Toronto Six Sign Patty Kazmaier Winning Forward Daryl Watts To Two-Year Contract
TORONTO -- The Toronto Six has announced a significant addition to their lineup, acquiring forward Daryl Watts, a superstar throughout her NCAA career. The Patty Kazmaier Award winner has officially signed a two-year Premier Hockey Federation contract with the organization that includes the remainder of the 2023-23 season and the 2023-24 campaign. Her historic two-year agreement carries an average annual value of $88,500 USD (approximately $118,000+ CAD) which represents the highest salary ever announced for a professional women's hockey player in North America. (Note: Contract terms added on Jan. 25, 2023 to original press release).
“The Toronto Six is an incredible program and I feel really grateful and lucky to be able to join them mid-season,” said Watts. “I would say that the drawing point that has me here mid-season would be the doubling of the salary cap that occurred in December. That sparked my interest back in hockey because playing hockey has been a passion of mine from when I was a kid, and now financially it’s a really viable option. I couldn’t be more excited.”
The 23-year-old from Toronto, Ontario ranks second all-time in NCAA scoring with 297 points in 172 games, including 136 goals and 161 assists recorded over five seasons from 2017-22. Watts played her first two seasons at Boston College where she became the first freshman in NCAA history to earn the Patty Kazmaier Award as the top female college hockey player in the United States. During that 2017-18 season, she led the country with 82 points, 42 goals, and an impressive 2.6 points-per-game average.
Watts led the Eagles in 2018-19 scoring as a sophomore with 48 points in 39 games, then transferred to the University of Wisconsin where she played the past three seasons. Her 74 points in 36 games during the 2019-20 season led the nation once again in scoring, while her 49 assists set a new program single season record. In 2020-21, she produced 36 points in 21 games and led the Badgers to their sixth national championship, scoring the overtime winner to beat Northeastern 2-1 in the Frozen Four Final. Watts capped her NCAA career with 57 points in 38 games, leading her team in 2021-22 scoring. She is a three-time First Team All-American and a one-time Second Team All-American.
“We’re pretty ecstatic that Daryl Watts is joining our organization. I think for those who know Daryl, this is a great opportunity for the Toronto Six to have a player of her caliber join us,” said Angela James, General Manager of the Toronto Six. “I think that players of her stature will only raise the play of others around her, and in turn, her performance as well. With the talent we already have in the dressing room, I think Daryl will thrive in our organization, and I can’t wait to see what she brings to the Toronto Six.”
Prior to attending post-secondary, Watts, who stands at five-foot-six, represented Canada twice at the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship, earning back-to-back silver medals in 2016 and 2017. She also played with the Mississauga Chiefs in the Provincial Women’s Hockey League. Across 144 games played, she recorded 206 points on 120 goals and 86 assists.
Watts becomes the team’s twenty-second player on the roster and 12th forward. Thrilled to have an opportunity to get back in the game and join Toronto for a playoff run, she can’t wait to compete at the pro level, starting this upcoming weekend when her team plays host to the fourth-place Connecticut Whale.
“I couldn’t be more excited,” said an overjoyed Watts. “I was part of the Toronto Aeros organization for a couple years, and Geraldine [Heaney] and Angela [James] were legends within the program, so I’ve known about them since I was a teenager. To be able to play for them is really special to me, and I’m so excited to learn from them and hopefully help this team in the playoffs and win a championship.”