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BU's Sammy Davis, Clarkson's Kayla Friesen Go 1-2 in NWHL Draft

April 28, 2020 - National Women's Hockey League (NWHL) News Release


Boston University star forward Sammy Davis was the first selection of twelve when the opening two rounds of the 2020 NWHL Entry Draft were unveiled on Tuesday night.

Earlier in the day, Pride general manager Karilyn Pilch executed a trade with Toronto to move from the sixth position to the first overall pick, with the intent of drafting Davis, who scored 42 goals over the last two seasons with BU.

"I'm really excited to be selected first overall by the Pride and to be able to play in my favorite city next season," said Davis.

"This is a great reflection of how hard Sammy has worked and the talent that she brings to the game," said Boston University head coach Brian Durocher. "The Pride are getting a person of character and ability who will embrace the challenge of pro hockey."

In the second round, Boston picked up highly-skilled forward Tereza Vanisova from the University of New Hampshire and a member of the Czech Republic National Team. Vanisova averaged a point a game in her collegiate career.

With the sixth overall pick and their first-ever NWHL draft pick, Toronto selected forward Jaycee Gebhard, a Saskatchewan native who scored 20 goals last season at Robert Morris. RMU head coach Paul Colontino describes Gebhard as "an absolutely amazing player and better yet, an outstanding person. Two picks later, they drafted Cornell forward Amy Curlew.

Connecticut Whale GM Bray Ketchum was able to add top-shelf talent to her roster with second overall pick Kayla Friesen, a forward from perennial contender Clarkson who was 10-20-30 in 28 games last season, and second round pick (seventh overall) defender Victoria Howran out of UNH.

The Minnesota Whitecaps selected a pair of University of Minnesota players with their two picks: forward Alex Woken in the first round and defender Patti Marshall in the second. Marshall is known as an exceptional blueliner in all facets of the game who served as captain of her team, while Woken scored 16 goals last season for the Gophers.

In Buffalo, the Beauts took University of Maine goaltender Carly Jackson with the third pick overall. "Fans of Buffalo are getting a consistent, poised and controlled goalie who started for us in all four of her seasons," said Maine head coach Richard Reichenbach. Last season, Jackson had a .934 save percentage. With the second round pick, Buffalo selected Northeastern defender Codie Cross.

The Metropolitan Riveters opened some eyes with the drafting of two players they hope to add to their lineup next season: Yale defender Saroya Tinker, who was selected fourth overall, and forward Delaney Belinskas, who scored 49 goals in her career at Boston College.

"Tinker is a smooth-skating defenseman who has a great first pass and can also be a shutdown player in the D-zone," said Yale coach Mark Bolding. "Her style will allow her to fit in well at the next level."

That is the hope of every NWHL team for their top draft picks. The draft resumes Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET with the final three rounds.

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