Professional Women's Hockey League Completes Inaugural Draft
September 18, 2023 - Professional Women's Hockey League (PWHL) News Release
TORONTO, ON - The Professional Women's Hockey League (PWHL) welcomed 90 of the league's founding players as part of the inaugural PWHL Draft presented by Canadian Tire. The event was hosted at CBC's headquarters in downtown Toronto and streamed live in partnership with CBC Sports and Radio Canada.
Taylor Heise was selected first overall by Minnesota, with legendary sports icon Billie Jean King announcing the historic pick. The 23-year-old from the University of Minnesota was one of two forwards and recent NCAA graduates chosen in the first round, joined by Alina Müller (Northeastern University) who went third overall to Boston. The first round featured four defenders, with Jocelyne Larocque chosen second by Toronto, Ella Shelton went fourth to New York, Savannah Harmon was picked fifth by Ottawa, and Erin Ambrose was called sixth by Montreal.
The top three selections of Heise (United States), Larocque (Canada), and Müller (Switzerland) led the way for three of the nine different nationalities represented across the draft. 48 Canadians were picked in total, followed by 29 Americans, and 13 European-born players. Dominika Lásková was the first of five players chosen from Czechia, Susanna Tapani the first of two from Finland, Emma Söderberg the first of two from Sweden, and Theresa Schafzahl (Austria), Chloe Aurard (France), and Sandra Abstreiter (Germany) were each their country's first picks in PWHL history.
By position, the 90 players selected in the 15-round process include 53 forwards, 29 defenders, and eight goaltenders, led by Nicole Hensley, who went 12th overall to Minnesota. Professional hockey was the largest source of talent in the draft, with 33 players who competed last season in the PHF, 27 players who suited up for the PWHPA, and two players from the SDHL. 26 players were selected from NCAA programs, while recent University of Montreal graduate Audrey-Ann Veillette is the only player from the U SPORTS class of 2023.
268 players were eligible for the inaugural PWHL Draft, with the 90 selected players joining the league's initial 18 free agent signings announced this month. All 178 undrafted players are now free agents and may sign with any of the league's six teams. Final PWHL rosters will include 23 players each.
Full results from the inaugural PWHL Draft can be viewed at thepwhl.com/2023-draft.
Fans can stay connected to the PWHL and register for email updates at thepwhl.com.
Fans can also secure their spot in line for buying tickets by placing a deposit at thepwhl.com.
Follow the new league on all social media platforms @thepwhlofficial plus all six new team accounts @pwhl_boston, @pwhl_minnesota, @pwhl_montreal, @pwhl_newyork, @pwhl_ottawa, and @pwhl_toronto.
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Professional Women's Hockey League Stories from September 18, 2023
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