Alumni Profile: David Ling
The Kingston Frontenacs were very happy to have had the chance to select David Ling in the 2nd round of the 1992 OHL Draft, a pick that would end up being a steal.
When he joined the Frontenacs for the 1992-93 season he was nearly a point per game player immediately. He ended up with 63 points in 64 games. That Frontenacs team would go to the third round of the playoffs where Ling would continue his scoring pace with 15 points in 16 games. His numbers increased the following season to 77 points in 61 games, but it was the 1994-95 season that Ling really exploded. In his last year in the OHL, David Ling scored 61 goals to lead the OHL and added 74 assists. His 135-point total placed him second in OHL scoring ahead of future NHL All-Stars Todd Bertuzzi and Jeff O’Neill and just 4 points behind Marc Savard, albeit in 4 less games. The outstanding season earned Ling multiple awards including the Red Tilson trophy as OHL player of the year and the Jim Mahon Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the highest scoring right winger in the OHL. He was also named CHL player of the year. The Frontenacs suffered a heartbreaking game 7 loss to the Belleville Bulls in the playoffs despite Ling putting up 15 points in seven games while playing through the pain of a broken thumb.
He was drafted by the Quebec Nordiques in the 7th round of the 1993 NHL entry draft. Ling would be traded twice before making his NHL debut. Quebec traded him to the Calgary Flames during the 1995 NHL draft. Ling made his professional debut for the Saint John Flames of the American Hockey League during the 1995-96 season. He was traded by the Flames in October of 1996 to the Montreal Canadiens.
David Ling was finally given the chance to play in the NHL with the Habs, but he only saw action in two games that year. The following season he suited up for one more game with Montreal, but never recorded a point for the Canadiens. Montreal traded Ling to the Chicago Blackhawks in 1998. He spent all of his time with the Blackhawks in the IHL, where he put up good numbers, but he was again traded, this time to the Dallas Stars.
In 2001 Ling signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets, the place where he would finally get a chance to play at the NHL level. Nearly 10 years after being drafted, he recorded his first NHL points earning 5 points in 35 games for the Blue Jackets in 2002-03. In total, he would play in 93 NHL games and record 8 points.
After his NHL career ended, David Ling continued to play in leagues throughout Europe and North America. In fact, David Ling played 12 games for the Brampton Beast in the ECHL during the 2017-18 season as a 43-year-old. He is the final active player that was property of the Quebec Nordiques franchise before they moved to Colorado and became the Avalanche.
David Ling had an exceptional junior career with the Frontenacs. He won multiple awards during one of the best individual seasons in team history. He also set a franchise record for penalty minutes during his rookie season. His playing style and toughness earned him a spot in every fans heart. For his efforts, his #17 was honoured and will hang in the rafters as long as hockey is being played in Kingston.