In 1985-86, the OHL consisted of 15 teams, split between the Emms and Leyden Divisions. The Peterborough Petes finished first overall with 92 points and earned the Hamilton Spectator Trophy. The North Bay Centennials topped the Emms Division with 86 points. However, when it came down to the Robertson Cup playoffs, neither team was to be found. The Jacques Martin coached Guelph Platers ousted the Belleville Bulls for the championship.
The top three goal scorers that year were an interesting and well-known trio. The leader may have even approached the OHL record for most goals in a single season, had he played all 66 of his team’s games instead of 63. The second place player went on to a career in the National Hockey League but his role was far from that of a goal scorer. The third played a lengthy career and unfortunately passed away in August of 2013 after a battle with leukemia.
Ray Sheppard – Cornwall Royals – 81 Goals
Over 63 games, Sheppard scored 81 and assisted on 61 for 142 points. He not only led the league in goals but also led the OHL in points, earning the Eddie Powers Trophy. Ray was also the recipient of the Red Tilson Trophy as the league’s MVP in what was his third of three years with Cornwall.
The Buffalo Sabres selected Sheppard in the third round of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft, 60th overall, after just his first year of junior. Ray’s first pro action came in 1986-87 with the Rochester Americans of the AHL. After that, he went on to a decent NHL career but never quite reached that 80 goal plateau again.
Over 817 regular season NHL games, Ray scored 357 and assisted on 300 for 657 points while playing for the Sabres, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, San Jose Sharks, Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes. He reached the 50 goal plateau once during his career with 52 goals as a Red Wing in 1993-94. He tied for fifth in the NHL that season with Brendan Shanahan of the St. Louis Blues and Adam Graves of the New York Rangers.
Nick Kypreos – North Bay Centennials – 62 Goals
That’s right, Nick Kypreos. Better known for his goon play in the National Hockey League, in the Ontario Hockey League, Kypreos was a goal scorer. In 1985-86, he assisted on 35 to go with his 62 goals for 97 points over 64 games. It was his third of four years in the OHL. All his time in the league was spent with the Centennials, except for four games in 1983-84 with the Kitchener Rangers.
In his final season, Nick was on pace for a 70+ goal season but he appeared in just 46 games for North Bay and scored just 49. Definitely not a sign of things to come, Kypreos at his worst spent 112 minutes in the penalty box. That was done in 1985-86 over his 64 games.
Nick’s first pro action came in 1986-87 when he appeared in ten games with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League. He was undrafted to the NHL but went on to play 442 regular season games in the league between 1989-90 and 1996-97 with the Washington Capitals, Hartford Whalers, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Over his time in the NHL, Kypreos scored just 46 goals and assisted on 44 for 90 points. He sat 1,210 minutes in penalties. In an OHL connection, in 1992 he was traded from the Capitals to the Whalers in exchange for Mark Hunter, the co-owner of the London Knights.
Shawn Burr – Kitchener Rangers – 60 Goals
In just 59 games with the Rangers, Burr scored 60 and assisted on 67 for 127 points. It was his third of three seasons with Kitchener. He also appeared in five games with the Detroit Red Wings that season, along with three regular season and 17 playoff games with the Adirondack Red Wings of the AHL. Adirondack was crowned Calder Cup champions in 1985-86.
After just his first year in the Ontario Hockey League, Burr was made the seventh overall pick by the Red Wings at the 1984 NHL Entry Draft. He played his first pro hockey in 1984-85 with four games with the AHL Red Wings and nine games with the NHL Red Wings.
After playing his final NHL hockey in 1999-00, Shawn had appeared in 878 regular season NHL games with the Red Wings, Tampa Bay Lightning and San Jose Sharks. He scored 181 goals and assisted on 259 for 440 points.