Leafs, Select alum, Basalt native Scott elated with move to play pro hockey in Spain for ’23-24 season
Throughout her hockey career to this point, Stella Scott has played in Colorado, Michigan, Vermont, and New York.
Next season, the Basalt native will travel a bit further in beginning her professional career in Spain.
“At the beginning of my senior year of college (at NCAA Division I Long Island University), I knew that I wanted to keep playing hockey and not have that be my last season,” said Scott. “I knew I could either take a fifth year because of my COVID eligibility, or I could go to Europe. I know many girls who have gone abroad and have loved their experience. As much as I loved my time at LIU over the four years, I knew I was ready to branch out and head to Europe to play. I found my team through an advisor (Harry Rosenholtz). He coaches camps over in Spain and was friends with my soon-to-be coach.”
Scott will play for CHH Turxin Urdin based out of San Sebastián.
“Playing hockey in Spain is something that I am so excited about,” Scott said. “I think that it will definitely be a huge change from playing in the states, but I feel like that is part of the journey. I think that girls hockey in Spain is up and coming and I’m excited to grow the game in Spain. My expectation while I’m in Spain is to play over 30 games agonist different Spanish teams. I’m excited for excellent training as they do have an amazing gym that we will be working out in. And most importantly, I want to really enjoy my time there and help my team win as many games as possible.
“While I’m there playing, I’m also hoping to teach kids how to play hockey in San Sebastián as I love hockey and want the game to continue to grow no matter what country I’m in.”
Scott noted that her time at LIU prepared her for the pro game by playing a high level of competitive hockey.
“I was a part of the inaugural class with only one transfer upperclassman, which meant that I had to quickly adjust to playing lots of hockey and having a big role on my team as a freshman,” said Scott. “I was able to play over 100 games at LIU, playing teams from all conferences in women’s hockey, which has helped me grow and become the best player I can be. Within my four years at LIU, I had different coaches and many different teammates, which has definitely helped me become a player that can adjust and play with anyone, especially for my post-graduation plans.”
Growing up, Scott said she began playing hockey when she was four years old.
“My dad (Peter) introduced to hockey because he has played his whole life,” said Scott. “He used to take me and my younger brother to a bunch of different ponds during the winter where we learned how to skate. I fell in love with hockey and started playing for the Aspen Leafs shortly after that where my dad coached me as a Mite. My family and I are huge Avs fans and watching them growing up has definitely played a role in my passion for hockey. They have always been so fun to watch and when I was younger, my teams got to play out of the Pepsi Center (now Ball Arena) for championship games, which definitely made me love them even more.”
Scott played hockey in Colorado until she left home at 16 to play in Detroit. Back home, she played both girls and boys hockey for the Leafs and once high school started, played a season with the Colorado Select program.
“I have had some of the best coaches throughout my career that I am so grateful for them because they all have played such big and different roles in helping me get to the NCAA Division I level,” Scott said. “My dad, who was my first coach, has been my biggest supporter and biggest critique, but has definitely pushed me and given me the best opportunities to be a successful player because of his passion and love for me and the game. From Aspen, Coley Cassidy, who coached me for many years and has a daughter who I played with for many years, helped me tremendously and always helped me with my shot and skating techniques. And most recently Hannah Westbrook, who has always been around me in the hockey world but coached me my senior year at NAHA (North American Hockey Academy in Stowe, Vt.), she has been someone that really helped me take my game to the next level by allowing me to play for her, do some of her camps here in Colorado, and by helping me with connections to college coaches. She really helped me get to call LIU home for the past four years.
“All of my coaches have been great and have really pushed me to be the best version of myself, both on and off the ice.”
As Scott moves forward in her hockey career, she wants to keep playing the game that has already given her so much.
“Hockey has been something that I’ve played and worked on for over 17 years,” said Scott. “Hockey has been my world and although I’m done with college, I am looking forward to my year in Spain. My short-term goals for the game are to keep training so that I am prepared for the season in San Sebastián. While I’m there, I want to play my best level of hockey while also training daily with my new teammates. I want hockey to continue to do what it’s done for me for so long, which is keeping me happy and allowing me to travel to so many different places. Looking into the future, I hope to play professionally for possibly more than just a year.
“After that, I will definitely continue to play back home and hope to one day coach a team for kids because I think it’s the best sport in the world and all kids should be able to play and enjoy it as much as I have had the opportunity to do.”
— Matt Mackinder
(June 22, 2023)