NWHL Officially Launches with Inaugural Season Set for October 2015

New York, NY – April 10, 2015: The first-ever all women’s professional paid hockey league, the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL), officially announces its debut for October 2015. The league will host the best of the best in women’s hockey from around the world. 

Commissioner of the NWHL and former Northeastern University hockey player, Dani Rylan, set out to create the first paid professional women’s hockey league in North America.  Rylan’s original plan was to bring a CWHL (Canadian Women’s Hockey League) franchise to New York, but instead she created a paid professional league for women in the U.S.  After months of raising capital and working with brands and rinks to have equipment and ice time donated, the NWHL was born.  The league will operate on income from sponsors, as well as the NWHL Foundation, a charitable arm that will spread awareness about women’s hockey through grassroots efforts.

“We’re thrilled to be launching the first-ever paid professional women’s hockey league and creating a platform for these talented women,” says Rylan.  “We look forward to helping grow the sport for the best players in the world, and giving these women a place to shine.”

The NWHL will start with four teams and plans to expand the league with additional teams and locations across North America.  The founding four teams are the Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale and New York Riveters.  Each team will host nine home games throughout the season with themes to honor and create awareness around various causes and organizations, e.g., breast cancer awareness, military appreciation, etc.

The inaugural NWHL season will take place from October to March, including preseason, an All-Star weekend and playoffs.  The puck is set to drop for the regular season on October 17, 2015 and playoffs will conclude in March 2015. Each team will have two organized practices per week and will play one game each weekend (nine home games and nine away games). 

The first-ever NWHL draft will take place for college juniors in June 2015 in New York City.  The drafted players will be given a year to finish their NCAA eligibility while their rights are retained by the team that drafts them. 

In May 2015, free agency will begin for college seniors and all non-college players.  All athletes that declare free agency (in the draft) can register through the NWHL and must be selected to attend the team camps, which begin May 9, 2015.  Each team will host a two-day camp of drills and scrimmages where the free agents can dress for team tryouts.

To schedule an interview with Dani Rylan or for more information on the NWHL, please contact Denege Prudhomme at Stanton & Company at denege@stanton-company.com.


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