For passionate hockey fans, there is nothing more exciting than watching their favorite team rise from the bottom and make their way to the top. And the Soo Greyhounds, a junior ice hockey team based in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, have done just that in recent NHL seasons.
It wasn’t too long ago that the Greyhounds were struggling to make a mark in the league. In fact, they ended the 2012-2013 season in last place in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with a dismal record of 21-38-7. They were a team in desperate need of a turnaround.
But just a few years later, the Greyhounds have emerged as one of the most dominant teams in the OHL, and have become a breeding ground for top NHL prospects. So how exactly did this team go from the bottom of the league to the top? Let’s take a closer look at their remarkable journey.
The Rise to Prominence
After their disappointing 2012-2013 season, the Greyhounds underwent a major overhaul. They hired Kyle Dubas as their new general manager, and he wasted no time in putting together a strong team. He made several key trades and brought in top draft prospects, such as Darnell Nurse and Sergey Tolchinsky, to strengthen the lineup.
The team also focused on developing their own young talent, and it paid off. Players like Nick Ritchie, Jared McCann, and Matt Murray flourished under the guidance of head coach Sheldon Keefe, and helped lead the team to a much-improved record of 44-17-7 in the 2014-2015 season.
But it wasn’t just their on-ice skill that helped turn things around for the Greyhounds. The organization also worked to create a positive and supportive environment for their players, which translated into success on the ice. This, combined with their strong team culture, helped the Greyhounds become a force to be reckoned with.
Dominating the League
By the 2017-2018 season, the Greyhounds had firmly established themselves as one of the top teams in the OHL. They finished the regular season with a record of 55-7-6, earning them first place in the league. Led by star players like Morgan Frost, Boris Katchouk, and Conor Timmins, the Greyhounds were a dominant force on both ends of the ice.
Their success continued into the playoffs, where they swept the first three rounds and ultimately reached the OHL finals for the first time since 1993. Though they fell short of winning the championship, their incredible season had solidified their place as one of the top teams in the league.
NHL Prospects and Success Stories
The Greyhounds’ success on the ice has not only brought them recognition in the OHL, but has also made them a hot spot for top NHL prospects. In recent years, the team has produced some notable names, such as defenceman Darnell Nurse, who now plays for the Edmonton Oilers, and left-winger Boris Katchouk, who was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
But it’s not just about making it to the NHL. The Greyhounds have also helped develop players who have found success in other leagues, such as Anthony DeAngelo, who now plays for the New York Rangers, and Jared McCann, who played for the Florida Panthers before being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Impact of the Greyhounds’ Success
The success of the Soo Greyhounds has not only brought excitement to their fans, but it has also had a positive impact on the city of Sault Ste Marie. With their winning ways, the Greyhounds have become a source of pride for the community and have helped put Sault Ste. Marie on the map as a hockey town.
Their success has also inspired other young players in the community to work hard and strive for success on the ice. With the Greyhounds as their role models, they have the opportunity to learn from some of the best players and coaches in the league, and could potentially follow in their footsteps to one day play in the NHL.
The Greyhounds’ Turnaround: A Testament to Hard Work and Determination
The journey of the Soo Greyhounds from the bottom to the top of the OHL is a testament to the power of hard work, determination, and a strong team culture. Through their dedication and perseverance, they have become a force to be reckoned with in the league, and have inspired a generation of hockey players in their community.
So let’s celebrate the Greyhounds’ turnaround and the impact they have made in the OHL and the hockey world. And let’s continue to watch and support as they strive to maintain their dominance and build on their success in the upcoming seasons.