Founded in 1911 by the late Frank D. Smith, The Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL) is a not-for-profit organization and is the largest amateur minor hockey league in the world. The GTHL consists of a league of 10,000 rep players from Minor Atom to Juvenile (9-20 year olds) and an additional 30,000 affiliated house league players between the ages of 4 and 21. In addition, the GTHL provides jurisdiction for the Mississauga Hockey League (MHL), Scarborough Hockey Association (SHA), and the North York Hockey League (NYHL). In total, approximately 40,000 players on 2,800 teams.

Many elite hockey players have graduated from the GTHL system over the years. In fact, over the past decade, each year there have been at least 65 active NHL roster players who were graduates of the GTHL. Some of the past and present greats include Frank Selke, Frank Mahovlich, Brendan Shanahan, Eric Lindros, Rick Nash, Jason Spezza, John Tavares, and many more.

Brief History of Midget AAA Hockey in the GTHL

In 1976-77 the MTHL (now GTHL) won the National Midget Championship in Moncton, New Brunswick. Since that time, no team from Toronto has won this prestigious Championship, now called the Telus Cup.

This Championship has been dominated over the past twenty years by teams from Quebec and the West, where the structure of hockey is considerably different than Ontario. Currently, we have a club system with fairly strict residency rules, while they focus more on private sport schools and “all star” type teams.

Midget AAA hockey in Ontario has been under a great deal of stress in recent years. Lowering the age of the OHL Midget Draft to 15 from 16 has had a profound impact. Drafted players felt they were too good to play Midget, and those that were not drafted, felt their dream of Jr., College, or professional hockey was over, and it was time to focus on other things, which may or may not include Midget AAA hockey. Thankfully, things are changing, and for the better.

Until recently, there were 36 Provincial Jr “A” teams in the GTA. After several years of poor performance, and an almost complete disappearance of US College scouts, the league decided to cut back to 22 teams (2012-13). This will greatly strengthen their league and bring back the College scouts.

The benefits of this cut back in Jr “A” teams to midget hockey in the GTHL are clear and substantial. Many more top end players will be available, and with the high quality of coaching that exists in the GTHL AAA Midget loop (see right), the upside for players is huge. OHL clubs are now recommending Midget AAA for many of their drafted players.

In recent years the GTHL and its member clubs have worked hard to strengthen Midget AAA hockey, with weekend double headers, a more focused approach on the needs of the 16 and 17 year old student athlete, and a significant improvement in the level of coaching and training, all designed to ensure a players overall hockey and personal development continues at a high level.

Midget hockey is a great place to play and develop; graduating Minor Midget players should make it a key part of their plan moving forward.

Examples of Top Quality Coaching

  1. Hockey Canada Certification - Advanced Level 1 - Development Stream
    AAA Coaching Experience - 15 years
    Midget AAA Coaching Experience - 7 years
  2. Played 3 years Provincial JR. A, and was captain of my last year. I received a scholarship to R.I.T. (NCAA Division 1 College) and played for 4 years, winning the ECAC Championship every year. I then played 2 years of professional hockey with Adirondack, Kalamazoo, and Lubbock. I have been coaching for 7 years now in the GTHL.
  3. I was a professional ice hockey player for nine years, having played four years in the Central Hockey League and one season in the International Hockey league in the United States. I moved across to Great Britain in 2009 to play in the Elite Ice Hockey League for four years.
  4. I played 8 years in the GTHL before moving on to Provincial Jr A, followed by a scholarship to Miami (Ohio) University from 1990-94. I earned All American honours in my junior season and was named to the All-CCHA Second Team in my junior and senior campaigns. I was drafted in the 6th round of the 91 NHL draft. I played 87 games for the Saint John Flames of the American Hockey League before being traded to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks organization, where I played almost two full seasons with the Baltimore Bandits of the AHL. I also had stints in the Central Hockey League and United Hockey League and spent two seasons playing in Germany.

Alumni And Graduates

Ontario Hockey League

Alex Annecchiarico - Owen Sound Attack
Bo Bessette - Niagara Ice Dogs
Joseph Blandisi - Ottawa 67's / Colorado Avalanche Draft Pick
Justin Brack - Owen Sound Attack
Erik Bradford - Barrie Colts
Michael Bunting - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Steven Desrocher - Oshawa Generals
Dawson Carty - Mississauga Steelheads
Justice Dundas - Oshawa Generals
Slater Doggett - Kingston Frontenacs
Quentin Maksimovich - Erie Otters
Andrew Mangiapane - Barrie Colts
Lucas Peressini - Kingston Frontenacs
Darren Raddysh - Erie Otters
Matthew Santos - North Bay Battalion
Landon Schiller - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Tyler Ganly - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds / Carolina 6th Round 156th Overall 2013 NHL Entry Draft
Daniel Volpe - North Bay Battalion
Michael Webster - Barrie Colts
Geoff Bezruchko - Peterborough Petes

Quebec Major Junior Hockey Leauge

Mathew Donnelly - Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
Cole Hutchinson - Charlotte Islanders
Tyler Morrison - Gatineau Olympic
Matthew Nosella - Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
Lukas Pozgay - Shawinigan Cataractes


John Carpino - Western Michigan University D1
Matt Chiarantani - Niagara University NCAA
Ralph Cuddemi - Canisius College DI
Kyle Dutra - Mercyhurst University DI
Jack Hidi - Canisius College NCAA DI
Corey Kalk - Dartmouth NCAA DI
Jamie Kendra - University of Alabama-Huntsville NCAA
Dillon Lawrence - Boston University NCAA DI
Patrick Piacentini - Mercy Hurst NCAA DI
Mike Prapevessis - RPI NCAA DI
Mike Soucier - Bemidji State NCAA DI
Anthony Rapachi - RIT NCAA DI
Conor Thomson - Hoosac Prep School, New York
Evan Smith - Yale NCAA Ivy League DI
Mitchell Smith - Yale NCAA Ivy League DI
Matthew Whittaker - Mercyhurst University DI
Michael Vallescuro - Curry College NCAA DIII
Alex Slessor - Queens University CIS
Joseph Luongo - Queens University CIS
Frank Crupp - Adrian College ACHA