Branch & Nicholson Named Distinguished Honourees of the Order of Hockey in Canada

A quartet of influential contributors to the game of hockey from coast-to-coast have been recognized as Distinguished Honourees of the Order of Hockey in Canada on Monday, including CHL President David Branch and Bob Nicholson, the CEO & Vice Chair of Oilers Entertainment Group which owns the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings.

Branch and Nicholson joined all-time great and QMJHL graduate Mario Lemieux and female hockey icon Geraldine Heaney in receiving the honours.

Branch, who has served as OHL Commissioner since 1979 and CHL President since 1996 when he took over for the legendary Ed Chynoweth, has led the charge in various realms from development to player safety over his lengthy tenure. The Whitby, ON, native has played a pivotal role in making the Canadian Hockey League the number one breeding ground of NHL players on the planet while also championing an extensive scholarship program to equip players for lifelong success.

Prior to his current role with OEG and the Oil Kings, Nicholson served as president and CEO of Hockey Canada from 1998 to 2014, overseeing the nation’s gold-medal performances at seven Olympic Winter Games, 12 IIHF World Junior Championships, five IIHF World Championships, 10 IIHF World Women’s Championships, four IIHF World Women’s U18 Championships, three IIHF World U18 Championships, two IPC Sledge Hockey World Championships, and one Paralympic Winter Games.

For an extensive look at the legacies of David Branch and Bob Nicholson, please visit

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