After finishing the regular season with KMH Budapest of the EWHL, the Toronto Six announced on Monday morning the signing of defensemen Sarah Steele.
Steele, from Prince Edward Island, joins the Toronto Six in the NWHL after spending last season overseas in Hungary, her second year spent in the EWHL. Prior to competing in Europe, Steele played Division I hockey with the Boston Terriers of the NCAA. She did so through a span of four years before making the jump to pro in Wien, Austria.
Speaking of her days in Hockey East, the Stratford native racked up five goals and 32 assists for 37 points. She did so through 151 games before signing her contract with EHV Sabres Wien. An alumna of the women’s hockey program, Steele announced her commitment to the Boston Terriers back in 2013.
Standing at 5’6, the defender’s abilities stood out so much that she found herself named to the Hockey East All-Academic Team. She was recognized in back-to-back years in 2016 and 2017.
As if that wasn’t enough, Steele, a left-handed shooter, never missed a game with the Boston Terriers. As such, she will look to continue that when the Toronto Six make their debut in November. Now a veteran of the hockey club, Steele, who resides in the maritimes, makes the trip home to Canada to contend on home soil.
Her signing follows that of Emma Woods who agreed to terms back on June 29th. Steele becomes the fourth defensemen unveiled by Toronto for the upcoming season. Reflecting on her three-year tenure between KMH Budapest, Switzerland and Austria, Steele scored 14 goals and 25 assists in 52 games played. Much like three of her teammates, Toronto’s newest addition played hockey internationally, but rather than doing so in Sweden, she played in two leagues outside the SDHL.
Returning back home to play hockey, Steele said of the chance to join the league’s new expansion team, “Having spent most of my career in the States and overseas, it means the world to me to be able to play at the professional level on home soil. I’m thrilled to be joining the players, staff and supporters of the NWHL in their contributions to the growth of women’s hockey.”
To be quite exact, it’s been seven years since she competed in Canada. The last time was in 2013 where she secured a gold medal at the U-18 World Championship. While playing for her country was a bonus, Steele also took to the ice with the Mississauga Chiefs of the PWHL. There, she scored only six goals and seven assists in 50 games played.
In a statement from Brian Durocher, head coach of the Terriers, on Monday morning, he said of what fans can expect from Sarah Steele, “Sarah was a very solid blue liner who made an impact at Boston University each of her four years. I am confident that fans of the Toronto Six will recognize her strong skating ability and fast hands. I am certain that she will be an asset on the ice and more importantly throughout the community.”
Looking at last season’s statistics, Steele racked up four goals and 13 assists for 17 points. While adding on only four penalty minutes, she managed to do so in 18 games played. Behind a pair of teammates from Ontario, Steele ranked fifth in scoring on KMH Budapest with 17 points.
Prior to her lone season in Hungary, Steele also competed in the EWHL with EHV Sabres Vienna. This, however, was just prior to Steele taking a chance in the SWHL. There, she played with Neuchatel Hockey Academy where she helped guide her team to the Swiss Women’s Cup. She did so, racking up seven goals and six assists for 13 points.
Once her team advanced to the playoffs, Steele scored just one goal along with two assists for a total of three points. While adding on only six penalty minutes, Steele gave it her all in just five games played. With that all to be said, Steele, having since signed her contract, becomes the sixteenth member of the Toronto expansion team.
As she prepares to join the Toronto Six, the blue-liner is joined by Lindsay Eastwood, Emma Greco and Kristen Barbara. With season six fast approaching, the team unveiled Monday via Twitter that their newest signee will be sporting No. 6.
In a statement from Mandy Cronin, general manager of the Toronto Six, she said of the boost Steele brings to Toronto, “Sarah is a strong and experienced pro defender who also has the skills to create offence. We are confident that she’s going to be an impact player for the Toronto Six.”