The Plymouth Whalers Ontario Hockey League franchise has produced some great players since beginning play in 1990-91. Currently, there are four Whalers grads making a big impression on the National Hockey League.
Tyler Seguin played two years with Plymouth, 2008-09 and 2009-10. In his second season, when he was only 18, Seguin won the Red Tilson Trophy as the league’s MVP and the Eddie Powers Trophy as the OHL’s top scorer with 106 points. The Whalers originally drafted Seguin ninth overall in the 2008 OHL Priority Selection.
The Boston Bruins took great interest in Tyler. When the Edmonton Oilers chose Taylor Hall first overall at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, the Bruins drafted Seguin next. He jumped right into a starting role with Boston, playing 74 regular season games in 2010-11. He played an additional 13 in the playoffs as the Bruins captured their first Stanley Cup since 1972. This season, Seguin has stepped up his role with Boston, producing at nearly a point per game.
Michal Neuvirth was between the pipes with Plymouth for 2006-07 and part of 2007-08. Michal was traded to the Windsor Spitfires in that second season and then from Windsor to the Oshawa Generals before the season was over. In 2006-07, Neuvirth had the best goals against average and save percentage in the OHL, winning the Dinty Moore Trophy as the top rookie goalie and the Dave Pinkney Trophy for the lowest team GAA. The Whalers rode Neuvirth’s brilliance all the way to a Robertson Cup championship.
Michal was a second round pick of the Washington Capitals at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, 34th overall. The native of the Czech Republic split his first two seasons in the pros with Washington and their AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears. Over the past two seasons, he’s been their starting goalie. Neuvirth has won a championship in the OHL and AHL and is now looking to win a Stanley Cup in the NHL.
Stephen Weiss played three years with the Plymouth Whalers from 1999-00 to 2001-02. The fourth overall pick of the Florida Panthers at the 2001 NHL Entry Draft has been the face of the Panthers since the 2002-03 season. With over 600 NHL regular season games and counting, Weiss is closing in as all-time leader in many of Florida’s categories. For the past three seasons, Stephen has worn the ‘A’ on his jersey.
David Legwand is the Nashville Predators. He was the NHL team’s first ever draft pick, second overall at the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. He leads the team in pretty much every all-time category. He will go well over the 800 game mark with Nashville this season.
In 1997-98, Legwand was the Plymouth Whalers. He scored 54 goals and totaled 105 points in just 59 games in his rookie season in the OHL. He was named CHL and OHL rookie of the year and was named the OHL’s MVP, winning the Red Tilson Trophy. He followed that up with an 80 point performance over 55 games in 1998-99 before moving on to the Predators.