February 23, 1976 |
Richmond Hill, ON, CAN
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)|
|Played for||Hartford Whalers
Toronto Maple Leafs
|NHL Draft||5th overall, 1994
Jeffrey O'Neill (born February 23, 1976) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey winger in the National Hockey League (NHL). During his career, he played for the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes and the Toronto Maple Leafs. He retired from hockey after a September 2008 tryout with the Carolina Hurricanes.
O'Neill grew up in the community of King City, north of Toronto, playing minor hockey for the King City Kings MHA as a youth. O'Neill grew up with two older brothers, Don and Ryan, both of whom played hockey. O'Neill moved up to the AAA level at age 13 in the Pee Wee age class with the Richmond Hill-Vaughan Kings of the Ontario Minor Hockey Association. As a 14-year-old, he played at the Midget level with his brother Ryan — almost three years younger than some of his peers. At 15, O'Neill signed with the Thornhill Thunderbirds Jr. A club (OHA), whose coach Scott McLennan stated O'Neill had the skills to make it to the Ontario Hockey League. He finished his rookie season second in the Metro Junior Hockey League in scoring.
O'Neill was the first overall selection of the Guelph Storm in the 1992 OHL Priority Selection, held at Maple Leaf Gardens in June 1992. He was named OHL Rookie of the Year that year after scoring 79 points in 65 games with the upstart Storm. His point total of 79 for a 16-year-old was the second highest total by a 16-year-old since Kirk Muller recorded 112 with the Guelph Platers in 1982–83. He also played in the American Hockey League for the Springfield Falcons. O'Neill spent three years in the OHL with the Storm before jumping to the NHL with the Hartford Whalers in 1995.
O'Neill was drafted in the first round, fifth overall by the Hartford Whalers (now Carolina Hurricanes) in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. He went to the 2002 Stanley Cup Final with the Hurricanes before losing to the Detroit Red Wings. He ranks first or second in almost every Hurricanes scoring record. O'Neill was selected to the Eastern Conference team for the 2002–03 NHL All-Star Game.
On 30 July 2005, the Hurricanes traded O'Neill to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a conditional draft pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He expressed a desire to play for the Maple Leafs before the signing of the CBA.
Re-united with former Carolina Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice, O'Neill enjoyed a resurgence early in the season and, benefiting from playing on the top line with Mats Sundin and Alexander Steen, was briefly one of the top scorers. However, towards the end of the season, O'Neill had been benched for the remaining games due to poor offensive performance. His poor performance combined with his fear of flying led him to consider retirement at the end of the season. He was invited to the Carolina Hurricanes 2008-09 Training Camp, but did not make the final roster and was released.
O'Neill is a sports broadcaster and hockey analyst with TSN Radio in Toronto. He currently co-hosts "Leafs Lunch" on TSN radio 1050 from 12pm-2pm with host Brian Hayes & fellow co-host and former player Jamie McLennan.
|2005–06||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||74||19||19||38||64||—||—||—||—||—|
|2006–07||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||74||20||22||42||54||—||—||—||—||—|
- Yaneff, Jon (2009-01-07). "O'Neill's hockey career settles down, as the former NHLer starts new life". King Township Sentinel. Retrieved 2009-02-05.
- Laskaris, Sam (17 October 1991). "15-year-old draws raves from Lindros' old coach". Toronto Star. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
- "O'Neill may hang 'em up". Sportsnet. 2006-04-11. Retrieved 2008-07-16.
- Jeff O'Neill's player profile at NHL.com
- Jeff O'Neill's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
|Hartford Whalers first round draft pick