‘Huge honour’: Brentwood Bay hockey star signs first pro contract

'Huge honour': Brentwood Bay hockey star signs first pro contract

Micah Zandee-Hart always dreamed of playing for Team Canada, but playing pro was never on her radar.

“That’s because it didn’t exist,” says the 26-year-old blueliner from her Calgary home.

The dream she never had came true Saturday when the New York franchise of the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) signed her to a three-year contract.

“To be one of the first players signed into the league onto a team in New York. To be one of the first three it’s obviously a huge honour.”

The yet-unnamed franchise signed Zandee-Hart along with American forwards Alex Carpenter and Abby Roque. The PWHL will begin play in January and is comprised of six teams: New York, Boston, Minnesota, Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa.

Zandee-Hart was the first played ever named to the Canadian Women’s Senior National Team and won Olympic gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2022. She became the first Canadian to sign a contract with a US-based PWHL team.

The team will be based somewhere in the Metropolitan New York area, but the exact location hasn’t been announced.

She played five seasons of NCAA hockey at Cornell University in Ithaca. As for potentially playing under the bright lights of Broadway?

“I’m not a huge city kid. I’m from Brentwood Bay,” she laughs. “I haven’t spent much time living in a big city. If it was outside the city that would be awesome.”

The news of her signing resonates in rinks on Vancouver Island. Raeya Mackie is the lone female player on the Pacific Coast Hockey Academy U-15 Prep team.

“To go play in that pro league, that would be unreal,” says the stay-at-home defender. “She’s been a great role model to me.”

Zandee-Hart can’t wait to get to work.

“It’s great to be able to call hockey my job because I don’t really think it’s a job,” she laughs.

“To be able to give young girls someone to root for and look up to, that’s the whole reason we did this.”

Jordan CunninghamJordan Cunningham

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