On Tuesday, June 29th, Casey Traill was chosen in the fifth round (25th overall) during the 2021 NWHL Draft. That selection made some headlines, as Traill was not only the first England native to hear her name called, but also became the first product of Castleton University to make it to the National Women’s Hockey League. “I didn’t really know until my name was called at the draft,” the defender said. “I had spoken with them before, but nothing was official until the draft.”
The Traill To The NWHL
Over her 11-year playing career, the Great Britain native has competed in three different countries, as she’s played in Canada, back home in England and the United States. “It’s been great,” Traill said. “I definitely learned a lot of different styles of hockey and I’m ready for whatever they throw at me.”
As we always say, we need to grow the game, and when I asked her what this opportunity meant for girls hockey in the United Kingdom, Traill said, “Yeah, definitely a lot of people go through North America to get to the NWHL and I hope to see more do it now that I’ve shown it can be done.”
Traill played her collegiate hockey career with the Castleton Spartans, where she took the ice in 93 games, amassing 33 points on 13 goals and 20 assists. Nicolle Trivino, who played alongside Traill for three years and was the assistant coach this past season at Castleton, harped on the fact that Casey just kept on getting better throughout her Division I hockey tenure. Trivino also mentioned that she knew Traill could make the NWHL and called the moment she got drafted “a proud mom” moment.
Spartans Finally On The Map
Traill getting drafted to the pros is huge for the women’s hockey program at Castleton, as Tim McAuliffe, Head Coach of the Spartans, said, “This absolutely helps put Castleton on the map.” The reason the recognition has taken so long is because Castleton is a small school based in Southern Vermont and they tend to get overlooked by the bigger institutes in the area such as Middlebury College and the University of Vermont.
When speaking with Trivino, she suggested that Castleton defeating Norwich this year was another huge factor to getting the school on the map moving forward. It was only the second victory in the program’s history over the Norwich Cadets. When asked if there are other players who could soon make their mark in the NWHL, both McAuliffe and Trivino didn’t hesitate and were quick to say yes. Only time will tell if we see an army of Spartans join the league in the near future.