Jaycee Gebhard, who will forever have a place in history as the first draft pick of the NWHL’s Toronto franchise, has signed with Brynäs IF of the SDHL.
Gebhard’s decision to begin her post-collegiate hockey overseas is a big loss for both Toronto and the NWHL. For the past four years she has been one of the most productive and talented players in college hockey. Gebhard finished the 2019-20 season as the highest-scoring senior in NCAA DI hockey. In 36 games, she earned 20 goals and 43 assists to lead Robert Morris University in scoring for the second consecutive season.
The RMU alumna joins a Brynäs team led by Swiss superstar Lara Stalder that featured two former NWHL Czech stars in Denisa Křížová and Kateřina Mrázová. Křížová re-signed with the team last month. Brynäs finished the 2019-20 SDHL season third in the regular season standings with a record of 21-8-4-3. They were eliminated in the semifinal by perennial powerhouse Luleå Hockey/MSSK.
“I looked around a bit and Brynäs had a good season last year and has some very good players in the team, so I look forward to playing with them and am happy to have that opportunity,” Gebhard said in the team’s release. “I have some friends who have played in Sweden and they just said good things about it and about the league, so in the end it was a pretty easy decision.”
At the moment, Gebhard is the only North American on Brynäs’ roster for the 2020-21 season. She was the sixth overall pick of the 2020 NWHL Draft. Toronto currently has eight players under contract for the 2020-21 SDHL season, including Brooke Boquist who played in the SDHL last season with Leksand.