A Guide to Hockey Players From Thunder Bay

Discover why this town is known for churning out amazing players! How many of these players do you know?
Hockey Rink

Throughout the years, there is one thing Canada has always been known for—how good we are at hockey. Whether it's our well-known teams in the NHL or the many international titles won by our national team, this sport is no joke to us. Even though all of Canada can be credited for producing many incredible players, one specific place stands out. What place is this? 

It’s Thunder Bay, Ontario of course!

Hockey skate

Providing exceptional players to Team Canada and the NHL, the area of Thunder Bay keeps turning out talent that represents the North Shore of Lake Superior like no other. In celebration of them, here are some past and present players to both celebrate and watch for.

Past Hockey Players from Thunder Bay

Alex Delvecchio 

Alex Delvecchio is a retired player who had a successful career in the NHL. He was born on December 4, 1931, in Fort William (now known as Thunder Bay) in Northern Ontario.

Delvecchio spent his entire NHL career with the Detroit Red Wings, playing from 1950 to 1974. He was known for his skill as a center and his leadership on the ice. Delvecchio served as the captain of the Red Wings for 12 seasons, making him one of the longest-serving captains in NHL history.

Alex Delvecchio
Photo courtesy of Michigan Sports Hall of Fame 

Over his remarkable career, Delvecchio achieved significant success and earned numerous recognitions as a player. He was an NHL All-Star 13 times and was a key part of three Detroit Red Wings' Stanley Cup championships in 1952, 1954, and 1955. Delvecchio's offensive skills were evident as he tallied over 1,000 career points.

In recognition of his contributions to the sport, Delvecchio was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1977. After his playing career, he remained involved in the Red Wings organization in various roles, including coaching and management. Delvecchio's legacy as a hockey player and a respected figure in the sport of hockey continues to make Thunder Bay proud. 

Bud Poile

With the full name of Norman "Bud" Poile, he is a legend in the sport of hockey as a player and executive. Born on February 10, 1924, in Fort William (Thunder Bay), Northern Ontario, Poile had a notable career in both playing and management roles over the years while in the NHL.

As a player, Bud Poile was a right winger and played in the NHL primarily during the 1940s and early 1950s. He played for teams such as the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Black Hawks, and Detroit Red Wings, to name a few. Even though his NHL playing career had to take a break while serving in the war, he returned to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1945-46, and winning the Stanley Cup in 1947. While he wasn't a significant scorer, Poile was known for being an incredible teammate and his intense defensive abilities. 

Bud Poile
Photo credit: Wikipedia

After his playing career, Bud Poile transitioned into management. He became the general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers when they joined the NHL as an expansion team in 1967. He played a crucial role in building the team and was instrumental in constructing the roster that would go on to win two consecutive Stanley Cups in 1974 and 1975.

Bud Poile passed away on January 5, 2005, but his impact on the sport, both as a player and executive is long-lasting and will forever hold a place in the heart of Thunder Bay. 

Thunder Bay Hockey Players to Watch Now

Matt Murray

Matt Murray is a goaltender born on May 25, 1994, in Thunder Bay, Northern Ontario. Murray is known for his success in the NHL and has had significant achievements starting early in his career.

Murray gained widespread recognition during the 2015-2016 NHL season when he played a crucial role in helping the Pittsburgh Penguins win the Stanley Cup. After the Penguins starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury got injured, he stepped in helping the Penguins during their championship run. 

In 2015-16, Murray obtained Conn Smythe Trophy consideration with a 15-6 record, 2.08 GAA, and .932 save percentage in 21 games. 

Matt Murray
Photo credit: The Score 

Murray continued to be a vital part of the Penguins, winning the Stanley Cup again with the team in 2017. His accomplishments included being the first rookie goaltender to win back-to-back championships.

After a few successful seasons with the Penguins, Murray was traded to the Ottawa Senators on October 7, 2020 where he played a total of 47 games over the two seasons he was there. Then, on July 11, 2022, he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Now, he is on loan to the Dallas Stars affiliate development AHL team, Texas Stars. Matt Murray and his accomplishments are ones that make the city of Thunder Bay proud!

Staal Brothers 

The Staal brothers are a family of four hockey players who all play in the NHL. The four Staal brothers are Eric, Marc, Jordan, and Jared. Here is some information about each of them:

Staal Brothers
Photo credit: Getty Images 

1. Eric Staal

  • Born: October 29, 1984, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

  • Position: Center.

  • Eric has had a successful career, primarily with the Carolina Hurricanes where he served as the team's captain. He also played for the Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, and Buffalo Sabres. Eric won the Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes in 2006.

2. Marc Staal

  • Born: January 13, 1987, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

  • Position: Defenseman.

  • Marc played the majority of his career with the New York Rangers, serving as an alternate captain. He has also played for the Detroit Red Wings and the Carolina Hurricanes. Marc also won the gold medal with Team Canada at the 2007 IIHF World Championship.

3. Jordan Staal

  • Born: September 10, 1988, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

  • Position: Center.

  • Jordan has spent a significant portion of his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins, winning the Stanley Cup with them in 2009. He later joined the Carolina Hurricanes, where he serves as the team's captain.

4. Jared Staal

  • Born: August 21, 1990, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

  • Position: Right Wing.

  • Jared played a limited number of NHL games compared to his brothers. He had brief stints with the Phoenix Coyotes and the Carolina Hurricanes.

Tyler Tucker

Tyler Tucker, born on March 1, 2000, in Longlac, Northern Ontario, is known for playing as a defenseman for the St. Louis Blues. 

Tucker was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the seventh round, 200th overall, in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. He has played in various developmental leagues, including the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and American Hockey League (AHL).

Tyler Tucker
Photo credit: Springfield Thunderbirds X Account 

During his junior career, Tucker played for teams such as the Springfield Firebirds. He appeared in 15 games for the Blues this past season, getting one goal and one assist, and tallying up 22 penalty minutes. As you watch the league this season, make sure you keep an eye out and cheer on this Thunder Bay local talent. 

Thunder Bay Hockey: Like No Other! 

Though you can watch these players on TV, don’t forget to check out the Lakehead Thunderwolves play at Thunder Bay’s Fort William Gardens! Their regular season is from September to February, where you can see in real-time, through dedicated fans and talented players, why hockey is something Thunder Bay is known for!

About Josie Cormier

Josie Cormier grew up in Nipigon, Northern Ontario, and is part of the Red Rock Indian Band. She is passionate about sharing the love she has for her home with everyone she meets. You can always find her looking for new adventures by kayaking, hiking, and exploring the beautiful area she's lucky to call home. Josie is currently a student at York University in Toronto and hopes to start a career as a writer. 

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