ORONO – Former Maine women’s hockey stars, Tereza Vanisova, and Carly Jackson, didn’t have pro careers in the NWHL on their minds ahead of their senior seasons.
Now they’ll both be suiting up for their respective teams.
Tuesday night the Buffalo Beauts took Jackson with the third overall pick. She said she put her pro ambitions on the back burner during her senior season and only started to ratchet up conversations with teams once the year was coming to an end.
The NWHL is still in its infancy after starting in 2015 and isn’t able compensate its players to the point where they don’t need another career.
It’s why several of its players continue to pursue masters degrees while playing. The same can be said about Jackson as she plans to pursue a masters degree in physiotherapy. She’s hopeful the league can continue to grow, much like the WNBA has.
“I think the WNBA kind of paved the trail for women’s sports in general I mean where they’re at now I mean they’re going to continue to grow that’s where I think I know as a hockey player I want to be. I think that it’s absolutely incredible and it’s about time,” Jackson said.
Vanisova was selected by the Boston Pride with the 12th pick. While similar, her route is a bit different from Jackson’s. As late as the Hockey East playoffs Vanisova’s goal was to play in Sweden.
Deemed one of the better countries to play in terms of overall skill level, Sweden did not offer the same academic opportunities as the United States.
Vanisova said if she played in Sweden she would not have been paid enough to pursue a masters degree, but the contract the Pride offered her was enough to balance both school and hockey.
“It was mostly about the school because I didn’t find anything in Sweden that I would be able to study in English there. I wouldn’t be able to pay my school if I were to go to Sweden,” Vanisova said.