Canadian Olympic forwards Sarah Nurse, Blayre Turnbull, and defender Renata Fast are reported to be the first three players signed by Toronto's brand new PWHL team, according to a report from Jeff Marek.
Sarah Nurse hails from Hamilton and is one of the best left wingers in the sport. She scored five goals and 18 points in seven games at the most recent Olympics, where Canada won gold, as well as eight points in seven games at the most recent Women's World Championships in Brampton where Canada lost in the finals to the US. Also, as one of the biggest personalities in the sport, Nurse has been a star at the Men's NHL All-Star Game and graced the cover of NHL 23.
Blayre Turnbull is from Stellarton, Nova Scotia, and centered Nurse's scoring line at the Women's World Championships and served as the alternate captain on the national team. Turnbull and Nurse will stick together in Toronto for at least this season. Turnbull is a heavy player who plays fast and hard as a strong two-way centre.
Renata Fast, from Burlington, has been Canada's top right defender for a long time and is a staple on the team's power play second unit and penalty kill, playing over 20 minutes a night on a very even defense group. Jocelyne Larocque is usually her defense partner, so we'll see who Toronto gets at the Draft on September 18th when they pick second overall in the 15-round draft.
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Marek also reported the first three signings for Montreal and New York. MPP goes to Montreal in not much of a surprise.
It's important to note that Ottawa and Montreal both have "their goalie" now, and presumably New York will sign one of their young superstars, too. Toronto picked three skaters as their first choices, so they'll have to make sure they get at least two goalies in the Draft. With Torontonian Emerance Maschmeyer going to Ottawa (where she lives with her wife, Geneviève Lacasse), we'll see who Toronto will be able to select, whether it's Kristen Campbell or a goalie from Europe or Japan.