The top eight teams in each conference make the playoffs with the division winners seeded one-two in each Conference based on regular season points. The remaining teams in each conference are seeded based on their regular season points earned.
In the first round of the playoffs, the first-place finisher plays the eighth place finisher, second plays seventh, third plays sixth and fourth plays fifth in each conference.
Teams are re-seeded within their conference after each round and the division winners are always ranked 1-2 within the conference as long as they progress. The champions from each conference play in the OHL Championship Series for the J. Ross Robertson Cup.
All series throughout the playoffs are Best-of-Seven.
TIE BREAKING SYSTEM
If two or more teams are tied for the final OHL playoff position in either conference, sudden-death playoff games will be used to determine the team that advances.
For all other playoff positions, the following tie-breaking system is in place:
- The team with the most number of wins during the regular season shall be declared higher in the standings.
- If two teams are still tied, the team with the best record in head-to-head competition (based on points including overtime losses) shall be declared higher in the standings. If more than two teams are tied after the first tie-breaker, the percentage of available points earned in games among each other shall be used to determine the standing.
- If still tied, the team with the greater differential between goals scored for and against by clubs having equal standing after the second tie-breaker shall be declared higher in the standings.
SUDDEN-DEATH PLAYOFF FORMULA (FOR FINAL PLAYOFF POSITION)
Between Two Teams: Two teams tied for the final playoff position will play a sudden-death game to be hosted by the centre determined higher in the standings by the OHL tie-breaking system. The winner will be declared higher in the standings.
Between Three Teams for One Playoff Position:
- A sudden-death game will be played between the two teams having the lowest percentage as calculated by dividing the sum of goals ‘for’ plus the total goals ‘against’ into the total goals ‘for’. The home team will be determined by utilizing the OHL tie-breaking system.
- A second sudden-death game will be played between the winner of the preliminary sudden-death game and the remaining team. The home team will be determined by utilizing the OHL tie-breaking system. The winner will be declared higher in the standings.