After finishing the regular season with the Syracuse Orange of the NCAA, the Toronto Six announced on Thursday morning the signing of Canadian defensemen Lindsay Eastwood.
Eastwood, 23-years-old, is a veteran member of the Syracuse Orange where in her last season, she was first in assists (20) while also sharing the team lead in points (28). She did so through 36 games played where she racked up eight goals along with 26 penalty minutes.
As if that wasn’t enough to add to her resume for her senior season, the Canadian was also awarded the prestigious Doris R. Soladay Award. As per the official press release, this award is given out yearly to one female and one male student-athlete at Syracuse for community involvement and “a history of positively influencing their peers personally, academically, and athletically.”
Should that not speak volumes enough, the left-handed shooter was recognized by CHA as a First Team All-Star. Given her tremendous abilities, Eastwood also guided the Orange in 2019 to the first CHA Tournament title. While the win marked a number of firsts, it was also the first in program history, this leaving her mark in the CHA record books.
Standing at the top of the conference, Eastwood was widely acknowledged, thus receiving an invite to the league’s All-Tournament Team. Agreeing to a contract on Thursday, Eastwood makes the trip home to Canada and becomes the 14th player to sign on with the expansion team.
Discussing her delight to go pro with the league’s sixth team on home ice in Toronto, Eastwood said in a statement on Thursday, “I am extremely honoured and excited to sign with the Toronto Six, as being a professional hockey player has been my dream since I was a little girl. As a Canadian, getting to be a part of the first Canadian team in the NWHL is very special, especially since we are one of the only professional women’s sports teams in the country. I can’t wait to hit the ice with my new teammates and compete for the Isobel Cup.”
Completing her career with the Orange, Eastwood leaves the Syracuse hockey program with 23 goals through 139 games played. Putting these numbers together since having debuted back in 2016, Eastwood added 52 helpers which made for a total of 75 points. With credit to her talents offensively, Eastwood is now bestowed as the all-time leading goal scorer among defenders.
Taking a walk down memory lane, Eastwood, back in 2018, was named recipient of the Syracuse 8 Courage Award. As cited by Syracuse Athletics, this accolade is presented to a student-athlete who has “overcome challenges and demonstrated bravery in the face of adversity.” It’s because of this that the native of Kanata did not take part in her first college season.
Before she took the ice with the Orange, Eastwood was diagnosed with blood clots, this keeping her sidelined as an added precaution. She visited four different doctors before the autoimmune disease was finally located. After taking time off to manage it, Eastwood returned to play four full seasons. In her third, she was assistant captain while given the “C” for her last two seasons.
Before Eastwood committed to Syracuse, Eastwood represented Team Canada in 2014 at the U-18 World Championships. Not only that, but growing up outside of Ottawa, she also competed with the Nepean Wildcats. This is where her captaincy started, a role she’s since grown and is all too familiar with.
Having helped her grow as a leader, head coach Paul Flanagan said, “Lindsay leaves Syracuse as one of its all-time most accomplished players. She is an exceptional leader who made her presence known at both ends of the ice. She not only was one of the CHA’s best defenders, but a prolific scorer from the blue line. We wish Lindsay and the Toronto Six all the best this season.”
Now as a graduate of Syracuse, Eastwood earned her master’s in May from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Eastwood leaves the state of New York with a multimedia degree in television, radio and film.
Speaking of the team’s newest signing, GM Mandy Cronin said of Eastwood’s abilities, “Lindsay will be an impact player for the Six right away. She’s a proven leader with great size and a strong shot from the point. We can’t wait to see her in a Toronto Six jersey this season.”