How each PWHL workforce takes care of the 2024 draft

When groups face off towards PWHL New York subsequent season, they face the prospect of getting to attempt to match two offensive threats down the center.

First, there’s Alex Carpenter, who’s a danger to attain from anyplace on the ice.

Coming over the boards subsequent might be first-overall decide Sarah Fillier, a participant with offensive creativity in spades. She’s scored at each degree she’s performed at, together with on the worldwide stage with the Canadian nationwide workforce.

“She’s performed already towards the perfect on this planet, with the perfect on this planet,” New York GM Pascal Daoust advised reporters after deciding on Fillier with the primary decide within the 2024 PWHL Draft in Minnesota on Monday night time. “She’s all the time excellent dealing with them or enjoying with them.”

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Each workforce within the six-team league received higher at Monday’s draft, which noticed 42 gamers chosen from seven completely different international locations. The vast majority of these gamers got here from school, however groups additionally stocked up on veteran expertise from Europe.

Subsequent on the low season calendar is free company on June 21. Here is how all six groups take care of the draft:


Watching the gamers who had probably the most success in season one, Ottawa GM Mike Hirshfeld went into his second draft with two targets: get more durable and gritter, and add dimension. He checked each bins throughout the first two picks.

Ottawa chosen Edmonton’s Danielle Serdachny second general, including a play-making energy ahead who ought to be capable to contribute within the PWHL instantly.

Serdachny, who scored the golden aim on the world championship for Crew Canada this previous spring, ought to carry the competitiveness and grit that Hirshfeld was after.

A hockey player falls on the ice in front of the boards.
Defender Ronja Savolainen (88) provides dimension and mobility to Ottawa’s blue line. (Petr David Josek/The Related Press)

On the blue line, Ottawa added 26-year-old Finnish defender Ronja Savolainen from the Swedish Ladies’s Hockey League (SDHL) within the second spherical, including some dimension and extra mobility.

Ottawa appears set on defence with 5 gamers underneath contract and three extra drafted on Monday. The most important precedence over the subsequent week will probably be attempting to re-sign two-thirds of its finest line final season: forwards Daryl Watts and Kateřina Mrázová.

Whereas Ottawa has provided a contract extension to back-up goalie Sandra Abstreiter, Hirshfeld additionally drafted Northeastern College’s Gwyneth Philips. Starter Emerance Maschmeyer had one of many greatest workloads within the league final season, and Philips might problem for some video games.


The most important query mark for Toronto is whether or not Natalie Spooner, the winner of each ahead of the yr and the Billie Jean King MVP Award, will probably be prepared to begin subsequent season. Spooner had surgical procedure after struggling a knee harm through the playoffs.

Whereas Toronto hopes to see Spooner again quickly, GM Gina Kingsbury drafted a participant within the first spherical who can carry quite a lot of comparable components.

London, Ont.’s Julia Gosling brings dimension and the flexibility to drive the online, abilities that helped Spooner put up extra targets and factors than anybody else final season. 

Three hockey players celebrate a goal.
Julia Gosling (88) brings dimension and a net-front presence to PWHL Toronto. (Christinne Muschi/The Canadian Press)

Gosling skated with Spooner final summer season and even introduced Spooner ice cream after her surgical procedure final week.

Spooner sees Gosling as somebody who can play the online entrance position nicely.

“She’s received a greater shot than I’ve,” she mentioned.

Toronto drafted one other Ontarian in Milton, Ont.’s Megan Carter, a defender who Kingsbury described as a “steal.” She thinks she’s going to be capable to play within the league like a veteran instantly.

“We love what she brings by way of physicality, by way of reliability,” Kingsbury mentioned.

Ahead Izzy Daniel, winner of the Patty Kazmaier Award as the perfect feminine participant in school hockey final season, went to Toronto within the third spherical. Daniel excels at discovering methods to create house for herself, smarts that would assist her transition rapidly to the professional recreation, Kingsbury mentioned.


Montreal’s greatest low season want was a high defender, and that is precisely what Montreal received within the first spherical with Cayla Barnes.

She’s solely 25 however is already a veteran on the U.S. nationwide workforce, having received a gold medal in 2018. She additionally received a nationwide championship with Ohio State College this previous season, a recreation that was contemporary in Montreal GM Danièle Sauvageau’s thoughts heading into the draft.

