PROFESSIONAL WOMEN’S HOCKEY LEAGUE (PHWL) DRAFT PREVIEW

2024 PWHL Draft will feature 42 players selected in seven-round process 

SAINT PAUL, MN (June 10, 2024) – The 2024 Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) Draft takes place tonight at 7:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. CT inside The Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota. 

WHERE TO WATCH 

Fans around the world can watch the entire draft streamed live on the league’s YouTube channel. Clay Matvick and Alexis Pearson will serve as panel hosts and Saroya Tinker will interview players stage side following their selections. 

SELECTION PROCESS 

A total of 42 players will be selected throughout the seven-round process. Teams will select players from an eligibility list comprised of global talent representing 19 different countries. New York holds the first overall pick by virtue of earning the most ‘Draft Order Points’ following their elimination from playoff contention. Ottawa will select second overall as the other non-playoff team. Based on the inverse order of the regular-season standings among the four playoff teams, Minnesota will select third overall, Boston fourth, Montréal fifth, and Toronto will select sixth. The draft will utilize the same order of selection in all seven rounds. 

DRAFT RESULTS 

Fans can follow all picks in the 2024 PWHL Draft listed online here: https://www.thepwhl.com/en/2024-pwhl-draft  

TOP PROSPECT PROFILES 

A list of top prospects for the 2024 PWHL Draft are highlighted below including 12 forwards, 10 defenders, and five goaltenders profiled in alphabetical order. 

FORWARDS: 

Hannah Bilka (Ohio State University) USA
23-year-old from Coppell, TX, spent four years at Boston College before joining Ohio State where she won a National Championship and led the Buckeyes in scoring with 48 points. She has been a member of the U.S. National Women’s Team for three straight years compiling one gold medal and two silver medals in IIHF Women’s World Championship competition. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “Creates space and time for herself and her teammates with world-class speed that is complimented by seamless change of direction. One of the best playmakers in the draft with high-end compete and a sound defensive game.” 

Abby Boreen (PWHL Minnesota) USA
24-year-old from Somerset, WI, spent the 2024 season as a Reserve Player for PWHL Minnesota where she scored four goals and one assist in nine regular-season games, and one assist in five playoff games for the Walter Cup champions. Collegiately, she played five seasons for the University of Minnesota. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “Her PWHL experience is valuable, with a demonstrated ability to compliment top players, kill penalties, and be a scoring threat. She brings energy on every shift and is fearless when going to the net.” 

Britta Curl (University of Wisconsin) USA
24-year-old from Bismarck, ND, won three NCAA titles with the Badgers and posted a career-best 62 points, powered by a program record 10-game goal streak, as captain during the 2023-24 campaign. She has represented the United States at three IIHF Women’s World Championships, winning gold in 2023 and silver medals in 2021 and 2024. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “A well-rounded player who is hard to play against makes her ready for the PWHL from the drop of the puck. A powerful skater who can score the hard goals or capitalize with her strong shot and game sense that puts her in consistent positions to be an offensive threat.” 

Izzy Daniel (Cornell University) USA
23-year-old from Minneapolis, MN, was named the 2024 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award recipient, becoming the first Cornellian to earn the prestigious honor. The Big Red captain concluded her season with 59 points, including 21 goals and 38 assists, and averaged 1.74 points-per-game which was tops among all ECAC Hockey skaters. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “A 200-foot player who plays a greasy game and isn’t shy about competing. Her pro puck skills contribute to high end scoring chances, and her game sense minimizes any questions about her size.” 

Sarah Fillier (Princeton University) CAN
24-year-old from Georgetown, ON, is a three-time Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award finalist whose 194 career points are the most by a Tiger since 1995. On the international stage, she is a 2022 Olympic gold medalist and represented Canada at the last four IIHF Women’s World Championships compiling three gold medals and one silver medal and was named Best Forward and MVP of the 2023 tournament. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “A generational player with change of pace skating that makes her difficult to defend. Her game sense makes her a threat to create scoring in a variety of ways and will upgrade a team’s powerplay immediately.” 

