After finishing the regular season with Leksands IF in the SDHL, The Toronto Six announced on Monday morning the signing of Canadian forward Emma Woods. This was first reported by Justin Levine of ThePuckAuthority.com.
Woods, who is a native of Burford, joins the Toronto Six in the NWHL after spending last season with centreman Brooke Boquist with Leksands IF in the SDHL. Prior to competing overseas, Emma Woods played with the KRS Vanke Rays in Shenzhen, China in the CWHL.
During the two seasons she spent there, she was coached by team president Digit Murphy who assumed the role back in 2017. Woods, 24-years-old, is a veteran member of the Quinnipiac Bobcats where she was named in her senior season as captain after playing as assistant for the school the year prior.
Woods joins the NWHL after having been drafted back in 2016 when she was selected by the Buffalo Beauts in the draft’s fourth round, 14th overall. Her signing follows that of Breanne Wilson-Bennett who agreed to terms with the Six last Monday. Woods becomes the third of three to be unveiled by Toronto for the upcoming season.
During her short tenure in Sweden, Woods played against Samantha Ridgewell, Toronto’s backup goaltender, in the SDHL. Having played alongside Brooke Boquist, the Thunder Bay native led Leksands in goals, racking up 14 along with 15 assists. As a result, the left-handed shooter was signed by Toronto back on May 13th.
As for the incoming forward, Woods was just four back of Boquist with 10 goals scored through 35 games. She also totalled 19 assists in her first pro season on international ice. Having scored 29 points, Woods tied for second with Brooke Boquist on Leksands.
Returning back home to play hockey, Woods said of the chance to join the league’s new expansion team, “It has been seven years since I’ve played back at home in front of friends and family, and the Toronto Six and the NWHL have given me the opportunity to do that for the first time in my professional career. At the Six, we have incredible ownership and management, and a group of players that are prepared to bring everything to the city of Toronto, the fans, the league, and the future of women’s hockey. I am thrilled to have signed with the Six for their inaugural season, and I can’t wait to see everyone on the ice!”
Starting her pro days with the Vanke Rays, Woods compiled 17 goals and 18 assists for 35 points. While adding on 38 penalty minutes, she amassed these numbers over 56 games. Before Woods embarked on this journey, the forward was a leader at Quinnipiac, guiding the Bobcats alongside Cyndey Roesler. An assistant while in her third season, that’s when she found herself drafted by the Buffalo Beauts to kickstart her next chapter.
However, given Woods was still in school, she opted to finish before going professional. Not only with academics, but closing her tenure with the Bobcats hockey program. Speaking of which, it’s where she impressed in her debut as a junior. Reflecting upon her first season, Woods saw her best season offensively as she scored 11 goals and 23 assists for 34 points through 38 games played.
It wasn’t just her numbers that really stood out, but the accolades she achieved as a result of them. she was named by the Bobcats hockey program to the Third Team All-ECAC. That’s what saw her through to captain in the post she secured at the school as a senior. Looking at her final statistics, Woods scored 47 goals and 59 assists for 106 points. While adding on 56 penalty minutes, she amassed these numbers in 147 games.
With Woods joining the league’s new expansion team, she becomes Toronto’s 14th player to sign. If that simply wasn’t enough, she’s also the fifth Quinnipiac Bobcats alumna. In doing so, she joins Sarah-Eve Coutu Godbout, Shiann Darkangelo, Emma Greco and Kelly Babstock. With abilities as a defender as well, Woods joins a group that consists of Kristen Barbara, Taylor Woods and Emma Greco.
As per the official press release, thirteen of the 14 players on the Toronto Six roster were born and raised in Canada. Additionally, seven of those 14 are previous members of the CWHL. With Woods and Boquist reuniting in Toronto, expect, given their sense of chemistry, that they become the shutdown pair on North American ice. She could also take on a leadership role when the season kicks off in mid-November in Toronto.
As their roster starts coming together, GM Mandy Cronin said of what Woods is capable of, “Like all of our players on the Toronto Six, Emma Woods is a natural leader and a major talent. She brings positive energy to the ice and the dressing room, and takes pride in being a great teammate. Her versatility as someone who is strong as a forward and a defender is a significant a bonus as well. Emma can jump into any situation and help the Six be successful.”