November 28, 2023 – OJHL

Ben Bonisteel of the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Trenton Golden Hawks (photo credit – Amy Deroche | OJHL Images)  has confirmed his commitment to join the NCAA Division I Canisius College Golden Griffins in Buffalo, NY beginning with the 2024-25 season.

Bonisteel, who was acquired from the Brantford 99ers of the OJHL a year ago, helped Trenton reach the OJHL Championship Series last spring.

This season, the native of Fenwick has the best goals (1.87) against average and save percentage (.933) in the 12-team OJHL East Conference. Named OJHL Warrior Goaltender of the Month for September, Bonisteel has five shutouts this season.

“There is no one more deserving,” said Trenton General Manager and Head Coach Derek Smith. “Bonisteel’s compete level is through the roof.  He makes everyone around him better and he is someone who constantly wants to get better on and off the ice.  Ben will be a great fit at Canisius.”

“Talks have been going on for a while,” Bonisteel said on the Trenton website.  “I am really excited with this announcement.  The Canisius staff have been excellent.  This will be fantastic not only for my hockey career, but academically.”

“We are students first and athletes second. Hockey is obviously an amazing sport and my goal is to play as long as I am able.  That being said, there is life after hockey and I will continue to learn in and outside of the arena.  Canisius is going to give me a great opportunity.”

He’s loving Trenton.

“Quinte West has been world class, absolutely unbelievable,” the big 20-year-old said. “ I could spend the rest of the day telling you how great it is to be a Golden Hawk.  The facilities are world class, the coaches and trainers are top notch.  If you are willing to put the time in to get better, they will go with you every step of the way.  They are going to give you every opportunity to extend your hockey career.”

“My family has a strong work ethic.  My parents blessed me with a wonderful upbringing and they both work hard.  My sister has a motor like I have never seen.  Her work ethic and dedication has made her one of the most intelligent people I know.  They have provided me with a solid base, but I have also been able to adapt my own beliefs.  I value a job well done.  I love hockey and I want it to be with me the rest of my life.”

“It is funny, when you are a kid ‘free ice’ is the best two words a player can hear.  We have that every skate in Trenton.  I do not want to lose that beginner’s mindset of going out to have fun.  It creates a fun and competitive environment.  My teammates help with that atmosphere as well.”

Bonisteel says he does not have to decide on an academic major until the end of his sophomore season.

“They have a really good biochemistry program and I have always had a major interest in that,” he said. “Exercise science and sports psychology would be another area of interest.”

OJHL grads on Canisius’ roster this season include Alton McDermott and Jack Lyons (Oakville), Oliver Tarr (Haliburton County, Whitby), Ethan Robertson (Cobourg), Erik Urbank (Buffalo) and Hudson Lambert (Brampton, Orangeville).

Head coach Trevor Large played at Brampton of the OJHL.

Congratulations to Ben and best of luck in the OJHL and NCAA!

The OJHL has had 40 NCAA Division I scholarship commitments already this season.

Check out all our commitments here: