This wasn’t how Sammy Davis’s final semester at Boston University was supposed to go.

After the Terriers missed out on the NCAA women’s ice hockey tournament, Davis, who led the team in goals, assists and points this past season, was looking forward to returning from spring break and finishing up her time on BU’s campus with friends and teammates.

Then the coronavirus hit Massachusetts. Even though the Pembroke resident had spent an extra year on campus to work on her master’s degree, that didn’t take away the sting of losing a proper chance to bid farewell.

“Everybody’s like, ‘Well, you already got a graduation last year and you already got to be able to experience that,'"Davis said. "I’m like, ‘I know, but I didn’t get to say goodbye the way that you wanted to on your timeline … when you wanted to say bye.’ So I think that was the hardest thing, was kind of it just getting taken from you."

But Davis didn’t have a lot of time to dwell on what she lost. Soon the Boston Pride would take her with the number one overall pick in the National Women's Hockey League draft. At first, Davis didn’t think it was that big of a deal.

“And then my phone [was going off] and everybody was congratulating me," she recalled. "And it was pretty exciting, to have so many people reach out and support you and recognize you and congratulate you.”

Former Boston University student and hockey captain Sammy Davis holds the hockey puck she used to score her first college game goal. Davis was recently picked 1st overall in the National Women's Hockey League draft by the Boston Pride.
Meredith Nierman WGBH News

Although the coronavirus has ground much of the sports world to a halt, the NWHL and the Pride have been making big moves during a period of stagnation. The Pride finished the season with the best record in the league. Usually, that would mean they would be picking last in the draft. But in a bomb that dropped just hours before the draft on Apr. 28, Boston announced a trade to acquire the first-overall pick.

Pride head coach Paul Mara said the team had been scouting Davis well before the draft.

“We thought that [the] best chance of getting her was maybe trying getting that first overall draft pick," he said.

The Pride surrendered their first-round pick this year and next, along with their second-round pick next year to move up to the number one spot. They also got a fifth-round pick this year.

It was a steep price to pay, but it was worth it to the Pride's general manager, Karilyn Pilch.

“We just felt so confident about her and her playing ability and her talent and what she could bring to our culture that we really didn’t want to take any chances with her being able to go in a different direction," Pilch said.

While it was a big move for the Pride, the team they made the trade with has made news of its own: On Apr. 22, the NWHL announced that it would officially be expanding by adding a team in Toronto. The still unnamed team will be the league’s first in Canada.

Pride President Hayley Moore said having a team north of the border is something the league has been thinking of since it began in 2015.

“We’re all about trying to create opportunity. And for one of the biggest hockey cities that exists, to be able to move our mark there, it’s really monumental," Moore said.

Just about two months ago, the Pride were set to play in the Isobel Cup Final for a chance at the team’s second-ever league title.

A lot has changed since then. The game was postponed and has yet to be rescheduled, but the Pride are still looking forward to the chance to play in it.

The last few months have also been a whirlwind for Davis. Her last fleeting months with her community at BU were cut short, but she still had to fit in finishing her coursework for her master’s degree in special education, while getting ready for the draft.

Former Boston University student and hockey captain Sammy Davis practices outside her home in Pembroke, Mass. on May 13, 2020. Davis was recently picked 1st overall in the National Women's Hockey League draft by the Boston Pride.
Meredith Nierman WGBH News

Davis is still not done yet: She’ll soon be working on her doctorate to become an occupational therapist. She said some of her new teammates are studying law or work in bioengineering labs or for large companies.

“We’re all having to juggle all these things, which I hope down the road we don’t have to do both. We can make a choice of one thing or the other," she said. "That’s my goal, I hope, eventually down the line for women’s hockey."

Her college coach, Brian Durocher, said Davis established herself from the beginning at BU. She served as a captain of the team for three years, including the year she had to sit out because of injuries.

"Without a doubt, she gave us five seasons here at Boston Univeristy," he said. "Even the year she was out, she had a bit of a role in that she was one of our captains and had to bring some early leadership to a career, and that continued for two more years. So while it's a great honor, it's also a tough test to be a captain for three years."

Durocher said he and his staff were supposed to take the seniors out for dinner this week before graduation ceremonies started. He still hopes that dinner can happen sometime in the future and says there's a bit of a "hollow feeling" in this new world. Still, he knows how much Davis' selection means.

"My favorite part of any of this type of stuff is the recognition that is generated for the kid and for her family," he said.

Although it’s been busy, these past couple of months have given Davis and her family some light during a dark time.

“We have something to celebrate about. Me graduating … finishing college hockey, getting [my] master’s," she said. "There’s just so much to celebrate right now in my life, and it’s really exciting. So it’s been fun, ‘cause there’s been a lot of joy. So it’s really nice right now in our family and in our house.”

It may not be the ending the hometown hero thought her time at BU would be, but Davis did graduate to something bigger.