What Hockey Team Is in Ohio? (NHL in the Buckeye State)

In 2000, the city of Columbus, Ohio got its first-ever NHL team. They, along with the Minnesota Wild entered the league as expansion teams to bring the NHL to 30 teams.

However, Ohio doesn’t just have an NHL team. There are several hockey teams in the Buckeye State.

In this article, I’ll show you what hockey teams are in Ohio, where they play, and how you can watch them.

Pssssst! Are you curious about hockey teams in other U.S. states? You can learn more by checking out our other posts: What Hockey Team Is in Pennsylvania, What Hockey Team Is in Washington State, and  What Hockey Team Is in Chicago, Illinois.

Let’s dive in.

Here’s What Hockey Teams Are In Ohio:

In the year 2000, the NHL introduced two new teams to the league: The Minnesota Wild and the Columbus Blue Jackets to bring the total team count to 30. The Columbus Blue Jackets are the sole NHL team located in the state of Ohio. They play out of the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

How Many NHL Teams Are in Ohio?

Ohio, the “Buckeye State” has a single National Hockey League team. Introduced in 2000, the Columbus Blue Jackets became the 30th NHL (alongside the Minnesota Wild) when they were introduced as an expansion team.

What Hockey Teams Are in Ohio?

While there is only one NHL team in Ohio, there are several hockey teams including several professional and some junior teams.


In 2000, Ohio introduced the Columbus Blue Jackets into the league for their inaugural season. They play out of the Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus. 


Ohio also has another professional ice hockey team: The Cleveland Monsters which joined the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2007 as the Lake Erie Monsters. In 2015, they moved to Cleveland to become the Cleveland Monsters as the affiliate minor league team (farm team) of the Columbus Blue Jackets.


The Buckeye State also has another professional hockey team—the Cincinnati Cyclones. They’re a pro hockey team within the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), one step down from the AHL.


There are several junior hockey teams located in Ohio:

  • Cincinnati Jr. Cyclones (USPHL Premier – Tier III Junior)
  • Toledo Cherokee (USPHL Premier – Tier III Junior)
  • Youngstown Phantoms (USHL – Tier I Junior)
  • Columbus Mavericks (USPHL Premier – Tier III Junior)
  • Wooster Oilers (USPHL Premier – Tier III Junior)

What Hockey Team Is in Cleveland?

Cleveland, Ohio has a professional hockey team (not a part of the NHL) called the Cleveland Monsters. 

This is a professional hockey team within the American Hockey League (AHL). The team was founded in 2007 as the Lake Erie Monsters. However, in 2015, they moved to Cleveland and became the minor league affiliate team for the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

In 2016, they won their first and only AHL championship (the Calder Cup) under coach Jared Bednar (who recently won the NHL’s Stanley Cup as coach of the Colorado Avalanche in 2022).

What AHL Hockey Teams Are in Ohio?

Ohio has a single AHL team—the Cleveland Monsters. They play in the North Division within the Eastern Conference of the American Hockey League. The Monsters play their home games at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in downtown Cleveland, Ohio.

Is there an NHL Team in Cleveland?

No, there isn’t an NHL team in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland does, however, have an American Hockey League (AHL) team called the Cleveland Monsters. The only NHL team in Ohio is the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Is there a Hockey Team in Cincinnati?

Yes, there is! Cincinnati actually has a professional hockey team. However, it’s not in the NHL or AHL. The Cincinnati Cyclones are an East Coast Hockey League team (ECHL) which is one level of professional hockey below the AHL. 

They’ve won two ECHL championships, back in 2010 and 2008.

Why Doesn’t Cincinnati Have an NHL Team?

Many people wonder why Cincinnati doesn’t have an NHL team. The city has a large hockey base and has made several attempts at bringing the National Hockey League to Cincinnati.

In 1979, Cincinnati had the biggest chance of bringing home an NHL team when four of the six remaining World Hockey Association (WHA) teams were absorbed into the NHL. 

The top two top cities that didn’t make the cut happened to be Birmingham, Alabama, and Cincinnati, Ohio. The main reason? Cincinnati had trouble attracting enough of a fanbase to make it a wise business decision for the NHL.

Is There an Ohio University Hockey Team

Yes, there is an Ohio University Hockey team—the Ohio Bobcats.

The Bobcats are the men’s ice hockey team that represents Ohio University. The men’s team competes within the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) within Division 1 and 2 levels. Ohio University actually has two teams that compete within the ACHA divisions 1 and 2.

Are you curious to know more about hockey in other states across the U.S.? Don’t forget to check out our other full guide: Hockey Teams in Every U.S. State: Complete NHL & College List (2023).






Recent Posts