CWHL Draft Will Feature 81 Players, Representing Six Countries

The CWHL Entry Draft is set. When it takes place, the league’s five teams will select from 81 players who have entered the draft, representing six different countries.

Of those 81 players, 49 are from Canada, 26 are from the United States, three are from Japan, and there is one player each from Russia, France and Mexico. That includes Team Mexico forward Claudia Téllez; Nachi Fujimoto, sister of former New York Riveters goaltender Nana Fujimoto; and Iya Gavrilova, who played CIS last year and has skated for Team Russia many times throughout her career.

Among the others entering the draft, three are coming from Boston College, who nearly had a perfect season before they lost to the dynastic University of Minnesota Golden Gophers in the NCAA national championship.

Also in the mix is former Buffalo Beauts forward Hayley Williams, who is looking to move from the NWHL to the CWHL. That’s something that could become increasingly common, particularly among players who play for Brampton, Toronto and Buffalo, which are so close together. Williams scored a goal and five points in 17 games for the Beauts last season. Beauts backup goaltender Amanda Makela and Beauts depth forward Erin Zach (1-4-5 in 14 games) are also a part of the draft.

It’s notable is that there are 13 goaltenders entering the draft this year. With just five teams and not all that many openings, there will not be work for everyone. It’s a huge increase over last year’s draft where Amanda Cariddi was the first goaltender selected at 30th overall and only four were drafted at all.

Among those goaltenders, Canadian national team and former Harvard goaltender Emerence Maschmeyer, who was outstanding in the gold medal game of the 2016 IIHF Women’s World Championship, should be the first selected.

The CWHL draft will be held on August 21 in Toronto, Ontario.