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2022-23 Season Preview: The Toronto Six

After an offseason of additions and one very notable subtraction, The Toronto Six are poised to compete

Toronto Six Vs. Boston Pride At Warrior Ice Arena Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The 2022-23 Toronto Six aren’t all that different from the 2021-22 Toronto Six. Sure, there’s one pretty big name missing from the roster, but even without their leading scorer, they look poised for a strong regular season.

2021-22 Season

The Toronto Six’s 2022-23 season is a bit of an enigma. They had a dominant regular season, going 16-3-1. They were impossible to beat on home ice, but showed serious flaws on the road. When the time came to step it up in the playoffs, Boston had their number and sent them home in the semi-final, beating them by a score of 5-1.

Biggest Additions

Tereza Vanišová, Lexi Templeman, Alexis Woloschuk

The Toronto Six made a ton of smart signings this offseason, so this list is nowhere near extensive. The headline signing was Brittany Howard, who is expected to make a major impact in Toronto, but here are three other names to keep a close eye on.

Tereza Vanišová was drafted 12th overall by the Boston Pride in 2020. She had two assists in Lake Placid and stepped it up with a goal and two more assists once the playoffs began. She spent 2021-22 playing for Leksands in the SDHL, finishing the regular season with 24 points (15G, 9A) in 31 games. She joined the Pride for their playoffs and had a goal against Connecticut and an assist on the goal that sent Toronto back home. If all that wasn’t enough Vanišová also played for Czechia at the Olympics and Worlds, racking up six points (2G, 4A) in five games at The Olympics.

Lexi Templeman is coming to Toronto right out of college. After four seasons with Robert Morris University, Templeman transferred to Ohio State where she won a national championship. Her offensive production and time-on-ice dropped as she shared the ice with bona fide superstars in a more competitive division. She was a bottom-six player at Ohio State, and that’s likely where she’ll end up on the depth chart in Toronto as well. She was strong on special teams in college

It’s no secret that, at times, Toronto’s defense failed them. The addition of Alexis Woloschuk (As well as Kati Tabin and Dominika Laskova) should help them out in that department. Woloschuk’s style of play has been described as stay-at-home defense, and that’s something that the Six could stand to have a little bit more of. She comes to the Six after spending three seasons with the PWHPA in Toronto. Before that, she played for the Markham Thunder in the CWHL after graduating from Boston University in 2016. She’s never been a big points-getter, but that’s not what the Six need from her anyway.

Biggest Losses

Mikyla Grant-Mentis, Stephanie Sucharda, Maegen Beres

Toronto has done a pretty good job of hanging onto its core, with one notable exception.

Mikyla Grant-Mentis became the highest (on-record) paid player in women’s hockey history when she signed a one-year $80,000 deal with the Buffalo Beauts, rather than re-signing with the Toronto Six. It’s not an overstatement to say that Grant-Mentis is an irreplaceable, generationally talented hockey player. She led the Six in points in 2021-22. Simply put, losing Mikyla Grant-Mentis means that Toronto’s going to have to find 30 extra points lying around somewhere else.

Sucharda and Beres were contributors deeper in the lineup, but both of them seemed to have more to give. Beres in particular, who the Six picked up in the first round of last year’s draft, had seven points in 10 games. Losing a little bit of depth is something that Toronto can afford to do, considering how much they picked up in the offseason

Full Roster

F: Emma Woods, Brooke Boquist, Taylor Woods, Courtney Gardiner, Michela Cava, Shiann Darkangelo, Nadine Edney, Dominika Lásková, Leah Lum, Lexi Templeman, Tereza Vanisova, Breanne Wilson-Bennet, Brittany Howard

D: Taylor Davison, Lindsay Eastwood, Emma Greco, Kati Tabin, Saroya Tinker, Alexis Woloschuk.

G: Elaine Chuli, Carly Jackson

  • Known cap spent: $182, 917 (E. Woods, Boquist, T. Woods, Jackson, Davison, Gardiner )
  • Roster: 21/25
  • Coaches: Geraldine Heaney (HC), Jessica Turi (AC), Kevin Greco (AC)
  • GM: Angela James
  • President: Sami-Jo Small

Greatest Strength

Toronto’s strength this year is going to be scoring, it pretty much always has been. The pieces that they’ve added in the offseason are only going to add to their fun, high-flying offensive style.

It’s not a stretch to say that they’ll continue to enjoy a home-ice advantage. Not only do they have good facilities and an energetic crowd most weekends, but the players also seem way more relaxed and confident at home. Part of that can definitely be chalked up to the fact that the Six play on the bigger, Olympic sized ice, while other PHF teams play on smaller, NHL sized ice.

Potential Weakness

There are a couple of areas that could trip the Six up this season. They’re a really good team on paper, but they’ve relied too heavily on goaltending in the past. All of their worst losses have come when goaltending hasn’t been able to bail them out. Their tandem of Chuli and Jackson is one of the stronger ones in the PHF, but they have to be able to play in such a way that if either goaltender has an off day, that they’ll be alright. As of right now, they haven’t shown that ability.

Prediction

The Toronto Six are going to be Isobel Cup contenders this year for sure. They might even be the favourites going into the playoffs.

The Six are a team that has the potential to win a championship, and you could argue that they’ve always had that potential, but they’ve never been able to convert on it. They’ve learned their lessons from last season though, and with a new-look lineup and new coaches behind the bench, they’re going to go further than they have before… maybe even all the way.