Raffi Torres - Forward
5th overall, 2000 - New York Islanders
Torres had a great junior hockey career with the Battalion. He led Brampton with 35 goals in their first season and finished second in scoring behind Spezza with 62 points in 62 games. He was named to the 2nd all rookie team.
In his draft year, he led the Battalion in goals (43), assists (48) & points (91). He also led the team in playoff scoring. The New York Islanders made a trade to move up to 5th spot in the 2000 NHL Draft so that they could pick Torres.
The left winger sits 3rd in all-time Battalion goals (111) and points (223), behind only Wojtek Wolski & Cody Hodgson.
Torres was traded to the Edmonton Oilers in March 2003 and played his first full NHL season the following year. He's played in 591 NHL games with the NY Islanders, Edmonton, Columbus, Buffalo, Vancouver and Phoenix. His best season was in 2005/06 with Edmonton when he scored 27 goals & 41 points. He was also a member of the Vancouver Canucks during their run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2011.
Torres was suspended 25 games for a hit on Marian Hossa during Phoenix's first round playoff series against Chicago. The NHL reduced the suspension to 21 games in the summer and Torres has already served 13 games.
Brent Burns - Right Wing/Defenceman
20th overall, 2003 - Minnesota Wild
Many Battalion fans may not remember Brent Burns. He only spent one season with the Troops, but he is one of the most successful NHL players to come from Brampton.
He joined the Battalion for the 2002/03 season was one of three Brampton players to participate in all 68 regular season games. However, the future All-Star defenceman was a forward when he played for the Battalion.
After a slow start where he scored only 12 points the first three months of the year, Burns got better as the season went on. He finished with 15 goals & 40 points, including 2 short-handed goals.
He led the Battalion in playoff scoring with 11 points in 11 games, helping Brampton to an opening round series win over the Barrie Colts. He scored in overtime to win game 1 and then led a third period comeback in game 3, scoring the game-tying goal and assisting on the game-winning goal, both coming late in the game.
Burns joined the Minnesota Wild during the 2003/04 season and was converted to a defenceman by head coach Jacques Lemaire. He played on a full-time basis in 2005/06 and spent 6 seasons with the club, including an appearance in the NHL All-Star Game in 2011. During the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Minnesota traded Burns & a 2nd round pick to the San Jose Sharks for Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle & 1st round pick.
Wojtek Wolski - Forward
21st overall, 2004 - Colorado Avalanche
Wolski is the highest scoring Battalion player ever. He holds several team records including goals, assists and points in a season & all-time. He scored 25 goals & 57 points in his rookie season and followed that up with 29 goals & 70 points in his draft year.
In 2005/06, his final season in the OHL, he averaged over 2 points per game, scoring 47 goals and 128 points. He also set the team record for points in a game when he scored 4 goals & 3 assists vs. Erie on January 22, 2006. The 7-point record still stands today. At the end of the year, he was named the OHL's Player of the Year & Most Sportsmanlike Player.
Wolski spent his first 3 ½ seasons in the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche. He then played for Phoenix and the New York Rangers over two seasons. In February 2012, he was traded to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Michael Vernace, another former Battalion player. Wolski signed a one-year deal with the Washington Capitals in the summer, and to date, he's played in 424 NHL games, scoring 95 goals & 258 points.
Until the NHL lockout ends, Wolski is playing for KH Sanok in the Polish Hockey League. He has 1 assist in 3 games for the first place team.
Cody Hodgson - Forward
10th overall, 2008 - Vancouver Canucks
Cody Hodgson is arguably the best player to put on a Brampton Battalion uniform.
World Junior Championships All-Star & Gold Medallist. OHL All-Star Game MVP. OHL Most Sportsmanlike Player. CHL Player of the Year. Brampton Sports Hall of Fame Inductee. Those are just some of his accomplishments.
A 17th round pick in the 2006 OHL Priority Selection, Hodgson scored 23 goals and 46 points in his rookie year and improved his stats each season thereafter. He is 2nd all-time in Battalion goals, assists, points & power play goals, behind only Wolski. Hodgson set several franchise records for playoff scoring during Brampton's run to the OHL final in 2009. At the end of the year, he was named OHL & CHL Player of the Year.
During the off-season, he hurt his back while training in preparation for the Canucks' training camp. The injury was misdiagnosed as a bulging disc in his lower back and took him a year to fully recover. Hodgson played most of the 2010/11 season with the AHL's Manitoba Moose.
In 2011/12, his first full NHL season, he finished 5th in rookie scoring with 19 goals & 22 assists in 83 games while playing with Vancouver and Buffalo. Hodgson also led all first-year players in power play goals (7). He was traded to the Sabres at the trade deadline in a four-player deal.
He joined the Rochester Americans to start the 2012/13 AHL season. He recorded 1 goal and 9 assists in nine games before breaking a bone in his right hand during a game at the end of October. Hodgson is back on the ice with his teammates but he is unable to grip a stick, so he is working on his power skating while recovering from the injury. When the lockout is over, Hodgson will likely be the second line centre for the Buffalo Sabres.
Matt Duchene - Forward
3rd overall, 2009 - Colorado Avalanche
Duchene was the highest drafted Battalion player ever when Colorado chose him 3rd overall in 2009, behind only John Tavares and Victor Hedman. Although he only spent 2 seasons in Brampton, he made his mark as one of the most exciting players in team history.
