Steve Downie was Windsor’s first round pick in the 2003 OHL draft and he had a successful rookie season with them, picking up 16 points in 48 games while tacking on 90 minutes in penalties. He played for Team Ontario at the U-17 championships and won a gold medal. Downie had a great second season with the Spitfires increasing his totals to 21 goals and 52 assists for 73 points in 61 games and had 179 penalty minutes as well.
Downie was the main catalyst in helping the Spitfires come back from being down three games to none in the first round of the playoffs against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and led them to win four in a row. Windsor would then go on to be swept by London and although Downie played a very physical role in the two games on home ice, but was virtually invisible in London. His performance against the Greyhounds was also better while the series venue was in Windsor.
2005-06: Downie made major headlines earlier this season, when he was suspended for five games by the Windsor Spitfires after a pair of altercations with teammate Akim Aliu during practice. Downie essentially refused to accept the penalty and sat on the sidelines for two months before eventually being traded to the Peterborough Petes.
To say he has been a major success with his new team would be a drastic understatement, as he has helped make the Petes one of the top contenders for the Memorial Cup, tallying 50 points (16 goals, 34 assists) and 109 PIMs in 35 games with the team.
His overall performance with the Petes aside, Downie’s main coming out party this year was at the WJC tournament, where he was a force en route to helping Canada capture its second straight gold medal. The Scarborough, ON native notched six points (2 goals, 4 assists) in six games, and saw his stock continue to skyrocket as he was named to the All-Tournament team.
2006-07: Downie turned in another dominating performance during his fourth and final season of play at the major junior level. He finished the regular season ranked 14th in the OHL with 92 points (35 goals, 57 assists) and 124 PIMs, despite playing in just 42 contests, due to suspensions and time away with the Canadian national junior team.
After opening beginning the campaign with the Peterborough Petes (for whom he was named captain), Downie was the centerpiece of a midseason trade that saw him land with the Kitchener Rangers, a perennial OHL title contender. He responded by averaging nearly two points per game down the stretch, notching 33 points (12 goals, 21 assists) in 17 contests with his new team.
Downie was a catalyst in helping to lead Canada to another gold medal at the World Junior Championships (his second). He played a solid two-way game and exhibited great leadership abilities, while also tallying five points (one goal, four assists) and 16 PIMs in six total games.
2007-08: Downie was still a Philadelphia prospect during the 2007-08 season, where he played in 32 games with the Flyers (6g+6a) and another 21 games with the Philadelphia Phantoms (AHL). His stint with the Phantoms wasn’t particularly high scoring, although 17 points (5g+12a) in 21 games isn’t by any means bad; his real number came in the PIM category, where he registered minutes in the box. His role as a pest is apparent, and he brings this to Tampa.
Downie has good skills and sees the ice well. Heart and soul player, strong on his skates, a very determined character player.
A scout said in his draft year, "One of the grittiest, nastiest players in the league. He’s a bit of a rat, he’ll do anything to win, he competes game in and game out and he has talent. And he’s skilled. He’s not a tall guy but there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s going to overcome his lack of size."
Downie was dealt by the Colorado Avalanche to the Philadelphia Flyers, the team that originally drafted him, in the deal that sent Max Talbot to the Avalanche.