(Toronto, Ontario) August 24, 2015 – The Montreal Stars boosted their talent up front at the 2015 CWHL Draft, welcoming 12 new players to the fold.
Led by two-time Olympic gold medallist Marie-Philip Poulin out of Boston University, the Stars selected five centres, three left-wingers, two defencemen and two goalies. They include McGill University’s Katia Clement-Heydra, Leslie Oles and Michelle Daigneault; St. Lawrence University’s Karell Emard; Alyssa Sherrard, Audrey Morand and Jessica Anderson from Concordia University; Sara Lachance of the Université de Montréal; and Ottawa University’s Melinda Prevost. The Stars also selected Helmi Saviakjuk Karpyszyn and Stephanie Loiselle.
“We have a very strong draft class this year in Montreal,” Stars general manager Meg Hewings said. “I’m extremely excited to welcome a game-changer like Marie-Philip Poulin to Montreal. I’m also thrilled to see Leslie Oles back in CWHL action. She’s an incredibly dynamic and intelligent player, and sees the ice so well. Montreal fans are in for a treat!
“We’re going to have stiff competition throughout the League. I’m excited for the season!”
Poulin returns to the organization following a successful four-year collegiate career, which saw her graduate atop the Terriers’ leaderboard in all-time goals, assists and points. The Beauceville, Que., native previously suited up for the Stars for two seasons (2007-08, 2008-09), earning Rookie of the Year honours in 2008 before helping the club claim its first Clarkson Cup in 2009.
“I'm excited to be back in the league after my university career at Boston University, and I'm looking forward to working with the Montreal organization to grow women's hockey in the community,” Poulin said. “Above all, I'm thrilled to be able to play the game I love in Canada.”
Clement-Heydra joins the Stars following four seasons with the McGill Martlets, finishing among the league’s top three scoring leaders each year and ranking second in the country in her final campaign. In 2014, she was named CIS Female Athlete of the Year and awarded the Brodrick Trophy, presented to the most outstanding player in the country, the highest distinction in the CIS. Previous winners of the award include current Stars forward Ann-Sophie Bettez, former Stars goaltender Kim St-Pierre and Olympic gold medallist Mélodie Daoust.
“I'm excited to have the opportunity to play hockey at the highest level, with one of the best organizations. It will be great to play in front of friends and family, and alongside longtime friends and teammates,” said Clement-Hydra.
A standout at St. Lawrence University, Emard comes to Montreal following a two-year stint as a coach with Colgate University. Emard, who spent two seasons as captain, enjoyed a remarkable playing career with the St. Lawrence University Saints, racking up 106 points (38 goals, 68 assists) in 157 career games. She also led the team to the 2011-12 ECAC Hockey Championship.
“I'm thrilled to return to Montreal and to have the amazing opportunity to play in the CWHL,” Emard said. “I'm looking forward to the calibre of the play, and to getting back out there playing the game I love so much.”
Like Poulin, Oles will also be joining the Stars for a second stint, having hit the ice with the club back in 2007-08 and 2008-09. During that time, she recorded 32 points (16 goals, 16 assists) in 20 games, earning her a spot on the CWHL All-Rookie Team and CWHL Eastern All-Star Team. A silver medallist with Team Canada at the IIHF Under-18 World Hockey Championship in 2008, Oles was award a bursary through the Montreal Canadiens at the age of 17.
“It is an honour and privilege to be drafted by an organization like the Montreal Stars, who represent and promote the best of women's hockey in our city,” she said. “I am excited for this new journey – not only to play with some of the most talented players in the game, but also to learn from some of the best leaders in our sport.”
Bios on the rest of the Stars’ draft picks can be found on the team’s official Facebook page.