Fresh off hockey triumphs, Yale senior puts plans for finance career on ice

After leading the Yale women’s hockey team to new heights — including a trip to the Frozen Four — Claire Dalton is ready to launch a professional hockey career.
Claire Dalton

Claire Dalton (Photo by Anna Zhang)

When Claire Dalton first arrived on the Yale campus in the fall of 2018, professional women’s hockey in her Canadian hometown was entering a rough stretch. Later that year, the city’s team, the Toronto Furies, folded along with the rest of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.

At the time, the state of women’s hockey at Yale wasn’t nearly as dire. But the team was going through something of a rebuilding year. Dalton, who was already a member of the Team Canada squad when she arrived in New Haven, celebrated just eight wins during her first year as a scholarship wing on the Bulldogs ice hockey team.

But brighter days were just around the corner.

Claire Dalton in her ice hockey uniform
Claire Dalton was captain of the Yale women's hockey team during the 2022-23 season.

During three years on the varsity squad, including a season as team captain, Dalton would help transform Yale hockey into a national power, leading the program to consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament and its first appearance in the Frozen Four.

Along the way, the Morse College senior worked toward a degree in economics, with plans to eventually follow in her father’s footsteps and become an investment banker. That path, however, will have to wait. Fresh off a 28-win season for the Bulldogs, Dalton recently signed a contract with the Toronto Six, a new franchise in the Premier Hockey Federation. (The team is named after the city’s 416 area code.)

And unlike even just a few years ago, she says, professional women’s hockey now pays a live-able wage. “The timing was impeccable,” she said. “It’s finally a great time for women’s sports and I want to be a part of it.”

In addition to her achievements on the ice, Dalton received East Coast Athletic Association academic honors three times and served on the Yale Student Athletic Advisory Committee.

She also helped organize bone marrow drives for the Mandi Schwartz Foundation, a New Haven-based nonprofit named for another Canadian-born Yale hockey player who succumbed to leukemia in 2011. She plans to continue serving on the foundation planning committee.

Dalton recognizes she’ll be able to play hockey for only so long, so a career in finance may still be in her future. In the meantime, her father is fine with the career choice. And her mother is thrilled that she’ll be coming back to Toronto to join the Six. “She’s very happy,” Dalton said.

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