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Women’s Hockey Wednesday: 2017 CWHL Draft pool filling up nicely

The NWHL signings continue, Sweden begins Olympic preparations, and more about Kunlun and the Chinese national team.

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Ann-Sophie Bettez (#24) an alumna of McGill University, takes a shot on Harvard grad Emerance Maschmeyer (#38)
Ann-Sophie Bettez (#24) an alumna of McGill University, takes a shot on Harvard grad Emerance Maschmeyer (#38)
Dan Holland / CWHL

Story of the Week

CWHL Draft Pool Shallow In Olympic Year
Previous discussions have been about the merits of a particular article. This is not that.

Less than 24 hours after this article was published, Clarkson Golden Knights star Cayley Mercer and nine other players signed up for the CWHL Draft. That by itself speaks to one of the main flaws of the article: its timing.

First off, we’re seven weeks away from the CWHL Draft registration deadline. There are now 42 players on the list. Sure, that’s 34 short of the total from last year, but there are a number of factors to consider. As the universe so kindly pointed out, Cayley Mercer still had lots of time left to sign up and lo, she did.

There are five players centralized for Team Canada who are draft-eligible. One of them has already signed up for the draft. Four players is not the same as 34. It’s not the Olympics having an effect on the pool — the math is pretty clear on that. Plus, the 76 players drafted last year was a record-breaking number for the CWHL. If they do fall a little short it won't be a sign of major crisis.

The league is also down some GMs. At the very least, Brampton is working with an interim GM and Toronto is working with no GM. Until those hirings are finalized (plus any changes in personnel to Calgary and Boston that might be lurking) the GTA is severely lacking in people who are supposed to do the recruiting. Not to mention the league front office is down a Director of Marketing and Communications, which means some people are doing double duty and things are a little slower to get out than they might otherwise be.

And again, it's mid-June. A bunch of players signed up to the draft the weekend before last year’s deadline. At about this point last year, 35 players had signed up for the CWHL draft, so even if we're talking about the 32 players on the list at the time the article was published, the pace for signups does not seem to have significantly slowed.

Furthermore, there’s no need to panic over the lack of Division I players. Two-thirds of the draft last year were not Division I players, and not all of those Division I players were graduating seniors. Let’s not pretend Division I automatically gets all the good players — or does Ann-Sophie Bettez not count? There are a lot of paths to professional women’s hockey, and the CWHL is another step up for everyone, whether they’re out of USports or the Turkish Women’s Ice Hockey League or Hockey East. One prospect who has been on the CWHL Draft list for a while is Mélodie Daoust — an Olympic gold medalist who never played Division I hockey. It’s the primary developmental league for high-level women’s players, but it’s hardly the only one, and like all leagues it includes a sliding scale of talent.

The current list of players signed up for the CWHL Draft includes the captain of the Turkish national team, at least two players who have received an age exemption (one of whom made quite the impression at this year’s U18 Worlds), a number of U Sports stars (one with connections to both the NHL and the South Korean women’s national team) and players coming out of a women’s league in Western Canada.

There are so many stories hidden in this year’s draft pool already and this is the angle you want to go with? Women’s hockey fans deserve more respect.


China looks to North America in quest to become hockey power - The Globe and Mail
Boys, girls, men and women of Chinese descent from all over North America were invited to the MasterCard Centre to take part in a two-day identification camp as the country casts a net beyond its borders for athletes eligible to play in the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics

Brooke Webster becomes part of the China Plan for hockey |
Aurora resident poised to mentor, serve as ambassador.

Canadian Women’s Hockey League expanding to China | Watch News Videos Online
Watch Canadian Women’s Hockey League expanding to China Video Online, on s/t to jeffgm

Marie-Philip Poulin brise le plafond de verre | Kathleen Lavoie | Hockey
Au début de la semaine, un grand placard publicitaire représentant Marie-Philip Poulin a fait son apparition sur la façade d'un immeuble commercial du centre-ville de Toronto.

MacAulay to participate in tests for Canadian sport organizations
Hockey has taken Shannon MacAulay from Mount Herbert to New York and Germany.


Sweden announces first Olympic summer camp roster - The Ice Garden
Camp starts June 26 as the Damkronorna look to PyeongChang

Ice Hockey Australia Ice Hockey Australia National Team Coaching Positions open

Mexico wins "Panamericano"
Host succeeds in men’s and women’s tournaments


Team Russia will play NWHL teams in October - The Ice Garden
For the second straight year Team Russia will face NWHL competition.

Beauts Camp Features New Faces And Fan Favorites
On June 10 and 11, the Buffalo Beauts held its second annual free agent camp.

Beauts’ Buie blends effortlessly into Buffalo’s small-city vibe - The Ice Garden
The power-play specialist re-ups for another season and claims a throne in the Queen City.

Jordan Smelker Looking For Bounce Back Season
One Pride forward who could help fill the offensive void is Jordan Smelker.

Connecticut Whale Need To focus On Keeping Pucks Out Of The Net
It's been a rough offseason thus far for the Connecticut Whale.


Janine Weber Signing Huge For Depleted Boston Pride

Laing Inks Deal with NWHL's Boston Pride - Harvard

Pride add goalie Brianna Laing to the roster - The Ice Garden


‘Special’ year for Voorheis | Barrie Examiner
At the age of four, Paula Voorheis would head to the rink with her parents to watch older brother, Marshall, play hockey.

U Sports

Women's hockey from scratch: UNB hires Sarah Hilworth as head coach - CBC News
Sarah Hilworth is the new UNB women’s hockey coach, and her work starts right away. She must have a brand new team on the ice by the fall of 2018.

University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds name women’s hockey coach - Atlantic University Sport (AUS)
The University of New Brunswick is pleased to announce the appointment of Sarah Hilworth as the head coach of its women's varsity hockey team.