By Paul Krotz/OHL
Stuart Percy is one of a dozen Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors with an OHL Cup story.
The 18-year-old Oakville, ON, native and his 12 teammates are among the more than 50% of the league that have competed for minor midget’s coveted prize before joining the OHL.
Percy is also one of four Majors to hoist the OHL Cup capturing the title in 2009 with the Toronto Marlboros alongside teammate Justin Rasmussen, before Riley Brace did with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens in 2008, and David Corrente with the Mississauga IceDogs in 2007.
“We had a pretty good team that year and were a pretty well known age group growing up,” recalls Percy. “We were all good friends and just tried to prove that we really were a powerhouse.”
Percy’s Marlies were highly ranked throughout their minor midget year after winning several provincial titles growing up. In addition to Percy and Rasmussen, the 93-born Marlies boasted the likes of current OHL players Ryan Strome, Lucas Lessio, Brett Ritchie, Michael Curtis, Zach Mitchell, Steven Strong, and Malcolm Subban.
“It’s the most marquee minor hockey tournament, just a once a lifetime opportunity right at the end of your minor hockey career and there is no better way to go out.”
That season the Marlies defeated Boone Jenner and the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs 5-1 to go out a winner and help maintain a streak of Marlies’ clubs that have now advanced to six straight OHL Cup championship final appearances from 2007-12.
Percy also used his winning OHL Cup experience to elevate his stock in the Priority Selection where he would be selected 15th overall by the Majors.
“It’s easy to notice the highly skilled and offensive guys but there is always something you can do to jump out and get noticed, especially at a big tournament like this,” Percy added.
The same can be said for Percy’s recent performance in the MasterCard Memorial Cup helping the Majors advance to the final and earning a spot on the tournament all-star team. He would later be selected in the first round, 25th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
“Scouts have an eye for talent so it’s important to do the right things in the little areas that make a difference and contribute to your team’s success.”
Percy looks back fondly on his minor hockey career and offers simple advice for this year’s group.
“Play hard and have fun,” Percy said. “It helped me a huge amount and it was great to end minor hockey a champion.”