Toronto Furies Bolster Blueline in 2016 CWHL Draft

Renata Fast Draft Photo
Toronto Furies’ 1st round pick Renata Fast accepts her jersey & hat from Furies GM, Rebecca Michael. (Photo Credit: Chris Tanouye / CWHL

The CWHL Draft took place on August 21 at the D.K. “Doc” Seaman Resource Centre, in the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence. The draft class this year was a deep one, 81 players from five countries as opposed to last year, which had 55 players from 3 countries. 

The Furies came fourth in the 2015-16 CWHL standings, and so, drafted second in each round. The CWHL Draft went 16 rounds deep, with the Furies picking in 14 out of the 16. They had a strong draft this year, looking to fill some holes in their defensive core as well as gain some additional depth in their scoring talent. 

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The Furies first round, second overall pick went to Renata Fast, a defenceman out of Clarkson University. Fast is also a member of the Canadian Women’s National Development Team, a gold medal holder from the 2015 4 Nations Cup, and a member of the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four women’s hockey title. 

Fast is a strong stay-at-home defender who will fill a big gap in the Furies defensive lineup. She wasn’t a big scorer with Clarkson, with five goals and 17 points on the 2015-16 season, but her shot blocking numbers, 42 on the season, were solid. 

The Furies second round, seventh overall pick went to Erin Ambrose, another defenceman out of Clarkson University. Ambrose is also a long term member of the Canadian Women’s National Development Team and has won medals representing Canada in the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championships, the 4 Nations Cup, and the Meco Cup. She was also a member of the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four women’s hockey title winners. 

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With seven goals and 21 assists on the 2015-16 season, Ambrose is more of a two-way player. She is currently the highest scoring defender in Clarkson University history. Ambrose will not only be able to step into the Furies thin defensive core, she will also be able to play a full 200ft game, which is always an asset for any team.

It took until the third round for the Furies to select a forward. The twelfth overall pick went to Michela Cava of the University of Minnesota Duluth. Cava is shaping up to be an offensive powerhouse, scoring four goals and two assists in the UMD Bulldogs first ten games, and two goals, two assists in her last four games. 

Fast, Ambrose, and Cava all look ready to step straight into the Furies lineup in the 2016-17 season. Fast and Ambrose, in particular, will be welcome additions. Cava will have the opportunity to learn alongside other Canadian Women’s National Team greats, including Natalie Spooner, and Jenelle Kohanchuk.

The Furies went on to draft another three more defenders, six more forwards, and a goaltender. All of the 2016-17 Draft Class will participate in a skate camp, to see who makes the 2016-17 team. Results of the camp and finalised 2016-17 rosters will be announced closer to the start of the season.

This is what the full Furies draft looked like:

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Round Player Position School
Round 1 FAST, Renata D Clarkson University
Round 2 AMBROSE, Erin D Clarkson University
Round 3 CAVA, Michela F University of Minnesota Duluth
Round 4** ——— —— ———————-
Round 5 DINGELDEIN, Jenna F Mercyhurst University
Round 6 GAGNE, Danielle F Ohio State University
Round 7 ZACH, Erin C Rochester Institute of Technology
Round 8 SPATARO, Vanessa LW St Cloud State University
Round 9 STEWART, Ella D Elmira College
Round 10 MACKENZIE, Victoria F University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Round 11 EUSEPI, Carlee D Clarkson University
Round 12 GIBSON, Jaclyn F University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Round 13 KIRCHBERGER, Nicole C Buffalo State
Round 14 PLATT, Jessica D N/A
Round 15 ARMSTRONG, Alessandra G Ryerson University

**Toronto’s 4th round pick was traded to the Brampton Thunder for goaltender Sonja van der Bliek in the 2015-16 season.

To check out the full CWHL Draft listing, visit the CWHL website: here.

Don’t forget, you can buy your Furies season tickets: here.

And one last time… The Toronto Furies will be back in action on opening night for one of the CWHL’s Heritage Games on October 15, 2016 vs the Boston Blades. 

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  • Katy Tearle

    If Jonathan Quick and Usain Bolt prove one thing, it’s that you probably can’t bet against an athlete with the last name ‘Fast’ so I approve of Toronto’s first pick!

    In all seriousness though, what’s the impact of a stay at home D in the CWHL?

    I’m curious since Ambrose seems more decorated plus she can play a 200 ft game, yet she was picked after Fast.

    • Katy Tearle

      Hey! Thanks for your question. In my experience, its not so much ‘What is the impact of a stay at home D in the CWHL?’ but more ‘what is the impact of a stay at home D in the Furies lineup?’

      I don’t say that to diminish your question or anything, but only because, like the NHL, each team is going to require different things from a draft. Last year Toronto suffered defensively. So it made sense for Toronto to draft D in the first two rounds.

      As for the order Fast and Ambrose were drafted, the CWHL Draft is governed largely by location. Because the players aren’t paid (yet) they get to dictate the locations they are willing to be drafted to. Consequently, its generally known who will go to Boston, Calgary, and Montreal. So the battle ends up being, which players will go to Brampton and Toronto.

      On paper, you’re quite right, Ambrose is more decorated. But the GTA drafting is based on strategy. Brampton wasn’t suffering as badly defensively as Toronto was last season, so it was a bit more logical that they would lean towards picking forwards. However, if there was an inkling that Brampton would take one or the other in the first round, it’s in Toronto’s best interests to pick that player before them.

      If that makes sense. If not, come chat with me on Twitter about it. @katytearle