On the evening of Aug. 17, the National Women’s Hockey League hosted their third draft in league history. The draft was comprised of five rounds. The Boston Pride held the first overall selection. Twenty total selections were made, including the first Czech-born player to be drafted into the NWHL.
THW recaps each selection of the 2017 NWHL draft round by round.
Katie Burt (goaltender), Boston College – selected by the Boston Pride. Burt’s numbers in net for BC are staggering. Through three seasons she has compiled a record of 91-10-7. Not much gets by her as Burt has allowed a mere 138 goals in 108 games.
Kennedy Marchment (forward), St. Lawrence University – selected by the Buffalo Beauts. Marchment’s junior season at St. Lawrence was her finest thus far. She sniped 20 goals in 36 games, was a plus-33 and finished with 56 points. In each of her three seasons with the Saints Marchment has surpassed the 100-shot plateau.
Taylar Cianfarano (forward), Quinnipiac University – selected by the New York Riveters. An explosive sophomore campaign saw Cianfarano notch 28 goals in 37 games. Led all Bobcats in goal scoring last season with 13 tallies.
Kenzie Kent (forward), Boston College – selected by the Boston Pride. A dual-sport star in both hockey and lacrosse. Kent has been a plus player in each of her years at BC. Freshman and sophomore seasons saw her achieve a plus-46 and plus-45 respectively.
Sam Donovan (forward), Brown University – selected by the Connecticut Whale. Not having a selection in the opening round, the Whale added an Ivy League forward in Donovan. Her career at Brown thus far has seen her score seasons of 12, seven and nine goals.
Savannah Harmon (defense), Clarkson University – selected by the Buffalo Beauts. Harmon co-captained the Golden Knights during this past 2016-17 season. An offensive defender, Harmon has increased her point totals each season with seasons of 21, 22 and 36 points. Scored the NCAA Championship game-winning goal in 2017 to bring home the national title to Clarkson.
Victoria Bach (forward), Boston University – selected by the New York Riveters. Bach can score exponentially. In her first two seasons at BU, she has scored 22 goals each time. Regularly peppering opposing goaltenders, she has accumulated 313 shots in only 72 games.
Mallory Souliotis (defense), Yale University – selected by the Boston Pride. During her sophomore season, Souliotis led the Yale hockey club in points (4-21-25). Possessing a howitzer of a shot from the back end, Souliotis broke a pane of glass last season when she rifled a shot from the point.
Eden Murray (forward), Yale University – selected by the Connecticut Whale. Murray’s goal totals have increased each year for the Bulldogs. The native of Medicine Hat, Alberta has tallied seasons of six, seven and nine goals in her three years at Yale thus far. She has also scored a game-tying goal in each of her three collegiate seasons.
Brittany Howard (forward), Robert Morris University – selected by the Buffalo Beauts. The Beauts have a penchant for obtaining players with ties to Robert Morris. Howard fits in nicely with that tradition. Except for one season due to injury, Howard hit double digits in goals every year across four years with RMU.
— Connecticut Whale (@CTWhale_NWHL) August 17, 2017
McKenna Brand (forward), Northeastern University – selected by the New York Riveters. Brand has not missed a regular season game for the Huskies in her three years with the program. Last season’s junior campaign saw her blossom offensively with 23 goals in 37 games.
Lexie Laing (forward), Harvard University – selected by the Boston Pride. The selection of Laing foretells of a touching trifecta bound to take place. In the near future Laing will join sisters Denna and Brianna in having each played for the “The Pack”. Laing has 64 points in 96 games in her career thus far for the Crimson.
Denisa Krizova (forward), Northeastern University – selected by the Connecticut Whale. Krizova becomes the first player from the Czech Republic to be drafted by an NWHL team. In 104 career games for the Huskies, Krizova has scored 139 points. Included in those totals are 11 power-play goals and 10 game-winners.
Annika Zalewski (forward), Colgate University – selected by the Buffalo Beauts. The 5-foot-10 forward for the Raiders tied for the team lead in goal scoring in 2015-16 with 16 goals. Zalewski also serves as Colgate’s team captain.
Toni Ann Miano (forward), Boston College – selected by the New York Riveters. Miano is a native of the Bronx. She played in 17 of the Eagles’ first 18 games last season and totaled six goals and 11 assists during that time. Miano’s freshman season saw her finish as a plus-37 after playing in all of BC’s 39 games.
Lauren Kelly (defense), Northeastern University – selected by the Boston Pride. Kelly led the Huskies in blocked shots during the 2016-17 with 75 of them. That was done in only 37 games, making her a wall of sorts. A dependable blueliner who is a career plus player.
Nina Rodgers (forward), Boston University – selected by the Connecticut Whale. After two seasons at the University of Minnesota, Rodgers came out east and had her most productive hockey. With BU she tallied 11 goals and 19 assists in 34 games. Those numbers completely blew out of the water her previous totals of 4-2-6 and 5-4-9 with the Golden Gophers.
Amy Schlagel (defense), University of New Hampshire – selected by the Buffalo Beauts. Schlagel will add some nice offensive flair to Buffalo from the point. Her junior campaign saw her ratchet up 13 goals and 10 assists as a defender. Those numbers put her second overall in team scoring for UNH and tops among team ‘D’.
Rebecca Leslie (forward), Boston University – selected by the New York Riveters. Across three years with the Terriers, Leslie’s goal totals increased from 14, to 15, to 16. She is a 2014 Women’s U18 gold medalist for Canada. She had two goals and three assists across five games in that particular tournament.
Julia Fedeski (defender), University of New Hampshire – selected by the Boston Pride. This past season, Fedeski tied for the Wildcats team lead in blocked shots with 69. At 5-foot-10, she has excellent size for a defender. Fedeski’s six goals and 16 assists in 2016-17 were the finest totals of her college career so far.
Draft Recap Tidbits
The 2017 NWHL draft ended as an interesting one for multiple reasons. A few noteworthy tidbits to point out regarding the draft:
- Only one goaltender was drafted (Burt) and she was taken tops overall.
- There was strong representation among Ivy League schools, with four of the 20 selections coming from that particular collegiate athletic conference.
- Thirteen Americans were drafted, six Canadians, and one Czech.
- Hockey East was the collegiate conference with the most draftees at 11.
The nice array of selections will potentially add a strong contingent of enjoyable players for the next number of years. It will be interesting to see which of the players end up making the jump to the pro ranks over the next one to two seasons.
General Manager of the Buffalo Beauts (NWHL). Hockey history writer “The Hockey Writers”. Credentialed media for the NHL Combine and 2018 IIHF World Junior Championships in Buffalo, NY, USA. Born and raised in Buffalo, NY. Lifelong hockey fan for over 40 years. Proponent of the women’s game.