Ron Wilson began playing organized hockey as soon as he was of age. Nearly 50 years later, Ron ended his hockey career in Prince Albert having gone full circle. The kindergarten-aged player started with the West Hill Black Hawks in the mid-1950s. He played in the Western Canada Junior League, Western Hockey League, International Hockey League, American Hockey League, and then retired to Prince Albert to play oldtimers’ hockey.
Ron displayed leadership skills at a young age. He won his first major trophy in 1963 when he was the top peewee league scorer in the Kinsmen Minor Hockey League. In 1966-67 and 1967-68, Ron was captain of the Kinsmen All-Stars. In the latter season, Ron and the All-Stars were provincial midget champions.
In August 1968, Ron left Prince Albert to play with the Flin Flon Bombers of the Western Canada Junior League (WCHL). He was named rookie of the year in 1968-69, a year in which the Bombers were WCHL champions and winners of the Father Athol Murray Trophy.
Ron was named assistant captain of the Bombers in 1969-70. During that season, Bombers coach Pat Ginnell heaped praise on Ron. “He carries the puck well, seldom makes a mistake, has a good shot and can hit,” Pat told the Flin Flon Daily Reminder. “Best of all, he’s a leader who controls play.”
In his third season with the Bombers, Ron played only 26 games before breaking his ankle.
Ron was drafted by the Minnesota North Stars in 1971 in the third round, 35th overall. He signed his first professional contract with the North Stars. He played eight games with the Fort Wayne Komets before joining the Cleveland Barons of the American Hockey League to finish the 1971-72 season.
In 1972-73, Ron played with Cleveland and the Jacksonville Barons of the American Hockey League. He followed that up with all-star honours with the Portland Buckaroos of the WHL.
During the 1974-75 season, Ron played with the New Haven Nighthawks of the AHL, the farm club ofthe North Stars. Highlights of that season included playing against the Soviet All-Stars in December.
Ron joined the Kalamazoo Wings of the IHL in 1975-76 and was named captain of the team. For the next three seasons, Ron earned not only the Wings’ outstanding defenceman trophy but was a league all-star as well.
The 1978-79 season with Kalamazoo was Ron’s last year of professional hockey and he went out with a bang. Ron hoisted the Turner Cup when the Wings won the IHL championship. He was also an IHL all-star team member for a fourth time.
Through his professional career, Ron scored 48 goals and had 215 assists for 263 points while accumulating 754 penalty minutes in regular season games. Ron had 55 post-season games collecting 10 goals, 28 assists and 107 penalty minutes.
After returning home to Prince Albert in 1980, Ron played on a number of oldtimers’ hockey teams. He retired from the game in 2001.
The Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame proudly welcomes Ron Wilson in the Athlete category.