Terrence Hugh Trafford
Born: February 14, 1994 (Toronto)
Died: March 3, 2014 (Saginaw Township, Michigan)
Terry Trafford, a fleet centreman for the Saginaw Spirit of the junior Ontario Hockey League, went missing after being seen driving from his team’s arena on March 3. Police found his body eight days later in a green 1995 GMC Sierra parked in a Walmart lot in Saginaw Township.
Trafford, who had been born in Toronto on Valentine’s Day in 1994, was 20.
Tafford had been disciplined by the Spirit for a violation of team rules and was sent home. He then went missing. He was last seen at the Dow Event Center, the Spirit’s home arena.
Spirit president Craig Goslin said Trafford had not been permanently cut from the team, but was expected “to change his behaviour and make some adjustments.” The Toronto Sun reported he had been caught smoking marijuana while the team was in Ontario for a game at Owen Sound.
The Spirit drafted Trafford in the third round (No. 42 overall) of the 2010 OHL priority selection draft. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound centre was in his fourth season with the Michigan-based team. In 54 games this season, he scored eight goals and had 24 assists.
A desperate search to find the missing player, who was reported to police as voluntarily missing, included a Twitter campaign called #prayforterry.
Trafford was a successful boxer as a boy, winning regional titles. He played his midget hockey with the Toronto Dixie Beehives and the Mississaugua Midget Reps.
After Trafford’s body was found, the Spirit cancelled an upcoming game against Sault Ste. Marie. In a sad twist, the game’s tickets include a photographic portrait of Trafford.
He leaves his parents, Roy and Beverly, two brothers, and two sisters.