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Toronto gets NWHL expansion franchise

2016 Isobel Cup - Game 2

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 12: A general view of the Isobel Cup, the championship trophy of the National Women’s Hockey League, prior to Game 2 of the league’s inaugural championship series between the Boston Pride and the Bufalo Beauts at the New Jersey Devils hockey House on March 12, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images for NWHL)

NHLI via Getty Images

The NWHL is heading to Canada.

On Wednesday morning, the league announced that they were expanding to Toronto for the 2020-21 season.

Toronto is the sixth team in the NWHL. Boston, Minnesota, Metropolitan (Monmouth Junction, New Jersey), Buffalo and Connecticut are the other squads.

“We aspire to build a perennial Isobel Cup contender for Toronto,” said owner Johanna Neilson Boynton. “This will be an organization with strong fan, community and corporate support, outstanding coaching, training, and player development, and a club dedicated to promoting hockey as a game for everyone. Although this pandemic is challenging everyone in profound ways today, and we are very mindful of that, our outlook for women’s sports remains positive. We are launching this team now because we believe in the future.

“The advancement of a professional women’s hockey league for Canada and the U.S., one that will stand and flourish on its own, is a passion for me and everyone associated with the NWHL. We are driven every day to increase the opportunities available to women’s hockey players of all ages, and that’s what this expansion is all about. There is so much potential, and Toronto is the logical next step.”

The team doesn’t have a name yet, but they’ve already signed five players. They are: Kristen Barbara, Elaine Chuli, Shiann Darkangelo, Emma Greco and Taylor Woods.


Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.