When Kelly Babstock puts on the Toronto uniform next season, she will become part of National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) history.
In early May, Babstock, made it official by signing a contract to play next year with the expansion Toronto team which currently doesn’t yet have a team name.
“It’s a super exciting situation to be in, being a part of the inaugural Toronto NWHL team,” Babstock said. “It’s making history, and there’s nothing better than being a part of the history books, being a part of something bigger than yourself.”
Babstock who is from Mississauga, is a full status Native North American who has family roots in Wikwemikong Ontario.
This 27 -year-old already has her name written in the NWHL record books. Back on October 11, 2015, while playing for the Connecticut Whale, she became the first Canadian-born NWHL player to score in a 4-1 win against the New York Riveters.
In what has been an impressive career to date, this forward already has four seasons with the NWHL under her belt; starting in 2015/16, she had a standout rookie campaign with nine goals and 22 points with the Whale.
She would play two more seasons with the Whale, where she would go on to score 14 goals and 48 points in 31 games before joining the Buffalo Beauts where she had 10 points (four goals, six assists) during the 2018/19 campaign.
During this time, her talents didn’t go unrecognized as she was selected to compete in the 2017&2018 NWHL’s all-star game along with earning a spot on Team NWHL who played against Team USA in a tune-up game before the 2018 Olympics.
After spending last season with the Professional Women’s Hockey Player’s Association (PWHPA), Babstock is officially back in the NWHL.
“I missed having the hunger to win a championship— the Izzy Cup, and I embrace this opportunity Toronto has given me. It’s a dream come true to represent my hometown team. Once we get back to playing hockey, I’m giving everything I have to Toronto, the league, our game and the fans.”
Heading into next year when hopefully hockey starts again, Babstock will have some familiarity with her Toronto teammates as she will be playing with Shiann Darkangelo and Emma Greco, both her former teammates at one time with the Whale.
Overall, Babstock was all smiles about the opportunity to play at home and become part of NWHL history by representing the expansion Toronto team.