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Cayla Barnes and Jennifer Gardiner, who received an NCAA title as Ohio State teammates, had been elated to each be chosen by Montreal on the 2024 PWHL draft.

“I feel she’s going to have such a huge effect instantly,” mentioned Montreal defender Erin Ambrose, who was named defender of the yr on Tuesday.

However Montreal’s greatest win of the day might need come just a few hours earlier than the draft began. The workforce introduced it had its Fifteenth-round decide from final season, Swedish ahead Lina Ljungblom, to a three-year contract.

Ljungblom wasn’t capable of come to North America this previous season due to an current contract in Sweden. Her head coach at MoDo Hockey, Jared Cipparone, advised CBC Sports activities earlier this yr that Ljungblom has all the time been a scorer, however her play away from the puck has improved this season.

It looks like there are just a few candidates to fill a gap within the high six, from Ljungblom, to third-round decide Abby Boreen, who performed a top-six position in Minnesota on reserve final season, to Crew USA veteran Amanda Kessel, ought to she play for Montreal.

New York

Past Fillier, Daoust felt he added extra physicality on his blue line, beginning with Swedish defender Maja Nylén Persson, who went within the second spherical.

Daoust additionally added the Swedish Ladies’s Hockey League’s main scorer final season, Finnish veteran Noora Tulus, and the one U Sports activities participant taken within the draft, Concordia College captain Emmy Fecteau, to his ahead ranks.

Two people shake hands on a stage.
Ahead Noora Tulus shakes arms with New York GM Pascal Daoust after he chosen her on the 2024 PWHL Draft. (Heather Pollock/PWHL)

Each gamers carry expertise successful, with Tulus a champion within the Swedish league, and Fecteau on the nationwide college degree.

Past the draft, the workforce checked off one in every of its greatest low season to-do checklist objects on Tuesday, re-signing goaltender of the yr nominee Corinne Schroeder to a two-year deal.


Boston struggled to attain targets this season and completed with the worst energy play within the league. Fourth-overall decide Hannah Bilka ought to assist.

“Going into this draft, I feel we’d like a dynamic ahead who performs with tempo and has a excessive hockey IQ and I feel we discovered that with Hannah Bilka,” Boston GM Danielle Marmer mentioned.

Having Bilka on the ice to win pucks again might assist create alternatives for a few of Boston’s different gamers, too, Marmer mentioned.

“We have so many gifted aim scorers on our workforce, and now we have now the participant to get them the puck,” she mentioned.

Additionally excessive on Marmer’s guidelines was a puck-mover on defence who can skate nicely. Boston swapped picks with New York to maneuver up within the draft and choose Czech defender Daniela Pejšová with the seventh-overall decide.


Minnesota left the draft with the perfect offensive defender out there in Claire Thompson, who was chosen third general.

Thompson did not play final season whereas attending medical college, and would in any other case be a lock on the Canadian nationwide workforce. She set a brand new report for factors by a defender on the Olympics in 2022.

A female hockey player wearing a Team Canada jersey competes for the puck. An American skater is behind her.
Canadian defender Claire Thompson broke an Olympic report in 2022 for many factors by a defender. She was drafted third general by Minnesota on the 2024 PWHL Draft. (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports activities/Reuters)

She joins a blue line that is already received offensive defender Sophie Jaques and Lee Stecklein, who is likely one of the finest shutdown defenders on this planet.

Minnesota added one other top-six ahead within the Crew USA’s Britta Curl on the draft, however attracted some controversy within the course of, attributable to anti-LGBTQ+ posts Curl has interacted with on social media.

Head coach Ken Klee ran the draft rather than GM Natalie Darwitz, who departed the workforce final week. Klee mentioned he did his homework on Curl, speaking to former coaches and teammates who endorsed her.

Requested whether or not he spoke to anybody from the LGBTQ neighborhood, together with gamers on his workforce, prior to creating the decide, Klee struggled to reply the query.

“On the finish of the day, I used to be advised she’s a terrific teammate, a terrific particular person and he or she’s clearly a terrific participant,” he mentioned.

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