Toronto is about to receive the gift of a new hockey star representing the city. However, that player will not be competing for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are normally the host for star players. It has been that way for over a century. The city has seen legends like Tim Horton, Dave Keon, Harry Cameron, Mats Sundin, Auston Matthews, and so many more. Years from now, it’s possible this new arrival to Toronto may also be remembered as a legend.
Jocelyne Larocque isn’t a household name. . . yet.
That can change very soon when the puck drops for the inaugural game of the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL).Larocque is one of the centerpieces of the team.
Newest Hockey Star Won’t be Part of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Larocque is a 35-year-old defender who has been playing the game at a high level for many years. She has been a decorated champion at every level of the game.
According to Elite Prospect, Larocque won her first title 20 years ago in the WWHL. She was a three-peat champion in that league. One year later, the winning ways continued, this time in the NCAA as a rookie with the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Larocque won two titles in her four years in university. She was even named the Defensive Player of the Year in 2011.
Success followed Larocque to international ice. She’s captured a bronze, five silver, and three gold Wold Championship medals. The 2022 Top-3 World Championship Player has also won a silver and two gold Olympic medals. She has been the assistant captain for Canada’s national team since 2018.
There is no doubt that Larocque is a star and one of the best players in the newly formed PWHL. She was the yet-to-be-named Toronto team’s first pick and the second-overall selection in the 2023 Entry Draft.
Toronto was so excited to acquire Larocque that they signed her to a three-year guaranteed deal. Barring a trade, this means that Toronto should have the best defender in the league for the first three years of their existence.
This isn’t Larocque’s first foray into professional hockey. She played in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) before and after it began paying its players. Of course, she won a championship there too (in 2018).
Last season, along with her international play for Canada, Larocque suited up for Team Adidas in the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA). She played in 20 contests where she recorded two assists.
For all of the vast experience that Larocque has accrued, there is one area where she lacks. That would be in professional playoff play. She racked up just nine games in the Western Women’s Hockey League (WWHL) and eight post season contests in the CWHL. Toronto is hoping to help give their star player more experience.
The PWHL is preparing for its first games. The league starts up in January of 2024.