In the 1989-1990 season the team was purchased from the Belleville Bobcats a Jr. B team. It was moved to Wellington and became the Wellington Dukes
The team played for many years in the Metro Jr. League before joining the OJHL – Ontario Junior Hockey League.
The Dukes have made the playoffs in all of their 29 years in existence. They won the Buckland Cup and the Dudley Hewitt twice and went on to play in the RBC both of these times.
The Dukes moved to the new Essroc Arena 10 years ago and at that time were the only community-based team left in the league and now have private ownership.
Many players each year go on to a higher level of hockey and some have made it to the NHL.
One who really was a fan favourite and stands out as a success story is Bryan Helmer. He started with the Dukes in the 1989-1990 season and graduated at the end of the 1992-1993 season. Brian played on four NHL teams, and several in the AHL. A member of the AHL Hall of Fame, he played on four Calder Cup championship teams and was the league’s highest-scoring defenceman. His jersey was the only one in the history of the Dukes to be retired .
Presently, Bryan is VP of hockey operations for the AHL Hershey Bears.
ALUMNI FEATURE – BRYAN HELMER
Played for the Dukes 1989-93
1989-90: 51 games, 28 points
1990-91: 50 games, 25 points
1991-92: Led Dukes team in assists, 31
1992-93: Led Dukes team in assists, 54 and 75 points
His 75 points were 7th best in entire METJHL
1997-98: AHL First All-Star Team
1998-99: Played 1st NHL game for Phoenix Coyotes
2005-06: AHL Second All-Star Team
2009: Named Captain of the AHL Canadian All-Star Team.
2010-11: Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award (AHL-Sportsmanship)
At the completion of the 2012-13 season, held AHL records for defencemen in games played (1,117), assists (435) and points (564)
Played on 3 Calder Cup teams: 1994-95, 2008-09 and 2009-10
Played a total of 152 NHL games
June/13: Retired from pro hockey after 20 years and 3 Calder Cups
July/13: Signed with OHL Peterborough Petes as an assistant coach
Jan 17/14: Bryan Helmer Night at the Essroc Arena
Jul 02/14: Signed with AHL Hershey Bears as an assistant coach
Jul 21/16:Named Vice President of Hockey Operations of the Hershey Bears
Sep 29/16: Named to AHL Hall of Fame
May 29/17: Named to Prince Edward County Sports Hall of Fame