It was an unforgettable Monday for Prince Albert’s Brooke Hobson.
Hobson was selected in the 8th round, with the 45th overall pick by New York in the first ever Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) draft.
She says she was a little nervous on draft day but was ecstatic when she heard her name called.
“The whole draft was a really exciting day and they put on a really good event. Before my name was called, the nerves were definitely there. The hands are a little shaky. The whole process is new, and I obviously wanted to be selected. Once I heard my name called, it was very surreal. I had a lot of my old teammates and friends around so that was awesome to have their support there. You hear your name, and everything kind of stops. It was definitely a really cool experience.”
Hobson suited up in 178 career games over parts of six seasons for the Prince Albert Northern Bears (now known as the Mann-Northway Northern Bears), posting 118 points. Her career started by playing a single game during the 2011-2012 season, and she finished her Bears career at the 2017 Esso Cup in Morben, Manitoba.
Growing up, Hobson says she didn’t think she would have the opportunity to be a professional athlete in North America but saw some doors opening during her college career.
“I didn’t. At the time, when you’re playing in high school, you’re trying to get committed to a USPORTS or NCAA team. That’s kind of where my head was at. As I went through college, all these new leagues were forming and developing. That’s when I sort of looked at myself and was like this is something I can do after school, it didn’t stop after I graduated. That’s when I realized that this could be a reality, to be a professional athlete in North America.”
“That’s the biggest excitement about this. When I was a young girl, there wasn’t a league past college that I could look up to and really strive to play in. But now every single girl that plays hockey sees this draft and seeing the PWHL form. Now they have a real league that they can look up to all of us players and really strive for, which is super exciting.”
After graduating from the Northern Bears program, Hobson would make her way to Boston, Massachusetts where she would suit up for the Northeastern University Huskies. Hobson would have a decorated career with the Huskies, posting 95 points in 168 games. She would be named the captain for her final two seasons and would be named to the Hockey East All-Academic team for four consecutive seasons from 2017-2021.
Last season, Hobson took her talents overseas with MoDo hockey in the Swedish Women’s Hockey League (abbreviated as SDHL). She posted 20 points across 32 games for MoDo.
Hobson says the reason she chose to play in Sweden was a combination of wanting to improve as a hockey player, and to travel the world.
“Sweden was a super good experience. There have been options for women to play hockey. Sweden has a great league. There was a couple of great leagues in North America, but I chose Sweden for a new experience. The style of hockey is different, so I thought I could grow on the ice a little bit differently that how North Americans play hockey, so that was my mindset behind it. I knew that traveling is something a lot of people should or is recommended to do while you’re young. I wanted to get that life experience travelling and seeing different parts of the world.”
New York is a long way from Prince Albert, but Hobson says she got used to living in the Northeastern US during her time at school in Boston.
“It’s kind of crazy thinking that I’m going to be moving to New York, obviously coming from Prince Albert a smaller city in Saskatchewan. It’s kind of a lot to think about, but I was in Boston for five years and I love the city, and New York is a bit bigger. I’ve heard great things about the city. There’s obviously going to be a lot to do there. I think with it being such a sports city, we can draw in a lot of fans and really put our brand on the market here quickly.”
Hobson says she is excited to get her career underway in the PWHL, but wanted to thank those who helped her get where she is today.
“I’m just really excited and I just want to make sure I want to thank everybody who’s helped me get here along the way from previous teammates to my friends, my families and all the coaches and trainers that I’ve had. I just want to make sure that they know that they’re a part of this movement in women’s hockey, too.”
The puck drops on the PWHL season in January of 2024.