Jennifer Gardiner (Ohio State University) CAN
22-year-old from Surrey, BC, graduated with two NCAA National Championship wins with the Buckeyes including the 2023-24 title where she finished second in team scoring with 45 points. She was a top-10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award in 2023 after recording a career-high 21 goals and 57 points in 41 games. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “A well-rounded player who can elevate her play as pressure and competition increases. A strong playmaker who is just as aware with the puck and she is without it.” 

Julia Gosling (St. Lawrence University) CAN
23-year-old from London, ON, recorded a career-high 22 goals, including seven game-winners, and 51 points as a senior captain for the Saints in 2023-24. She made her Canadian National Team debut at the 2024 IIHF Women’s World Championship and scored two goals in seven tournament games, including one in a 6-5 overtime victory to claim gold. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “A power forward who will impact immediately in puck battles and net-front battles. She is a powerful and effective skater, providing consistent offense and a pro release.” 

Elle Hartje (Yale University) USA
23-year-old from Detroit, MI, led the Bulldogs in scoring each of the last three seasons, including the 2023-24 campaign with 40 points in 32 games as captain. She spent the 2020-21 season playing overseas with SKP Bratislava of the EWHL. In high school, was a four-time All-State selection in tennis and soccer. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “A late bloomer who continues to get better every year. A natural center who is efficient at face-offs and rounded offensively with the ability to beat opponents with a pass or a shot.” 

Amanda Kessel USA
32-year-old from Madison, WI, returns to action for the first time since the 2023 IIHF Women’s World Championship where she won her fourth gold and seventh medal since 2012. She’s also a three-time Olympic medalist, highlighted by gold in 2018. The University of Minnesota graduate won three NCAA titles and has amassed a pro career of two PHF and three PWHPA seasons. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “You can’t teach experience and she will step right into a top line role. She brings a calmness to the powerplay, a high-end release, and her passing makes her a threat to opponents and difficult to defend.” 

Anna Meixner (Brynäs IF) AUT
29-year-old from Zell am See, Austria, has over a decade of Senior National Team experience and has captained her country at the last three IIHF Women’s World Championship Division IA tournaments. She has played the last four seasons in the SDHL and was league MVP during the 2022-23 campaign with a career-high 26 goals and 53 points in 30 games. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “A veteran presence who has experience at every level of the game and can play a top-six role immediately. Brings speed and can handle the puck at that speed with consistent finish at the net.” 

Danielle Serdachny (Colgate University) CAN
23-year-old from Edmonton, AB, is a two-time Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award finalist who graduates as the Raiders all-time scoring leader with 239 career points. She’s represented Canada at the last two IIHF Women’s World Championships and scored the golden goal in the 6-5 overtime victory on April 14 against the United States in Utica, NY. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “Her physical play and size will have an immediate impact. She offers versatility at center or on the wing and can play in all situations by creating offense consistently and working hard on her defensive game.” 

Noora Tulus (Luleå HF) FIN
28-year-old from Vantaa, Finland, led the SDHL in scoring during the 2023-24 season with 61 points in 36 games and added 12 playoff points in capturing a seventh championship with Luleå. She’s a two-time Olympic bronze medalist and has won a silver and four bronze medals at the IIHF Women’s World Championship, including the 2024 tournament as an alternate captain. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “Can play in all situations with top-end game sense and playmaking abilities. Has tenacity without the puck and first step acceleration that puts her in a position to win more small space races and battles than most.” 

DEFENDERS: 

Sydney Bard (Colgate University) USA
23-year-old from New Hartford, NY, scored two goals and 28 points in 40 games patrolling the Raiders blue line for a fifth NCAA season in 2023-24. The 2019 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship silver medalist was invited to the U.S. Women’s National Team Evaluation Camp in March. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “Transition is her biggest upside whether it’s by her passing or her skating. She overcomes her small stature with gap control, an active stick, and is smart when engaging physically. Her positioning without the puck allows her to always be an option to support her partner.” 

