After finishing the regular season with Hvidovre IK in the EWHL, the Toronto Six announced on Monday morning the signing of forward Mackenzie MacNeil.
MacNeil, from Richmond Hill, joins the Toronto Six in the NWHL after spending last season overseas in Copenhagen, her first year spent in the EWHL. Prior to competing in Europe, MacNeil played professional hockey with the Toronto Furies in the CWHL. She did so through only one season before making the jump to pro in Denmark’s capital.
Speaking of her days in Toronto, the York Region native racked up two goals and two assists for a total of four points. She did so through 25 games before signing her contract with Hvidovre IK. An alumna of the CWHL, MacNeil was drafted by the Furies and signed soon after for the league’s last season.
Prior to that, MacNeil played four seasons in the NCAA with the University of Vermont. Standing at 5’8, the forward’s abilities stood out so much that she found herself named as Hockey East Player of the Week. This was in her senior year after scoring a hat trick to beat the Ryerson Rams. Helping lead the Catamounts to victory, MacNeil was recognized back in 2018.
As if that wasn’t enough, MacNeil, a right-handed shooter, started building her name with much credit to her offensive skills. As her statistics shot up, she became more established with a flare for the dramatics. As a player, she saw progress as well, being one who is strong and can fit well defensively. That’s what made her an asset in 140 games with the Catamounts hockey program.
As such, she will look to continue that when the Toronto Six make their debut in November. Speaking to greater lengths of her impact, in her junior season, she was part of history, helping lead the way to the Hockey East Semifinals. Not to mention for the Catamounts women’s team that it was only the second time in program history.
Her signing follows that of Sarah Steele who agreed to terms back on July 14th. MacNeil becomes the ninth forward unveiled by Toronto for the upcoming season. Reflecting on her one-year tenure in the EWHL with Hvidovre IK, MacNeil scored a single goal along with one assist in eight games played. Much like four of her teammates, Toronto’s newest addition played hockey internationally, but rather than doing so in Sweden, she played in one league outside the SDHL.
Returning to Toronto to play hockey, MacNeil said of the new opportunity, “Growing up playing the majority of my minor hockey career in the Toronto area, I’m thrilled to be joining the Toronto Six for their inaugural NWHL season. To me, playing for the Toronto Six is all about growing an incredible new program and giving back to one of the best hockey cities in the world that helped shape me into the person and athlete I am today.”
Speaking to her first impressions of the league’s newest team and her excitement to join them, MacNeil said of their their early successes, “The Six has made a large impact on the local community in a short few months. The organization as a whole from the management to my teammates – everything and everyone is first-class. I look forward to being part of a team of leaders and role models in the community both on and off the ice.”
In a statement from Jim Plumer, head coach of the Catamounts, on Monday morning, he said of the thrill to see Toronto land MacNeil, “It’s great to see Mackenzie continue her playing career with the Toronto Six. Her speed will surely be something that teammates and fans notice and Mack’s passion for the game is evident every time she’s on the ice. I am looking forward to seeing the impact she will make on the new NWHL franchise.”
Looking at her college statistics, MacNeil racked up 17 goals and 20 assists for 37 points. While adding on 66 penalty minutes, she managed to do so in 140 games played. Despite being far from home, she quickly fit in with a small bunch from Ontario. That included Alyssa Holmes and Melissa Black who is a native of Newmarket.
Prior to her term in Vermont, MacNeil also competed in the PWHL with the Toronto Aeros. This, however, was just prior to the Canadian committing to Division III hockey. During her two seasons with the Aeros, the forward racked up nine goals and 19 assists in 75 games. In her second year, she took a role of leadership, serving the hockey club as assistant captain.
Most recently, MacNeil saw time in the year’s second half with the PWHPA. There, she only skated in one showcase which took place in Toronto while playing for Team Spooner. The showcase, which was sponsored by Secret, was a six-game tournament in different parts of the city.
As she prepares to join the Toronto Six, the forward is joined by Taylor Woods, Mikyla Grant-Mentis, Kelly Babstock and Jenna McParland. Among the list as well includes Sarah-Eve Coutu-Godbout, Natalie Marcuzzi, Amy Curlew and Emma Woods. Not only that, but as MacNeil joins the Toronto Six, she reunites with a pair of former teammates. This includes backstop Elaine Chuli, winger Shiann Darkangelo and defensemen Emma Greco. With season six fast approaching, the team will have their newest signee sporting No. 9 in their inaugural season.
In a statement from Mandy Cronin, general manager of the Toronto Six, she said of MacNeil’s experience, “Mackenzie is a great athlete with standout speed. She has the ability to create offensive opportunities for her teammates with her relentless forechecking.” As for MacNeil herself, she said in a final train of thought via Instagram, “Happy to be home! Can’t wait to get things started with the Toronto Six.”