Goalie Taya Currie selected by Sarnia Sting, becomes first female Ontario Hockey League draft pick

TORONTO -- Taya Currie became the first female player ever chosen in the Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection draft Saturday.

The 16-year-old goaltender from Parkhill, Ontario, was selected in the 14th round, 267th overall, by the Sarnia Sting.

"It's just awesome," Currie told OHL TV when asked about her reaction to being drafted. "I can be a role model for so many young girls to follow their dreams."

The 5-foot-7 Currie last played for the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs Triple-A boys' under-16 team. She didn't play this season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Asked by OHL TV about how she wanted to be seen by Sarnia Sting fans, she said, "Treat me like a normal player. Don't think of it as a girl, that I stand out. I want to be a normal teammate to all the boys. I want to be a family with them."

Manon Rheaume -- the only woman to play in the NHL when she suited up in exhibition games for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992 and '93 -- played one game in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in the 1991-92 season with the Trois-Rivieres Draveurs. Most recently, Shannon Szabados dressed for a game with the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League in 2003-04.

Both Rehaume and Szabados congratulated Currie on Saturday on Twitter. Szabados, Canada's top goaltender at the past three Olympics, tweeted that she watched Currie being selected live and that she "can't wait to watch you on the World stage one day."

The Sudbury Wolves used the No. 1 pick to select Quentin Musty from the North Jersey Avalanche U16 team.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.