Morgan Stickney, a 19-year-old from Boxford, Massachusetts, has made history by becoming the second woman to be drafted into the Western Hockey League (WHL). Stickney was selected by the Tri-City Americans in the sixth round of the 2021 WHL Draft.
The WHL is one of three major junior ice hockey leagues in Canada and the United States, and is a pipeline for players to reach the National Hockey League (NHL). Stickney’s selection serves as a significant milestone for women in hockey, as the WHL is traditionally an all-male league.
Stickney, who has been playing hockey since age six, is a forward for the Boston Bolts U19 team. In addition to her ice hockey career, she is an accomplished swimmer and competed in the Paralympic Games in 2021. Stickney was born with a rare condition called compartment syndrome, which forced her to have her lower left leg amputated when she was 12 years old.
With her new achievement, Stickney joins elite company as only the second woman in WHL history to be drafted. The first woman to be drafted was Kelsey DiClaudio, who was selected by the Tri-City Americans in the seventh round of the 2018 WHL Draft.
Stickney’s story serves as an inspiration for young women in hockey who dream of achieving similar milestones. In a world where gender barriers still exist in sports, Stickney’s achievement shows that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible.
Tri-City Americans GM Bob Tory noted that Stickney’s selection was based purely on merit. “We drafted Morgan for the exact same reasons we drafted every other player. Talent, skill, and ability. She gets it done out there on the ice, and that’s all we care about,” he said.
Stickney’s prowess on the ice and her passion for the game are undeniable. With her selection as the second woman to be drafted into the WHL, she has proven that she belongs in the conversation with the best young hockey players in the world, regardless of gender.
As for Stickney, she is grateful for the opportunity and is determined to make the most of it. “It’s a huge honor to be drafted by the Tri-City Americans. It’s exciting to see that the game is evolving and that there’s a place for women in the WHL,” she said. “I can’t wait to get started and make the most of this opportunity.”