The Ontario Hockey League (OHL), known as the premiere development league for the NHL, is one of three major junior ice hockey leagues based in Canada and the United States that constitute the Canadian Hockey League (CHL).
The league is for players aged 16–20 and nearly 70% of the players competing in the National Hockey League throughout the 2016-17 season were alums of the CHL. In addition, 9 of the last 10 players that were picked 1st overall in the NHL Draft have come from the CHL consisting of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, John Tavares, Steven Stamkos, Patrick Kane and Sidney Crosby. Other notable OHL alumni are Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Mickey Redmond, Brendan Shanahan and Steve Yzerman.
At the start of the 2015-16 season, the Flint Firebirds had five players on the roster that were already drafted by NHL clubs. Connor Chatham (New Jersey Devils), Alex Nedeljkovic (Carolina Hurricanes), Alex Peters (Dallas Stars), Vili Saarijärvi (Detroit Red Wings) and Josh Wesley (Carolina Hurricanes). Fans that attended Flint Firebirds games had the chance to watch the future stars of the NHL consisting of the third pick overall in the 2015 NHL Draft by the Arizona Coyotes, Dylan Strome (Erie Otters), fourth pick overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Mitchell Marner (London Knights) and the sixth pick overall by the New Jersey Devils, Pavel Zacha (Sarnia Sting).
The OHL has more than 550, or 80% of its games televised ever year through its broadcast partners Comcast 900/Xfinity, Rogers TV, TVCogeco, Eastlink, Shaw TV and the NHL Network. Recognized as a leader in television coverage, OHL fans in Ontario have the opportunity to add the “OHL Action Pak” to their television subscription to watch every game on TV throughout the season, similar to the NHL Center Ice and MLB Extra Innings TV packages.
There are 20 teams in the OHL; 17 are based in Ontario, two teams in Michigan, the Flint Firebirds and Saginaw Spirit and one team in Pennsylvania, the Erie Otters.
Ontario Hockey League Clubs Map
For questions about the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) and the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), contact Flint Firebirds Director of Broadcasting & Communications, Dominic Hennig at firstname.lastname@example.org.