The London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League began as the London Nationals of the OHA in 1965-66. The Nationals changed names to the Knights three years later and remain with that nickname today. Today, the London Knights are one of the most successful teams in, not only the OHL but, the entire Canadian Hockey League. In 1965-66, success was but a distant dream.
London placed ninth in the nine team league in their inaugural season and were the only team to not advance to the post season. The league was led during the regular season by the Peterborough Petes but it was Bobby Orr and the Oshawa Generals that took the Robertson Cup championship in the playoffs.
Four members of the 1965-66 London Nationals went on to play in the North American Hockey League.
Clairmont played three years in the OHA from 1964-65 to 1966-67. In his first year, he appeared in just one game with the Toronto Marlboros. Neil’s 1965-66 season was played with the Nationals. In his final year, Clairmont split his season between London and the Peterborough Petes.
In 1963, Clairmont was a second round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs at the NHL Amateur Draft, 12th overall. He played in the NAHL from 1974-75 to 1976-77, all with the Binghamton Dusters.
Moe St. Jacques
St. Jacques played two seasons in the OHA, 1965-66 and 1966-67, all with the Nationals. He was a second round pick of the Montreal Canadiens at the 1966 NHL Amateur Draft, eleventh overall. Moe played with the Johnstown Jets in the NAHL during the 1974-75 season.
Blain was a travelling man over his three years in the OHA. Between 1965-66 and 1967-68, he played for the Nationals, Toronto Marlboros, Ottawa 67’s and Niagara Falls Flyers. His experience with London consists of just four games played at the start of his junior career.
Jim played in the NAHL over the entire history of the league, 1973-74 to 1976-77. His first three years were with the Maine Nordiques and he played with the Beauce Jaros in 1976-77. During the 1972-73 season, the first for the World Hockey Association, Blain played 70 games for the Quebec Nordiques, his only major league action.
Norm ‘Rocky’ Farr
Farr previously played eleven games with the Montreal Junior Canadiens in 1963-64 before playing in 47 of London’s 48 regular season games in 1965-66. The goalie then split his 1966-67 season between the Nationals and the Oshawa Generals. Rocky has a place in London Nationals / Knights hockey trivia, being the first in franchise history to be named an OHA All-Star.
Norm played 19 games in the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres over a three year span. He played just one game in the North American Hockey League, with the Johnstown Jets in 1975-76. He allowed eight goals in that match.