Canadian Olympians commit to nation’s capital on three-year terms
TORONTO, ON (September 5, 2023) – The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) today announced the first three players to sign free agent contracts with the league’s Ottawa franchise including forwards Emily Clark, Brianne Jenner, and goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer. The trio of Canadian Olympians have all agreed to terms on three-year deals for the 2023-24, 2024-25, and 2025-26 PWHL seasons. Salary terms will not be disclosed, as per the PWHL Players’ Association.
“We are thrilled with the three players we have signed as the inaugural players for the Ottawa franchise,” said Mike Hirshfeld, General Manager of PWHL Ottawa. “We truly believe that we have signed three incredible hockey players. As important to us, we are focused on making Ottawa a best-in-class organization in the PWHL, a place where players want to come and play. Building a culture is important to us and we believe these three players are incredibly well-respected and will help us to lay the foundation of the type of organization we aspire to be.”
Clark has been an important fixture for Hockey Canada since 2011, when she made her U18 debut. Since then, the PWHL Ottawa signee’s impressive international résumé includes two Olympic medals (Gold, Silver), seven IIHF Women’s World Championship medals (2 Gold, 4 Silver, 1 Bronze), two 4 Nations Cup medals (1 Gold, 1 Silver), and a pair of U18 gold medals. Clark played NCAA hockey for the University of Wisconsin from 2014-19—with a one-year break to play in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games— and helped the Badgers make it to the Frozen Four in all four seasons capped by a National Championship as a senior. Born in Saskatoon, SK, the 27-year-old played in the PWHPA from 2019-21 and during the 2022-23 season where she finished second in scoring with 23 points in 20 games.
“I couldn’t be happier to be a part of the PWHL Ottawa franchise and I am looking forward to building on the strong women’s hockey history in the nation’s capital,” said Clark. “Having played there before, it was evident that the fans are passionate and that this is a hockey city. This is a dream come true and I cannot wait to get things started in Ottawa!”
“We are absolutely delighted to have Emily join Ottawa as one of our inaugural franchise players,” said Hirshfeld. “We love her complete 200-foot hockey game and strongly believe she is only getting better as a player and is heading into the prime years of her career. As important to us, in performing our due diligence, everyone we talked to raved about her as a teammate and a leader and we believe she will be an integral part of the culture we are trying to build in our locker room.”
Jenner joins Ottawa with an extensive list of accomplishments in international, NCAA, and professional hockey. The 32-year-old from Oakville, ON debuted with Team Canada in 2008 as part of the U18 team and has amassed more than a dozen international competition medals, including three Olympic medals (2 Gold, 1 Silver) and nine World Championship medals (3 Gold, 5 Silver, 1 Bronze), among others. Jenner was named MVP at the 2022 Olympics where she tied the Olympic record for goals scored in a single tournament (9) en route to winning gold. Her collegiate career began in 2013 at Cornell University where she set the program’s all-time scoring record and became a two-time top-10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award. Upon graduation, she played professionally in the CWHL and captured a Clarkson Cup title in 2016, and later with the PWHPA where she served as a board member.
“This is a dream come true,” said Jenner. “I’m thrilled and honoured with the opportunity to help build a franchise in Ottawa and help establish a culture and atmosphere here that will be a foundation for years to come. I couldn’t be more excited to get to Ottawa and become a part of the community. I would like to thank my family for their support through this process and throughout my career. This is truly a dream come true for all of us. I am grateful for this opportunity from the Ottawa organization, and I cannot wait to get started in November.”
“It is an honour to welcome one of this generation’s greatest players to Ottawa and we are thrilled that she will be joining us as an inaugural member of our franchise,” said Hirshfeld. “Her accomplishments to date are incredibly impressive and we are excited to watch her lead our team over the next few seasons. We strongly believe her leadership and work ethic will lay a foundation for all of our players and our entire franchise and create the type of team culture and commitment that we believe is extremely important.”
Maschmeyer joins Ottawa by way of Bruderheim, AB, where her development into one of Canada’s top goaltenders included a unique stint playing boys Jr. A hockey with the AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats. She would go on to spend four years at Harvard University from 2012-16 where she was recognized as a top-10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award as a sophomore and graduated as the program’s all-time leader in saves. Maschmeyer’s international career began at the U18 level in 2012 where she backstopped Team Canada to gold. Her notable list of international success also includes an Olympic gold medal and seven World Championship medals (2 Gold, 4 Silver, 1 Bronze). Her professional career began in 2016 in the CWHL where she was a two-time Clarkson Cup finalist and the 2018-19 Goaltender of the Year. Most recently, the 28-year-old played for the PWHPA from 2019-21 and 2022-23.
“It is an absolute honour and privilege to be one of the first-ever players signed to the PWHL,” said Maschmeyer. “It’s important to recognize that I wouldn’t have reached this point of signing a professional contract without all the determination of the women and pioneers of the game who came before me. I am thrilled to be joining the Ottawa organization as we build a strong-charactered, Championship caliber team.”
“We believe Emerance is one of the top goalies in the world and believe she is heading into the best years of her career,” said Hirshfeld. “We are excited to have her on our team. In doing our research, people around the game were unanimous about all the intangibles she brings to the table like a positive, infectious personality, an amazing teammate, and a leader. She will be an important part of the culture we are trying to build in Ottawa.”
The PWHL player selection process officially opened on September 1 with an initial free agency period that continues through Sept. 10. Teams are permitted to sign three players to Standard Player Agreements during this time. The 2023 PWHL Draft is scheduled for Sept. 18 where Ottawa holds the fifth overall pick.
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PWHL Director of Communications