Photo by Cydney Scott
Forward Sammy Davis will soon become a household name in the NWHL and play a significant role in making the league stronger. The Pembroke, Mass. native was chosen by the Boston Pride as No 1. draft pick after the Pride made a trade with the Toronto Six for first pick hours before the draft began. Davis has had an extensive career to date and also had to overcome one of her biggest obstacles: hip surgery. Let’s take a look at her hockey journey so far.
At 23 years, old, Davis has her name on the following NCAA achievements after four years with the Boston Terriers:
• Beanpot MVP (2019)
• Hockey East First Team All-Star (2019-20)
• Hockey East Second Team All-Star (2018-19)
• Hockey East All-Academic Team (x4)
• Hockey East Distinguished Scholar
• Hockey East All-Rookie Team (2015-16)
• Hockey East Player of the Month (Feb. 2019)
• Hockey East Rookie of the Month
• NCAA Three Stars of the Week
• Hockey East Player of the Week (x3)
• Hockey East Rookie of the Week (x3)
Davis is the sixth player from Boston University (BU) to be drafted into the NWHL. She will join her Terrier colleagues on the BU-filled roster, including Kaleigh Fratkin (2014), Jordan Juron (2016), Victoria Hanson (2017) and Mary Parker (2017).
Davis also won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2015 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship where she was an assistant captain and gave the team two goals and an assist within five games. She quickly caught the attention from recruiters.
“The recruiting process was all over the place. I was definitely looking at a bunch of different schools,” Davis told BU Today. But after receiving handwritten letters from women’s hockey head coach Brian Durocher during sophomore year, she knew BU was the right fit. It was her hometown and she had attended hockey camps at the university while growing up. She says that when BU contacted her, she didn’t even have to think about it.
Davis scored 142 points in 146 games during her career as a Terrier. This includes a missed season in her sophomore year due to injury. The following season, Davis set career-highs in goals (25), assists (27) and points (52).
Davis concluded her university hockey career as a captain for the third consecutive year, was named to the Hockey East First Team and led the Terriers with 17 goals, 24 assists and 41 points.
Davis has overcome many obstacles to get where she is now, which includes having to sit out for her sophomore year after having hip surgery. She had to have both hips repaired due to a bilateral hip labral tear. This led the forward to take a pause on her junior season. Before the injury, Davis had already played in 39 games, scored 26 points and was named runner-up for the Hockey East Rookie of the Year.
“I think physically, as athletes, we’re told to be tough and to hold in our emotions. But honestly, that year, I was struggling mentally. It was definitely a challenge,” Davis told The Associated Press.
During her hip surgery recovery, the people around her, including her BU teammates, supported her and inspired her to keep pushing through her injury so that she could return to the ice. She worked with assistant coach Liz Keady Norton in the early mornings to help regain her strength to return to hockey. With hockey playing a big part of her life, she couldn’t wait to get back on the ice.
“I felt like my identity was taken from me, but I had to replace it with something else. I had to find peace with not playing and be comfortable with not being around hockey,” Davis told BU Today.
OFF THE ICE
Hockey is not the only thing that Davis excels at. In May 2019, she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in behavior and health. She also earned her Master’s degree in special education, but her in-person graduation was delayed due to Coronavirus. Davis was also named to the Hockey East All-Academic Team four times in her career to be included among an elite group of Hockey East Distinguished Scholars, thanks to her 3.59 GPA. Recently, she has been admitted to the Massachusetts General Hospital doctorate program where she will earn her doctorate in occupational therapy while also playing pro hockey.
“Honestly, I don’t even know what my future is going to look like,” Davis told BU Today. “I kind of see it like how I was in college, with being a Division 1 athlete and academics on top of it — I feel like it’s going to be about the same. Maybe I’ll have to spend more time on schooling and I know I am going to give a lot to hockey, because I love the sport so much.”
During her time at Boston University, aside from playing hockey, Davis was also an active participant with the Travis Roy Foundation, which is a foundation that raises money for the search of a cure for spinal cord injuries. The Terriers also fundraised for Hockey East’s Skating Strides Against Breast Cancer initiative, as well as the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in which Davis was involved with. Back in April, The Hockey East Association awarded Davis the Sarah Devens Award.
Davis was also involved in organizing for her team to work with The Doc Wayne Foundation to help underprivileged youth to have better access to athletic opportunities in Boston. During the summer of 2019, she went abroad to South Africa to work with Project Playground, which is a program that works with children with disabilities that are in areas lacking essential resources in their development. They did this by providing an outlet for children by increasing social interactions, inspiring creativity and helping them be empowered to see change in their communities.
The Boston Pride was one game off from an undefeated season this year and was scheduled to play in the Isobel Cup final against the Minnesota Whitecaps before it got cancelled due to COVID-19. There’s no doubt that Sammy Davis’ exciting career will be one worth following as she joins the most dominant team in the NWHL.