The 2011 CWHL Draft was held July 21, 2011 in Mississauga. The first 10 picks were ripe with future impact CWHL players. We will review the first 10 picks and their impact during the 2011-12 CWHL season.
Meghan Agosta (F),1st Overall, Montreal Stars
27 GP, 41G, 39A, 80PTS, +59, 5GWG
We are running out of words to describe Agosta’s rookie season. She came as bill and could arguably be named the top Women’s Hockey player in the world. The true test of Meghan will come in her second season. Can she keep her level of play consistent or will the dreaded second year slump affect her? Here we believe she will continue her domination of the CWHL and prehaps even beat her totals from this past season.
Molly Schaus (G), 2nd Overall, Boston Blades
23GP, 16W, 7L, 2.38GAA, .910SV%
The top goalie in the 2011 Draft, Molly stabilized the goaltending position for the Boston Blades. Schaus was also the top goalie in the CWHL during her rookie year posting the best GAA and SV% while also having to make the most saves (559).
Meaghan Mikkelson (D), 3rd Overall, Alberta Honeybadgers
15GP, 2G, 9A, 11PTS, +7, 1GWG
If Alberta had played a full season Meaghan’s totals would have projected to 27GP, 3G, 16A, 19PTS, +12. This would have placed her fourth amongst defenders in scoring this year. Mikkelson is a great puck moving defender and expect her totals to increase with Alberta playing a full season in 2012-13.
Vicki Bendus (F), 4th Overall, Brampton HC
27GP, 15G, 14A, 29PTS, +24, 2GWG
Vicki’s contributions helped to lead Brampton to a Clarkson Cup Final berth in her rookie season. She was the team’s fourth leading scorer and showed the potential to one day replace Jayna Hefford as the team’s best offensive weapon.
Jesse Scanzano (F), 5th Overall, Toronto Furies
26GP, 6G, 12A, 18PTS, +13, 1GWG
Scanzano was third in points on the team behind Kory Cheverie and the 11th overall pick in 2011, Mallory Deluce. More was expected of Jesse offensively in her first season. I believe the progression will be seen in her game and improvement will come in 2012-13. She is part of a young core of players that will lead the Furies to success in the coming years.
Courtney Birchard (D), 6th Overall, Brampton HC
25GP, 3G, 13A, 16PTS, +13, 2GWG
Courtney was a clutch goal scorer for Brampton this year with two of her three goals being game winners. She was second among defenders on her team to Molly Engstrom in points. She will have the benefit of having a great role model in Engstrom and expect Birchard to play a bigger role for Brampton this coming season.
Catherine Ward (D), 7th Overall, Montreal Stars
27GP, 2G, 29A, 31PTS, +28
On the strength of being the top playmaker for the dynamic duo of Meghan Agosta and Caroline Ouellette, Ward led the CWHL in points by a defender. She is a very effective puck mover and makes a great pass out of her zone to the elite talent that Stars have up front. Without defenders like Catherine Montreal’s transition to their potent attack would not be possible.
Meghan Duggan (F), 8th Overall, Boston Blades
4GP, 0G, 0A, PTS
Unfortunately a Megan suffered a severe concussion in December while playing in the CWHL and did not return for the rest of the season. The potential for her to come back and play in the 2012-13 season is not looking good as she was not able to compete in the 2012 Women’s World Hockey Championships for Team USA in April. All the best for a full recovery to Meghan from Outlook Hockey.
Bobbi-Jo Sulsar (D), 9th Overall, Alberta Honeybadgers
5GP, 0G, 1A, 1PTS, +1
Unfortunately Bobbi-Jo was only able to play in five of Alberta’s 15 games this past season. She has great potential to be an impact player in the CWHL and should show that potential with Alberta playing a full season this year.
Sommer West (F), 10th Overall, Burlington Barracudas
23GP, 6G, 11A, 17PTS, +13
In what was a dismal year for the Barracudas that ended with them being contracted from the CWHL, Sommer was a bright spot. She led the team in points and showed that there is potential for her to be a consistent point per game player with more support. She should end up playing for either the Toronto Furies or Brampton HC for the 2012-13 season. Either team would be lucky to have her as part of their attack.
Mike Burse – www.outlookhockey.com