Another herd of York University Lions has joined the professional ranks as the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) and Canadian Football League (CFL) held their annual drafts this week.
Former York U women’s hockey team captain Erin Locke has been drafted by Toronto’s new NWHL franchise. The 23-year-old was selected 15th overall in the draft’s third round, joining York alumna Kristen Barbara, one of the team’s five inaugural signings, as a member of the fledgling franchise.
Locke joins her hometown’s NWHL team after a memorable career with the Lions. Her five-year stint saw her earn the team captaincy for 2019-20 after leading the team in scoring during three of her five seasons.
She also ranked second in scoring during her rookie season. 2018-19 was an especially remarkable season in Locke’s career, when she cracked the top 10 scorers in Ontario University Athletics (OUA), finishing 10th, despite missing 10 games with an injury.
The NWHL is a six-team league which began play in 2015.
Three members of the Lions football team also saw their professional dreams become a reality with their selections in the CFL draft.
Running back Kayden Johnson was selected in the seventh round, 58th overall, by the B.C. Lions. One pick later, teammate Rossini Sandjong, a defensive lineman, was drafted by the Edmonton Eskimos. In the eighth round, B.C. selected linebacker Damian Jamieson with the 67th overall pick.
Johnson, a native of Kerrobert, Sask., did not play this past season due to an injury. In the previous three years, he played in all 24 games for the Lions, picking up 1174 yards on 235 carries and twice finishing in the top 10 in the OUA in total rushes and yards.
He also starred on the track and field team and in 2018 was named York’s male athlete of the year after winning OUA and U SPORTS gold in the 60m hurdles.
Sandjong, from Longueuil, Que., played in five games this season after an injury forced him to miss three. He finished the year with 17 tackles, including five tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks, and also had a forced fumble.
He was twice named an OUA all-star, and was an all-rookie team member in his debut season. He twice finished in the conference’s top five in tackles for loss and was ranked among the OUA’s top 10 in sacks in each of his first three years.
Jamieson is from Oakville, Ont., and has played in 29 games throughout his four-year career with the Lions. He has finished second on the team in total tackles in each of the last two years and in his rookie season was the team’s special teams Most Valuable Player.
2018 was his best season when he had a career-high 39.5 tackles, four tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two blocked kicks.
This is the second straight year the Lions have had three selections in the CFL draft, after Nikola Kalinic, Jacob Janke and Colton Hunchak were picked in 2019.