1989-90 was a bit of an offensive lull in the Ontario Hockey League. Keith Primeau of the Niagara Falls Thunder won the Eddie Powers Trophy with 127 points. It was the lowest point total for a leader since Rejean Houle of the Montreal Junior Canadiens led the league with 108 in 1968-69. There would be a leader with a lower point total again until 1995-96 when Aaron Brand of the Sarnia Sting took the Eddie Powers with 119 points.
Consequently, there were just four 50 goal scorers in the league that season. There were six reaching the milestone the previous year and seven the following season. In turn, three of the four went first, third and fourth overall in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft.
Keith Primeau of the Niagara Falls Thunder led the league with 57 goals while playing the full 68 game schedule. 1989-90 was Primeau’s third of three seasons in the OHL and the following season he was a regular with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings. Keith was selected third overall by the Red Wings in 1990.
Primeau played in the NHL from 1990-91 to 2005-06 with the Red Wings, Hartford Whalers / Carolina Hurricanes and Philadelphia Flyers. In 909 regular season NHL games, Keith scored 266 goals and totalled 619 points. He served as team captain in Philadelphia for his final four seasons.
Paul DiPietro of the Sudbury Wolves came second with 56 goals, playing two less games than Primeau. It was DiPietro’s fourth of four seasons with the Wolves and he also finished second to Primeau in points with 119. Paul was taken in the fifth round by the Montreal Canadiens in 1990.
Paul DiPietro played 192 regular season games in the NHL between 1991-92 and 1996-97 with the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings. His name is inscribed on the Stanley Cup, winning it with the Habs in 1992-93. Paul left to play pro hockey in Europe for the 1997-98 season and is still active in Switzerland’s elite league.
Mike Ricci of the Peterborough Petes finished third with 52 goals, two less than his total from the previous season. In both years, he accomplished his totals while playing just 60 games in each year. Ricci played three years in the OHL from 1987-88 to 1989-90, all with Peterborough. The Philadelphia Flyers drafted him fourth overall in 1990.
Mike played in the NHL from 1990-91 to 2006-07 with the Flyers, Quebec Nordiques / Colorado Avalanche, San Jose Sharks and Phoenix Coyotes. He moved over to Quebec in 1992-93 as part of the famous trade that sent Eric Lindros to the Flyers. Ricci played 1,099 regular season NHL games, scoring 243 goals and totalling 605 points.
Owen Nolan finished fourth with 51 goals in just 58 games with the Cornwall Royals. It was Nolan’s second of two years in the Ontario Hockey League. Along with his 58 goals and 111 points, Owen also spent a whopping 240 minutes in the penalty box in 1989-90. Nolan was the first overall pick at the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, going to the Quebec Nordiques.
Owen played 1,200 career regular season games in the NHL between 1990-91 and 2009-10 with the Nordiques / Avalanche, San Jose Sharks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Phoenix Coyotes, Calgary Flames and Minnesota Wild. He scored 422 career goals in the NHL and contributed a total of 885 points.