Established in 1962, the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL) is a Hockey Canada-sanctioned Junior A hockey league and member of the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL).
The winner of the NOJHL playoffs competes for the Dudley Hewitt Cup (Central Canada Championship) together with the winners of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) and the Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL).
The winner of the Dudley-Hewitt Cup (DHC) then moves on to compete for the Centennial Cup (National Junior A Championship).
While beginning back in 1962, it wasn't until 26 years later that the NOJHL appointed their first-ever commissioner.
That honour went to CJHL Life Member and former Hockey Canada board chair Joe Drago, who served as the league's initial commissioner, a position he held for 13 seasons, beginning in 1988.
Following one-year stints by Julio Navarro (2001-02) and Oscar Cloutier (2002-03), Art Yeo came on board and served for three campaigns (2003-06).
Hector Seguin (2006-07), Mark Seidel (2007-08) and Seguin again (2008-11), who had been associated with the league since 1994 in various capacities, added the commissioner's role to his duties that also featured that of secretary and treasurer, along with administrative officer.
The NOJHL then brought on board Robert Mazzuca as league commissioner to the position he still holds today.
An alumnus of the NOJHL has played a pivotal role in league expansion as well as implementing its Talk Today initiative, one of the most comprehensive mental health education programs for amateur sports in Canada. Talk Today, is aimed at helping the 300 players in the NOJHL, as well as the individuals that support them, to identify mental health issues and address suicide.
Robert Mazzuca: 2011 to date
Hector Seguin: 2008-11
Mark Seidel: 2007-08
Hector Seguin: 2006-07
Art Yeo: 2003-06
Oscar Cloutier: 2002-03
Julio Navarro: 2001-02
Joe Drago: 1988-2001
THE LEAGUE: From its early days to the current standings, a multitude of teams and its players have achieved great success in both northern Ontario and at regional Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canadian Jr. A championship events.
ITS TEAMS: Among the NOJHL's elite, the 1999-2000 Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats and the 1989-90 Sudbury Cubs are the only two clubs in entire tenure of the NOJHL to go unbeaten in the regular season, with both squads posting perfect 40-0 records.
ALUMNI: Notable NOJHL alumni include Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Tony Esposito, former NHLer Steve Sullivan and current Buffalo Sabres defenceman Colin Miller.