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New York takes Sarah Fillier first overall in PWHL Draft


It was another historic night on Monday for the PWHL, as they hosted their second annual draft in Minnesota.

Held at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium, the draft was a night of dreams coming true, along with a good amount of intrigue and surprises at the podium.

As expected and predicted PWHL New York wasted no time in taking Sarah Fillier the Canadian from Georgetown who has a plethora of experience on the international stage playing for Canada but also coming from Princeton University which is ironically in the state of New York and a coming home of sorts for Fillier.

At number two PWHL Ottawa selected Danielle Serdachny another Canadian from Colgate University, Serdachny is a tall strong forward who scored the overtime winner for Canada at the World Hockey Championships to seal another gold medal and she will bolster an offense that just fell short of a trip to the postseason.

With the number three pick the hometown PWHL Minnesota took Claire Thompson a defenseman which came as a surprise because Thompson is currently in medical school in New York, Thompson could be someone who could take the weight off Lee Stecklein who had a busy season on the blue line.

At number four the Walter Cup finalists PWHL Boston took Hannah Bilka, Bilka is the top American goal scorer on the national team and will add offense to a team that is front-end loaded and will be reunited with Hilary Knight to create a potent offense.

With the number five pick PWHL Montreal took Cayla Barnes the best defenseman in the draft and is a product of Ohio State and will add depth on the blue line with Erin Ambrose, Kati Tabin, and Dominika Laskova. Barnes is fresh off winning the 2024 NCAA National Championship finishing with 36 points.

A native of Eastvale, California she also played four seasons with Boston College and is a two-time Olympian and won gold in 2018 and silver in 2022, at the World Hockey Championships she has represented the US in the last five tournaments winning two gold medals and three silver.

With the sixth pick PWHL Toronto selected Julia Gosling another Canadian to make it four Canadians in the top six picks, Gosling is a power forward and will add to a powerful offense and will be on a team with the majority of the players who play for Canada.

Montreal’s night at the draft

With the 11th pick in the second round, Montreal took Jennifer Gardiner who is another player who played for Ohio State and a native of Surrey, BC. She graduated from the program with two NCAA championships under her belt and in 2023-24 she finished second on the team in points with 45 and was a finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award.

In the third round, Montreal selected Abby Boreen who spent the first year of the PWHL on the PWHL Minnesota reserve team scoring four goals and adding an assist in nine games. In College, she played for the University of Minnesota and hails from Somerset, Wisconsin.

At the 23rd pick and with their selection in the fourth round Montreal drafted Dara Grieg from Colgate University and the forward finished her college career with 62 goals and 70 assists in 174 career games. This past season she collected 17 goals and 42 points in 40 games and had previously played for the University of Wisconsin. Her brother Ridley is an NHL player who plays for the Ottawa Senators.

In the fifth round, Montreal added another defenseman in Anna Wilgren from the University of Wisconsin and the Hudson, Wisconsin native finished the previous season with 24 points in 40 games after playing the last five seasons playing for the Minnesota State University where she was also captain. She also played for the US national team during the Rivarly Series last year.

With the 35th pick overall in the sixth round Monreal took another defenseman from Sweden Anna Kjellbin from Lulea, at 30 years old she finished last season with a rating of +35 and finishing with one goal and 12 assists in 34 games playing in the SDHL. In nine playoff games, she finished with two goals and three assists. Her team ended up winning the playoff championship, she was also the captain for Sweden during the IIHF Women’s Worlds Hockey Championships.

With their final pick in the draft in the seventh round Montreal took another American Amanda Kessel from the University of Minnesota and the 32-year-old from Madison, Wisconsin hasn’t played since the 2023 IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championships. At the tournament, she won her fourth gold medal and her seventh since 2012.

She also has three Olympic medals most notably a gold medal in 2018 and she has won three NCAA titles and her career included two seasons in the PHF and three in the PWHPA.

Montreal general manager Danielle Sauvageau released a statement via a team press release giving her thoughts on another historic night in the second draft ever.

“We drafted a great mix of players tonight,” Sauvageau said. “Notably players that won national championships, as well as professional and international championships, players that were captains of their teams, along with a good split of offensive and defensive players. We addressed our needs in this draft and are looking forward to having them join our solid core already in place,.” 

Featured Image ©️ Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL)

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In this article: #NCAA, #ProfessionalWomensHockey, #ProHockey, #UniversityHockey, #USports, #WomenInSport, #Womenshockey, #WomensWorlds, Abby Boreen, Amanda Kessel, Anna Kjellbin, Anna Wilgren, Cayla Barnes, Claire Tho, Claire Thompson, Danielle Serdachny, Dara Grieg, grow the game, Hannah Bilka, Hockey, Jennifer Gardiner, Julia Gosling, PWHL, PWHL Boston, PWHL Draft, PWHL Minnesota, PWHL Montreal, PWHL New York, PWHL Ottawa, PWHL Toronto, Sarah Fillier

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