Ontario Junior Hockey League resident writer Ron Valentine is profiling the 2023-24 team captains across The OJ. (Photo by Tim Bates   / OJHL Images)


The Milton Menace have named forward Connor Driscoll as their captain for the upcoming OJHL season. 

Connor, from Kleinburg ON. was drafted in 2019 by the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads. He will be in his second and final season for the Menace, coming off a 46-point campaign that included 21 goals as well as 122 minutes in penalties. He played four games as an affiliate for the St. Michael’s Buzzers in the 2019-20 season before attending Salisbury prep school in Connecticut.

Head Coach Dan Del Monte on his new team leader: “Connor has played 10 years for me and has evolved on and off the ice as a great leader. He plays with a physicality that demands respect. After his big season last year, we look forward to being dominant for us now.”

Connor talks about his hockey career so far.

“I’m not from a traditional hockey family. My mom was born in England and my dad is from Boston but like most young boys I soon got involved. I played in the Vaughan Rangers organization and ended my minor hockey with the Toronto Nationals. Going to prep school in the U.S. was the right move for me. We played against some elite teams and although the COVID-19 problems shortened my first year we managed to be season champions in Year 2. It was a great place to combine hockey and get a good education.”

Looking back on last season.

“Although we did not accomplish everything as a team that we wanted to, I think overall my first season with the Menace was a success. We were tied with Pickering at the end of the regular season and so we knew the playoff series against them would be a dogfight, and it was. But we got past them in five. I had a suspension for head contact and missed the last two games against the Panthers and got another in Game 3 against the Blues. My goal this coming season is to stay physical, which I need to do as an undersized guy, but to get less minutes in the box.” 

His role as captain.

“In my hockey career so far I have never been a captain or assistant so I know this will be a really good challenge for me. I have known coach Dan and played for him for many years and so I’m really looking forward to this new experience. I relish the leadership role on and off the ice and I’m ready to get out there and set the example for my teammates. There will be many players on the club, like me, who will benefit from their second year in the league. I learned a lot from Owen Forester, who had the captaincy last season, but overall I want to just go out there and be myself. I want to develop a relationship with every player up and down the lineup, to teach where necessary, especially with the younger guys, and to keep everyone on their game.

What type of player is Connor?

” I believe that I can do everything well. I don’t think I have any glaring weak spots but it’s always a learning process. One of my coaches used to call me a ‘Swiss Army Knife’ because I could do a little bit of everything. Obviously, I enjoy the physical play. In junior hockey every hit matters, the opposition has to know that we will try to be on top of them all the time and that’s how we play as a team – taking care of business!”

The new C”s interests and future goals.

“We have a family cottage in Muskoka, so on summer weekends I’ll be wake-surfing, golfing and just having fun. During the week I’m pretty busy. I do some work at a goalie school so I get on the ice pretty well every day plus I love to workout. It’s really important to stay in shape and be prepared when the first puck drops. Like most guys, I’m looking to advance in hockey and continue my education in the U.S. or here. I’ve had contacts since prep school so we’ll have to see how it all works out.”

As Coach Dan says, leadership is key and Connor is the type of player every team needs to be successful and the Menace will be eager to take steps in the right direction in what promises to be a very competitive season.

The OJHL regular season begins on Sept. 7.

Follow Ron Valentine on Twitter @ronandlynda


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