John Wiitala
John  Wiitala


Lakeville, Minn.

Last College:
Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)

Height / Weight:
6-0 / 168



Academic Standouts Recognized

20 Buckeyes named Ohio State Scholar-Athletes


No. 6 Buckeyes Open B1G Quarterfinal Series with 6-2 Win over MSU

Ohio State takes 1-0 lead in best-of-three series


No. 6 Ohio State Drops 2-1 Game at No. 1 Notre Dame

Buckeye penalty kill 6-for-6 in the game


No. 6 Buckeyes Complete Sweep with 5-3 Win over No. 17 Michigan

Ohio State improves to 17-5-4 on the year, 10-5-1-0 in the Big Ten


No. 8 Buckeyes Wrap Up Sweep with 5-3 Win over Spartans

Ohio State is now 14-4-4 overall, extending winning streak to six


The Buck Attack is Back!

The Mighty Bucks - The Buck Attack is Back!


John Wiitala - Minnesota Home Series Preview

John Wiitala - Minnesota Home Series Preview


Buckeyes host Engineers in nonconference series

John Wiitala - RPI Preview


Adventures in White Water Rafting

Adventures in White Water Rafting


Wiitala UConn Preview

Wiitala UConn Preview


Frozen Four

For the first time since 1998, the Buckeyes make their way to the Frozen Four in search of their first national championship.


Ohio State Wins B1G Tournament Quarterfinal Series

The Buckeyes beat the Spartans in overtime to advance to the semifinals. (Photo credit Ric Kruszynski)


Ohio State Wins B1G Tournament Quarterfinal Game One, 6-2

Ohio State Wins B1G Tournament Quarterfinal Game One, 6-2


Buckeyes Shut Out Badgers

Ohio State posted a 4-0 win over Wisconsin on Senior Night


OSU vs UW - Senior Night

OSU vs UW - Senior Night

Ohio State Career

  • Three-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection
2017-18 (Junior Season)
  • Played in all 41 games, with 8-11-19 line; Point in 8 of last 16 games (2g, 6a, 8p)
  • +2 vs. Denver in NCAA Midwest Regional March 25; Part of line that shut down top line for Princeton and Denver
  • Assist in B1G Tournament semifinals vs. Michigan March 10
  • Goal and +2 in each Big Ten quarterfinal game vs. Michigan State March 2-3
  • Helper and +2 vs. Wisconsin Feb. 24
  • Assist in each game at Notre Dame Feb. 9-10, with two shot blocks in game one
  • Helper vs. Michigan Jan. 27 and vs. Michigan State Feb. 3
  • Assist in game one at Michgian State Jan. 5, with go-ahead goal in third period in game two Jan. 6
  • Goal vs. Niagara Dec. 30
  • Assist vs. Minnesota Dec. 9
  • Power play goal vs. Robert Morris Oct. 27 and at Michigan Nov. 24
  • Assist in both games vs. RPI Oct. 13-14 and at UMass Oct. 20
  • Scored in each game at Wisconsin Oct. 6-7 to open the season
  • Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-Big Ten honoree

Summer 2017

  • Attended Minnesota Wild development camp as a free agent invitee

2016-17 (Sophomore Season)

  • Played in all 39 games and had 10 goals, nine assists and 19 points 
  • Seven-game point streak Oct. 21-Nov. 11
  • Scored third period gamewinner at Michigan State Feb. 17 and had an assist in game two vs. the Spartans 
  • Two goals at Robert Morris Nov. 5, with a helper in game one vs. the Colonials Nov. 4 
  • First career two-assist game at Minnesota Dec. 3 and was +3 in the win 
  • Scored in each game at Niagara Oct. 28-29
  • Opened season with goal in both games of the Ice Breaker Tournament; tallied eventual gamewinner vs. Denver Oct. 7 and scored in third period of tie vs. Air Force Oct. 8 
  • Power play goal at Michigan Feb. 4, helping Buckeyes to comeback win
  • Scored on a breakaway at Penn State Jan. 21 and had three blocks in the game 
  • Empty net goal vs. Penn State Jan. 6 to seal win 
  • Assist in each game vs. Bowling Green Oct. 21-22 
  • Earned Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-Big Ten honors

2015-16 (Freshman Season)

  • Skated in 32 games (including last 23) and had 11 goals, seven assists and 18 points
  • Led squad with three gamewinning tallies, with all three coming in the third period
  • Goal in each game vs. Wisconsin Feb. 26-27; drew Ohio State within one (4-3) with third period goal in game one, an eventual 4-4 overtime tie, and scored gamewinner with 2:49 left in game two 
  • Third period gamewinner and an assist at Penn State Feb. 20
  • Scored gamewinning goal on the power play in the third period of 3-2 win over Boston College Dec. 28 in Florida tournament 
  • Goal, assist and two points vs. Cornell in tournament final
  • Tally and +2 mark vs. Michigan State in Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals, with goal coming 38 seconds into the game 
  • Scored on the power play late in the first period at Michigan March 4 to put Ohio State ahead in eventual 7-4 win 
  • Two points in series vs. Minnesota Feb. 12-13, with assist in game one and goal in game two
  • Power play goal and an assist for two points Jan. 15 vs. Michigan and had a helper at Michigan Jan. 17 
  • First career goal came Oct. 24 at Providence and also scored Oct. 31 vs. Mercyhurst
  • An Ohio State Scholar-Athlete

Prior to Ohio State

  • Skated three full years with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL 
  • Played in 60 games in 2014-15 and had 13 goals and 13 assists for 26 points
  • Skated in 56 games in 2013-14 and posted a 9-14-23 line for regular season championship squad; also played in 12 playoff contests as team lost in game five of the Clark Cup championship
  • 6-5-11 line in 51 games for the Black Hawks in 2012-13 and earned team’s Most Improved award
  • Played for Lakeville South High School, posting 23 points in 25 games, with eight goals and 15 assists, in 2011-12; squad reached state tournament semifinals 
  • Graduated from Waterloo West High School in 2013 
  • Also played lacrosse and golf

Off the Ice

  • Son of Martin and Jeannine and has a sister, Emily 
  • Father played at Wisconsin (1983-86), serving as captain as a senior, was drafted by the North Stars in the fifth round of the 1982 NHL Draft and played professionally in Vienna, Austria 
  • Finance major 
  • Enjoys fishing, golfing and swimming
  • Attracted to Ohio State because of the combination of a great education and a great hockey program
  • Father put him on skates when he was 2 or 3 and has been playing ever since
  • Favorite player is Pavel Datsyuk because of his unbelievable play with the puck and because he is one of the most exciting players in the world to watch
  • Has traveled extensively, including to Tanzania, Africa, Dominican Republic, Russia and Mexico
  • Pick one: Movie - Talladega Nights; Television show - Blacklist; Music - Drake, Coldplay; Professional team - Minnesota Wild; Homecooked meal - steak; Celebrity - Blake Lively; Vacation spot - Fort Myers, Fla.; Magazine - The Hockey News; Hockey Rink - Xcel Energy Center