Jeff O'Neill

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For other people named Jeffrey O'Neill, see Jeffrey O'Neill (disambiguation).
Jeff O'Neill
Born (1976-02-23) February 23, 1976 (age 38)
Richmond Hill, ON, CAN
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
Position Winger
Shot Right
Played for Hartford Whalers
Carolina Hurricanes
Toronto Maple Leafs
NHL Draft 5th overall, 1994
Hartford Whalers
Playing career 1995–2007

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.[1]

Playing career[edit]

Minor hockey[edit]

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.[2] 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.

NHL[edit]

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.[3] He was invited to the Carolina Hurricanes 2008-09 Training Camp, but did not make the final roster and was released.

Broadcasting Career[edit]

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.

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1992–93 Guelph Storm OHL 65 32 47 79 88 5 2 2 4 6
1993–94 Guelph Storm OHL 66 45 81 126 95 9 2 11 13 31
1994–95 Guelph Storm OHL 57 43 81 124 56 14 8 18 26 34
1995–96 Hartford Whalers NHL 65 8 19 27 40
1996–97 Springfield Falcons AHL 1 0 0 0 0
1996–97 Hartford Whalers NHL 72 14 16 30 40
1997–98 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 74 19 20 39 67
1998–99 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 75 16 15 31 66 6 0 1 1 0
1999–00 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 80 25 38 63 72
2000–01 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 82 41 26 67 106 6 1 2 3 10
2001–02 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 76 31 33 64 63 22 8 5 13 27
2002–03 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 82 30 31 61 38
2003–04 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 67 14 20 34 60
2005–06 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 74 19 19 38 64
2006–07 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 74 20 22 42 54
NHL totals 821 237 259 496 670 34 9 8 17 37

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ Laskaris, Sam (17 October 1991). "15-year-old draws raves from Lindros' old coach". Toronto Star. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "O'Neill may hang 'em up". Sportsnet. 2006-04-11. Retrieved 2008-07-16. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Chris Pronger
Hartford Whalers first round draft pick
1994
Succeeded by
Jean-Sébastien Giguère