the London Knight’s tally was teammate David Bolland, who had 57 goals and 73 assists. The duo powered the Knights to a runners-up finish in the OHL final.
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