The 1977-78 OMJHL season was the fourth season of the Ontario Major Junior Hockey League (OMJHL). The Fincups franchise moved back from St. Catharines to Hamilton after a temporary year away from the city due to lack of a suitable arena. The league featured a wealth of scoring talent during the season, with two players recording the league's highest single season point totals. Third season veteran Bobby Smith, edged 17-year-old rookie Wayne Gretzky for the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy, scoring 192 points. Twelve teams each played 68 games. The Peterborough Petes won the J. Ross Robertson Cup, defeating the Hamilton Fincups.
Hosting duties for the Memorial Cup rotated among the three constituent leagues of the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League CMJHL), since its founding in 1975. OMJHL commissioner Tubby Schmalz announced that two Northern Ontario cities were chosen by the OMJHL to co-host the 1978 Memorial Cup in Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie.
In February 1978, Iona Campagnolo, the Minister of State of Fitness and Amateur Sport released a report which claimed that junior hockey functioned in the best interests of professional hockey instead of the players. Schmalz said that the CMJHL would welcome a study into its player development programs, if given a say on selecting the inquiry members. He stated an inquiry would reveal that the CMJHL was doing its best for the welfare of the players. He highlighted its academic standards, and stated that the OMJHL fined players who missed classes, suspended players who did not keep up with the workload.
The CMJHL expressed frustration with the 1978 WHA Amateur Draft being held during the junior season and four months earlier than the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft. The league was concerned that its players would be pursued for professional contracts while playing junior hockey, despite the names of drafted players not being released. The league considered having the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association use its International Ice Hockey Federation membership as leverage to block World Hockey Association (WHA) exhibition games against international teams and force the WHA to negotiate. In May 1978, Schmalz stated that the continued signing of junior-aged players by the WHA would mean forfeiture of a $150,000 bond paid as a promise not to sign players before November.
|x-Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds||68||26||32||10||62||330||346|
|Niagara Falls Flyers||68||17||41||10||44||261||340|
|Bobby Smith||Ottawa 67's||61||69||123||192||44|
|Wayne Gretzky||Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds||64||70||112||182||14|
|Dino Ciccarelli||London Knights||68||72||70||142||49|
|Keith Acton||Peterborough Petes||68||42||86||128||52|
|Jim Fox||Ottawa 67's||59||44||83||127||12|
|Gerry Leroux||Windsor Spitfires||68||57||66||123||85|
|Steve Marengere||Ottawa 67's||65||25||93||118||73|
|Dan Lucas||Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds||61||50||67||117||90|
|Jim MacRae||London Knights||68||50||62||112||58|
|Don Maloney||Kitchener Rangers||62||30||74||104||143|
|J. Ross Robertson Cup:||Peterborough Petes|
|Hamilton Spectator Trophy:||Ottawa 67's|
|Leyden Trophy:||Ottawa 67's|
|Emms Trophy:||London Knights|
|Red Tilson Trophy:||Bobby Smith, Ottawa 67's|
|Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy:||Bobby Smith, Ottawa 67's|
|Matt Leyden Trophy:||Bill White, Oshawa Generals|
|Jim Mahon Memorial Trophy:||Dino Ciccarelli, London Knights|
|Max Kaminsky Trophy:||Brad Marsh, London Knights and Rob Ramage, London Knights|
|Dave Pinkney Trophy:||Al Jensen, Hamilton Fincups|
|Emms Family Award:||Wayne Gretzky, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds|
|F.W. 'Dinty' Moore Trophy:||Ken Ellacott, Peterborough Petes|
|William Hanley Trophy:||Wayne Gretzky, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds|