It was a day she was waiting months for and when it finally arrived Danny Stone admits she was far more nervous than she expected to be.
“I didn’t think I was going to be this nervous,” said Stone shortly after she learned that she was selected 16th overall by the Alberta squad in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League entry draft on Monday. “The updates took forever.”
“I don’t think it has really sunk in yet,” added Stone. “I think it will really sink in once I get there.”
Stone graduated from the University of Saskatchewan this spring after scoring 59 goals and 106 points in five seasons with the Huskies. Those numbers were second-best in school history and the talented Prince Albert product thought her playing days were done.
That was until a friend suggested she enter the CWHL draft.
Stone put her name on the list of available players back in June and then had to wait almost three agonizing months before knowing what her next move would be. She admits to having had numerous discussions with both the Alberta entry – located out of Calgary – and the team in Montreal, but until she saw her name appear on a twitter update she was sitting on pins and needles.
“In this league, I was told, if you are from a specific region you tend to go there,” explained Stone. “Since I wasn’t from a specific region I told them (Calgary) they were who I wanted because I just thought they would fit me better.”
The fit came in two forms. One, Calgary is closer to home and two she knew that the Montreal club was very deep in talent and that she would have a better chance of making the team in Alberta.
“I know I can help them offensively,” says Stone. “I haven’t cracked their line-up yet; I have to prove that I belong.”
The CWHL was formed in 2007 and boasts five teams: Alberta, Montreal, Toronto, Brampton and Boston. Each team plays 24 games and although no salaries are offered to the players, all other expenses are covered.
Still, Stone just wants to continue playing the game she grew to love first on the East End Community Club ice then with the Prince Albert A&W Bears and finally during her storied career with the Huskies.
Stone will attend her first semi-professional training camp on Sept. 14 and if all goes well she will get her first taste of CWHL action in late September.
The dream is still alive for Stone and with the amount of well-wishers she had on Monday, there is plenty of support for her to continue chasing that dream.