January Commitments: 19 Players From Canadian Teams Commit to NCAA/USPORT Programs

January saw a number of high quality Canadian players sign commitments to USports schools as well as NCAA programs and three American players too. McGill University, St. Francis Xaiver, and MacEwan made the big splashes for USports programs and UVM and RMU pick up players from a very deep Philadelphia Jr. Flyers organization.

(F) Taylor Garcia (★★★3/4) – Commits to McGill University ‘23

USports and McGill University are adding a quality 3.75 Star to their rankings. Garcia, the Ontario native is having an excellent season so far with the Ottawa Lady Senators. The speedy right handed forward will look to make a quick impact for the Redbirds next season and help bring them higher in the rankings. 

NZ Scouts say: “Garcia’s first three steps generate acceleration and speed to pounce on loose pucks, get inside body position to separate the player from the puck, and force the play on the forecheck so the D makes mistakes.”

(D) Mackenzie Lothian (★★★1/2) – Commits to St. Francis Xavier ‘23

Lothian is a tall physical defender coming from the Mississauga Jr. Hurricanes program. St. Francis Xavier will look to her next season and step in and join an already quality defensive core in the AUS conference. No doubt she will continue to be a physical presence in the USport ranks.  

NZ Scouts say: “A physical defender, Lothian has great size and takes the body. She holds the offensive blue line well and is effective at working the play towards the net, carrying the puck deep with good protection when appropriate..”

(F) Kaitlin Teixeira (★★★1/2) – Commits to York University ’23

Teixeira is another quality forward that is taking the USports route. The Central York Panther will head down the road next season to Toronto and lace them up for the York University Lions. While her jersey colors will not change much, the current point per game player will exchange that Panther logo for a Lion’s head. 

NZ Scouts say: “Teixeira is a power forward who plays a physical game with an edge. Her speed and strength are evident on hard net drives for shots on goal. She has a quick hard shot and she battles for rebounds.”

(F) Bryn Prier (★★★1/4) – Commits to Quinnipiac University ‘24

One of only 3 NCAA commits this month, Prier will still have another season to raise her game before she joins the Bobcats. Currently the only American citizen on the Burlington Jr. Barracuda, hailing from Jupiter, Florida. Her current 42 points in 25 games for the ‘Cudas will not doubt raise her star level when NZ puts out the National Rankings, but make her a steal for Quinnipiac.  

NZ Scouts say: “She showcased good patience – to curl back on the half wall to create space, and find shooting lanes. The Florida native plays hard and fast. She works hard each and every shift.”

(F) Kalle Hastman (★★★1/4) – Commits to St. Francis Xavier ‘23

St. Francis Xavier snagging up another forward this month to add to their already stellar roster. Hastman will jump from the Fire next season to become an X-woman. Looking to be an impactful player from the hop, she will bring excellent skating and her playmaking touch to the AUS conference. 

NZ Scouts say: “Hastman’s first three strides are elite and makes it easy for her to beat her opponents wide or to get to rebounds first in the offensive zone. Her work ethic on the ice remains consistent throughout the game, she has a high compete level and uses her skill, aggression, and speed to compete.”

(D) Sophia Johnson (★★★) – Commits to University of Maine ‘23

Johnson is finishing out her final season as a Gilmour Academy Lancer and will continue her hockey career as a Maine Black Bear next season. The Black Bears pick up the USA Player Development Camp invitee to be a solid 4 year mainstay on the back end. Not only are they adding height with the 5’10” Alaska native to the defensive core, Johnson brings academic rigor to the squad with her 4.0 GPA. 

NZ Scouts say: “Johnson is a quick-reacting defender. She makes quick decisions and usually knows her next move ahead of time. She has a nice release and can put the puck in the back of the net. She is aggressive most of the time and when she decides to be it benefits her team. Johnson is not afraid to pinch and can add to the offense.”

(F) Leah Barnard (★★★) – Commits to University of Western Ontario ‘23

Barnard put up 36 points in 32 games last season for the Fraser Valley Rush. Next season the British Columbia player will bring that scoring touch across the country as she attempts to help boost the Mustangs in the OUA conference. 

NZ Scouts say: “Barnard has a good aggressive attack mode in her game, forcing errors in the neutral zone that lead to zone entries, drawing penalties, and forcing the D to make bad passes on the forecheck that she intercepts and fires on goal. She is a right shot that sets up on the off wing on the power play to crush a solid one-timer slapshot on net for chances. Barnard is a hardworking forward who contributes to both the offensive and defensive aspects of her game.”

(F) Eden Dusome (★★★) – Commits to Toronto Metropolitan University ‘23

The Barrie Shark forward will head just down the road next season and begin her college hockey career for Rams. The Ontario native will bring some grit to the young Toronto squad in 2023.  

NZ Scouts say: “Dusome backchecks hard and forces turnovers. She blocks shots, plays physical and battles hard in all situations. Dusome is a confident skater, who is able to make quick decisions and create space for herself in the neutral zone.”

(G) Jade Rivard-Coulombe – Commits to McGill University ‘23

(D) Mia Giles – Commits to McGill University ‘23

(D) Lainey Joyce – Commits to St. Francis Xaiver ‘23

(F) Te’a Pearce – Commits to St. Francis Xavier ‘23

(D) Bree MacPherson – Commits to St. Francis Xavier ‘23

(F) Letta Mattheos – Commits to MacEwan University ‘23

(F) Maria Ayre  – Commits to MacEwan University ‘23

(F) Jesse Jack – Commits to MacEwan University ‘23

(D) Tess Bakus – Commits to MacEwan University ‘23

(D) Hailey Maguire – Commits to Dartmouth ‘23

(F) Kaylee Lewis – Commits to University of Vermont ’23