What percentage of OHL players make the NHL?

The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) serves as a crucial developmental league for aspiring ice hockey players in Canada.

What percentage of OHL players make the NHL?

Many young athletes dream of making it to the National Hockey League (NHL) and wonder what the chances are for OHL players to reach that level. In this article, we will explore the percentage of OHL players who make it to the NHL, considering various factors that influence this transition.


The OHL is renowned for producing top-tier talent and serving as a significant stepping stone to the NHL. Many of today's NHL stars, such as Connor McDavid and Steven Stamkos, honed their skills in the OHL before making their mark at the professional level. However, the journey from the OHL to the NHL is not guaranteed for every player. Let's delve into the details.

The Path from OHL to NHL

The OHL provides a highly competitive platform for young players to showcase their skills and gain exposure to NHL scouts. It serves as an important bridge between junior hockey and the professional ranks. While not every OHL player reaches the NHL, the league has a solid track record of producing NHL-caliber talent.

NHL Draft and Player Selection

To enter the NHL, players must go through the NHL Entry Draft, which is an essential event where teams select eligible prospects. OHL players frequently emerge as notable contenders in the draft, benefiting from their exceptional skill level and heightened visibility within the league. This draft not only serves as a significant opportunity for OHL players to showcase their abilities but also attracts the attention of NHL organizations. As a result, the NHL Entry Draft holds importance not only for player development but also for NHL betting trends, as fans and analysts closely follow the selection process and speculate on the potential impact of these talented OHL prospects in professional hockey.

Transitioning from OHL to NHL

After being drafted, players generally enter a development phase, which can include further seasoning in the OHL, playing in the American Hockey League (AHL), or even making an immediate jump to the NHL. The transition varies for each player and depends on factors such as their skill set, physical readiness, and the needs of the NHL team that drafted them.

Factors Affecting NHL Success

Several factors contribute to the success of OHL players in the NHL. These factors include a player's talent, work ethic, hockey sense, physical attributes, mental toughness, and ability to adapt to the professional game's demands. Additionally, proper coaching, player development programs, and support systems play vital roles in shaping a player's progression.

Examples of OHL Players in the NHL

There are numerous examples of OHL players who have successfully made the leap to the NHL. Some notable examples include:

● Connor McDavid - Drafted first overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, McDavid has become one of the league's most dynamic and skilled players, capturing multiple scoring titles and MVP awards.

● Steven Stamkos - The first overall pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Stamkos has established himself as a prolific goal scorer and captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

● John Tavares - Drafted first overall in 2009, Tavares has been a consistent offensive force throughout his NHL career, contributing significantly to the success of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

● Andrei Svechnikov - Selected second overall in 2018, Svechnikov quickly became a key player for the Carolina Hurricanes, showcasing his scoring touch and playmaking abilities.

These players exemplify the potential for OHL athletes to excel at the highest level of the sport.


While not every OHL player ultimately reaches the NHL, the league has a proven track record of developing elite talent. The percentage of OHL players who make it to the NHL varies from year to year, influenced by factors such as draft position, player development, and individual performance. Nonetheless, the OHL remains a critical stepping stone for aspiring professional hockey players.

#FeaturedBy: Liviu Marcus


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