He scored 61 goals and 129 points over two seasons and holds the Battalion record for most shootout goals with 7, one ahead of Wolski. Duchene's biggest impact was in the 2009 playoffs when he scored 14 goals & 26 points in 21 games. He recorded six game-winning goals in the post-season and completed a hat trick in Brampton's series-clinching win over Belleville in the third round.
Duchene scored 51 goals & 122 points in his first two seasons with the Avalanche.
On January 26, 2011, he set a franchise record by becoming the youngest player to reach 100 points in a career, eclipsing Joe Sakic. He finished the season with 67 points, making him the youngest Avalanche player to lead the team in scoring.
In 2011/12, he only played in 58 games due to knee and ankle injuries, but still managed to play well when in the lineup. He recorded his first career hat trick and first 4-point game in November 2011. Duchene scored his 150th NHL point in the final regular season game.
He is currently playing for Frolunda of the Swedish Elite League. In 11 games, he has 1 goal and 8 assists, while averaging almost 16 minutes of ice time per game, 3rd-most on the team.
There are also four Battalion players that were drafted in the 1st round while playing for another OHL team.
Brian Finley - Goaltender, Barrie Colts
6th overall, 1999 - Nashville Predators
Veteran netminder Brian Finley was acquired from Barrie at the trade deadline in January 2001. The Colts received goaltender David Chant, defenceman Tyler Hanchuk, forward Matt Grenier & two draft picks.
In 1998/99, Finley led the Colts to the OHL Championship, was named playoff MVP & was named OHL Goaltender of the Year.
As a member of the Battalion, he was 7-3-1 in 11 regular season games with a 2.94 GAA & .900 SV%. He then led Brampton to a first round sweep of the Guelph Storm, the team's first playoff series win, before eventually losing to the eventual OHL finalist Erie Otters in the 2nd round.
Finley spent most of his professional career playing for the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals where he won the Calder Cup in 2004. He played in four NHL games, two each with Nashville & Boston. He retired after the 2006/07 season after tearing his left groin and labrum. He battled two groin injuries throughout his career that required major surgery. He is currently working as a police officer in the Greater Toronto Area.
Jason Spezza - Centre, Mississauga IceDogs/Windsor Spitfires
2nd overall, 2001 - Ottawa Senators
Spezza spent one season in Brampton during the team's inaugural year. The 15-year old centre led the team in scoring with 71 points, including 22 goals, and was named to the OHL's All-Rookie Team. The points mark was a Battalion rookie record for 10 years before Evgeny Grachev broke it with an 80 point season in 2008/09.
Spezza was drafted 1st overall by Mississauga in the 1999 OHL Draft. After 1 ½ seasons with the IceDogs, he was traded to the Windsor Spitfires in an 8-player deal. During his draft year, he scored 43 goals & 111 points in 56 games. He was selected 2nd overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, behind only Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta).
To date, he's played in 606 NHL games, the most by any Battalion alumni.
During the lockout, Spezza is playing for the Rapperswil-Jona Lakers of the Swiss Elite League. In 17 games, he has 7 goals & 10 assists and is tied for the team lead in points.
Bobby Sanguinetti - Defenceman, Owen Sound Attack
21st overall, 2006 - New York Rangers
Sanguinetti was acquired in a trade with Owen Sound in the summer of 2007. The Battalion send three OHL picks & two CHL Import picks to the Attack, all of which previously belonged to Owen Sound. They were received in a previous trade that involved Howie Martin & Phil Oreskovic in exchange for Dylan Flatt & Matt Stajan.
In his only season with the Troops, Sanguinetti scored 29 goals, eclipsing Klesla's club record of 18 by a defenceman. He led the Battalion with 17 power play goals and his 70 points were 2 shy of Michael Vernace's team record of 72 by a blueliner. He was also a big part of a blue line brigade that limited opponents to 187 goals, the fewest allowed in Battalion history at that time.
Sanguinetti has spent the past four seasons playing in the AHL. In 2010, he was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a 2nd round & a 6th round pick. Despite missing 16 games in 2011/12, he set career highs in goals (10), assists (40) and points (50). Through 15 games this season, he has 2 goals and 9 assists.
Thomas McCollum - Goaltender, Guelph Storm
30th overall, 2008 - Detroit Red Wings
Goaltender Thomas McCollum was acquired from Guelph in a trade deadline deal in January 2009, just in time for the Battalion's playoff run to the OHL Final. Going the other way were goaltender Brandon Foote, forward Josh Shalla and two 2nd-round picks.
In his first game with Brampton, he gave up 5 goals in a loss to Barrie. He followed that up with 9 straight wins, including three shutouts in one week. McCollum finished the regular season with a 17-6 record, 1.94 GAA & .929 SV%. His final stats with the Battalion, including playoffs, were 30 wins, 14, losses, 2.40 GAA & .913 SV%. He was named CHL Goaltender of the Week two times and OHL Goaltender of the Month for February 2009.
After graduating from the OHL, McCollum has spent the past four seasons playing in the ECHL & AHL. He played in his first and only NHL game for Detroit in March 2011. He is currently playing for the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins where he is splitting the time in net with former Ottawa 67's goalie Peter Mrazek. The duo is being mentored by retired Detroit Red Wings netminder Chris Osgood, the team's goaltending development coach.