Cayla Barnes (Ohio State University) USA
25-year-old from Eastvale, CA, played four seasons at Boston College before transferring to Ohio State where she won a 2024 NCAA National Championship, contributing 36 points and a nation-high plus-71 rating for the Buckeyes. She’s a two-time Olympian, winning gold in 2018 and silver in 2022, and has represented the United States in the last five IIHF Women’s World Championships compiling two gold and three silver medals. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “One of the most reliable defenders in the world. She reads the forecheck well and makes good first puck decisions. Uses her stick and smarts effectively on defense and joins the rush naturally to contribute offensively with a pass or shot.” 

Megan Carter (Northeastern University) CAN
23-year-old from Milton, ON, posted a career-high 25 points in 34 games for the Huskies during the 2023-24 season and earned Hockey East Best Defender and First Team All-Star honors for the second straight year. She won gold with Canada at the 2019 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “Does not shy away from physical play and will be one of the toughest shutdown defenders to play against in the PWHL. She’s more powerful than quick in her skating and possesses a strong shot from the point.” 

Klára Hymlárová (St. Cloud State University) CZE
25-year-old from Otice, Czechia, spent a large part of the 2023-24 season on the Huskies blue line where she amassed eight goals and 24 points in 36 games. Internationally, she’s a 2022 Olympian with experience in seven IIHF Women’s World Championships, winning back-to-back bronze medals in 2022 and 2023, and named one of Czechia’s Top-3 players in the 2024 tournament. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “A versatile defender who can also play forward. She brings consistent physicality and steady play with the puck whether it’s in her puck protection ability or first pass decisions.” 

Maja Nylén Persson (Brynäs IF) SWE
23-year-old from Avesta, Sweden, has spent eight years competing in the SDHL and has been the league’s Defender of the Year each of the last three seasons. As Brynäs captain in 2023-24, she scored 11 goals and 38 points in 36 games to lead the league in scoring at her position. The two-time Olympian has also represented her country at five IIHF Women’s World Championships. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “A mobile defender who makes good reads with and without the puck which will buy time in the physical PWHL game. Reliable in all situations, she will step into a top-four role and can lead the offense with first pass decisions or laser shots from the blue line.” 

Daniela Pejšová (Luleå HF) CZE
21-year-old from Teplice, Czechia, has played six seasons in the SDHL including two with Luleå where she has won a pair of championships. The 2022 Olympian helped Czechia win its first two bronze medals at the IIHF Women’s World Championship, including the 2022 tournament where she was named Best Defender and an All-Star with five goals and nine points in seven games. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “Challenges as the best skating defender in the draft. A strong defender and steady contributor offensively, she transitions effectively with a pass or with her skating and handles physical play with ease.” 

Ronja Savolainen (Luleå HF) FIN
26-year-old from Helsinki, Finland, has spent the past eight seasons playing in the SDHL and is a six-time champion with Luleå. She recorded 29 points in 35 games this season, including 11 goals which tied for the league-lead at her position. She’s a two-time Olympic bronze medalist and five-time IIHF Women’s World Championship medalist, adding a fourth bronze to her collection at the 2024 tournament. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “She brings a meanness to her game and is one of the toughest defenders to play against. Transitions with consistent decision making and not afraid to jump into the play with strong mobility that is an asset on the offensive blue line and in defensive battles.” 

Allyson Simpson (Colgate University) USA
23-year-old from Frisco, TX, had her most productive season offensively in 2023-24 with nine goals and 34 points in 40 games for the Raiders. The two-time U18 gold medalist got her first taste of U.S. National Women’s Team experience playing one game in the 2023-24 Rivalry Series. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “In a draft full of offensive blue line talent, she leads by providing stability defensively. Rarely beaten one-on-one, she disrupts the rush with a strong gap and is steady with the puck by making good first pass decisions and will handle PWHL physicality.” 

Claire Thompson CAN
26-year-old from Toronto, ON, will join the PWHL after spending the last year as a full-time medical student at New York University. She won gold with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2022 Olympics where she was a Tournament All-Star and won 2021 gold and 2023 silver medals representing her country at IIHF Women’s World Championships. The Princeton University graduate has two prior seasons of professional experience competing with the PWHPA. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “A generational offensive talent from the back end with the entire package of skating, puck skills, shot, game sense, and size. She has a good stick and a steady defensive game, and transitions with speed with a well-timed ability to join the rush that will immediately enhance all aspects of a team’s offense.” 

