Hockey / OJHL ALUMNI PLAYING FOR SOUTH KOREA AT OLYMPICS

OJHL ALUMNI PLAYING FOR SOUTH KOREA AT OLYMPICS

Date:  Source: Ontario Junior A Hockey League

Three Ontario Junior Hockey League graduates are playing at the Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea – for South Korea.

When the country won the right to host this month’s games, it began recruiting hockey players from Canada. Some were already playing in the country.

Brock Radunske, Michael Swift, Bryan Young and three other Canadian players were offered spots on pro squads in South Korea and then places on the national team. All are naturalized South Korean citizens.

They’ll face Canada on Sunday at 7:10 a.m. EST.

"I don't think it will hit me till the tournament's over to be honest. When you look back and reflect and, you know it'll be like 'wow, what an opportunity that I just had,'" Swift told CBC.

Swift, 30, had two seasons in the OJHL, with his hometown Peterborough Bees and the Brampton Capitals, before four years in the OHL and three more in the AHL. He came to South Korea seven years ago.

Radunske, 34, played one year with the Aurora Tigers and then tallied 69 points in 48 games in 2000-01 with the Newmarket Hurricanes

Following college hockey at Michigan State and minor pro stints in the United States and Germany, he moved to South Korea in 2008.

He’s been given the nickname “Canadian Big Beauty” in his adopted home. The New Hamburg native stands 6-foot-5.

Bryan Young, 31, played one season with the Lindsay Muskies. He’d jump directly from the OHL’s Peterborough Petes to the Edmonton Oilers but would only play 17 NHL games

He’s been in South Korea since 2010, playing this season for the wonderfully named Daemyung Killer Whales.

Their coach is Korean-born Jim Paek who was raised in Toronto. He won two Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh during a 217-game NHL career. 

Paek was an affiliate player with the St. Michael’s Buzzers during the 1983-84 season and appeared in five games and had two assists.

Sean Burke, the general manager of the Canadian Olympic team was a teammate of Paek on that same St. Mike's team. Burke played 25 games for the Buzzers that year.