League Safety Programs

The Northern Ontario Junior “A” Hockey League was born in the Spring of 1962 at the Caswell Espanola Hotel.

Representatives from five Northern Ontario communities and one from Michigan felt it necessary to stop the move to Southern Ontario of hockey players after they completed their juvenile division hockey careers.

It was agreed unanimously that a Junior “A” League would be formed with teams from Sault Ste Marie (to be named the Greyhounds), Espanola (named the Eagles), North Bay (the Trappers), Garson-Falconbridge (the Native Sons), Sudbury (the Wolves) and Sault, Michigan ( the Realtors).

The Soo Greyhounds were the first league champions and the Espanola Eagles the first Playoff champions.

Ron Allain of the Espanola Eagles was the first scoring champion with 77 points, scoring 40 goals and registering 37 assists in 40 games.

The league operated until the end of the 1972 season when the Soo Greyhounds and the Sudbury Wolves moved up to the Ontario Hockey League and the league disbanded.

The league resurfaced in 1978 with the Sudbury Cubs, Nickel Centre Native Sons, Onaping Falls Huskies, Capreol Hawks, Rayside Balfour Canadians and Espanola Eagles forming the league.

Teams have come and gone in the ensuing years with only the Rayside Balfour squad remaining consistent in the league. Rayside Balfour took a leave of absence for the 2005-06 season.

Information supplied by David Harrison