Anna Wilgren (University of Wisconsin) USA
24-year-old from Hudson, WI, spent the 2023-24 season with the Badgers recording 24 points in 40 games after spending five years at Minnesota State University where she captained the Mavericks. She was part of USA Hockey’s 2022 Olympic Residency Program and competed in two games for the U.S. National Women’s Team during the 2023-24 Rivalry Series. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “Leads from the back end with good decisions as a player her forwards can trust to get them the puck. She’s a low risk, high reward defender who handles physical play well, can threaten with her shot, and has strong positioning in her own end.” 

GOALTENDERS: 

Raygan Kirk (Ohio State University) CAN
23-year-old from Ste. Anne, MB, was a member of two NCAA National Championship teams, backstopping the Buckeyes to the 2024 title with a 26-save shutout in the 1-0 victory over Wisconsin to earn Women’s Frozen Four MVP honors. During the season, she posted a 22-2-0 record with 10 shutouts, a 1.05 GAA, and a .945 SV%. At the U18 level, she earned MVP honors for Canada in a gold medal performance at the 2019 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship.  

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “She’s won at all levels and is a future number one goaltender in the PWHL. A student of the position with size, compete, consistent rebound control, and takes the pressure of her defense with strong skating and good puck skills.” 

Kayle Osborne (Colgate University) CAN
22-year-old from Westport, ON, posted a 20-4-1 record with six shutouts, a 1.28 GAA, a .941 SV%, and earned ECAC Tournament MVP honors during the 2023-24 season for the Raiders. The 2020 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship silver medalist got the call to join Canada’s National Women’s Team during the December games of the 2023-24 Rivalry Series. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “Athletic with size, compete, rebound control, and consistent in her puck skills. She will provide depth to any team with the potential to take over as a number one following a strong season at Colgate.” 

Klára Peslarová (Brynäs IF) CZE
27-year-old from Ostrava, Czechia, has spent the past six seasons in the SDHL and won 14 of her 20 games in 2023-24 with three shutouts, a 1.76 GAA, and .935 SV%. In 2022, she was SDHL Goaltender of the Year while also being named an Olympic All-Star and IIHF Women’s World Championship All-Star in backstopping Czechia to its first ever bronze medal. She missed the 2023 tournament due to injury but returned in 2024 and was one of her country’s Top-3 players. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “An experienced, athletic netminder who has played in a variety of pressure situations and knows what it takes to win. Has improved her first save positioning to significantly minimize rebounds and stays square to the shooter to make herself big.” 

Gwyneth Philips (Northeastern University) USA
23-year-old from Athens, OH, won 23 of her 37 games during the 2023-24 campaign with six shutouts, a 1.17 GAA, and .955 SV%. She was a Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award finalist a second straight season following a banner 2022-23 where she was National Goaltender of the Year with a nation-high 34 wins, 0.87 GAA, and .960 SV%. She capped this season as the third goaltender on the U.S. National Women’s Team that won silver at the 2024 IIHF Women’s World Championship. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “Plays a similar style as her former Northeastern teammate Aerin Frankel. She never quits on a puck and can steal a game with her compete and athleticism. Lots of upside and can push to be a PWHL starter.” 

Kendra Woodland (University of New Brunswick) CAN
24-year-old from Kamloops, BC, posted an 11-5-0 record this season for the Reds with a 1.99 GAA and a .926 SV%. During the 2022-23 campaign, she won the Brodrick Trophy as U SPORTS Player of the Year with a .960 save percentage that led the country. She competed for Canada and won bronze at the 2018 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship. 

PWHL Hockey Operations says: “Has size, high end compete and athleticism, is solid positionally, and a demonstrated ability to carry a team and to steal games. She can push any number one goaltender and can provide reliable relief as a backup.”  

Follow the league on all social media platforms throughout the draft @thepwhlofficial plus all six team accounts @pwhl_boston, @pwhl_minnesota, @pwhl_montreal, @pwhl_newyork, @pwhl_ottawa, and @pwhl_toronto.