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Next generation of stars join CWHL following draft

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Today, the next generation of stars in the CWHL joined the league through the 2015 CWHL Entry Draft.

The 2015 CWHL draft class
The 2015 CWHL draft class
Brandon Taylor/CWHL

They started the day as college and amateur hockey players, they end the day as draft picks in the world's premier professional women's hockey league.

The CWHL held their 2015 entry draft at the league's headquarters in Toronto today. The top projected draft picks were on-location to be welcomed to the league in person.

Brampton kicked the draft off by selecting Sarah Edney -- a defensemen from Harvard.

Toronto was up next.

With the pick, general manager Rebecca Michael selected Emily Fulton -- a forward who played at Cornell. She posted a career-high 48 points in 31 games with Cornell last season.

Toronto's draft picks:

  1. Forward Emily Fulton (Cornell University)
  2. Forward Laura Brooker (Wilfrid Laurier Univsersity)
  3. Forward Ashton Hogan (Elmira College)
  4. Forward Sarah Stevenson (Liberty University)
  5. Defensemen Katie Gaskin (Wayne State University/Elmira College)
  6. Michelle Saunders (University of Western Ontario)
  7. Tomomi Kurata (Japan, Kansai University)
  8. Suzuki Sena (Japan)
  9. Laura Saar (Canadian Armed Forces)

Scoring seems to be a priority with the Furies next season.

Fulton said she was thrilled to be drafted by the Furies when asked what she was feeling when her name was called.

"It was happiness, pure joy; it's a big step to play in the best league for women's hockey. It was just excitement that I get to keep on playing hockey," Fulton told PPP.

She went on to speak about her playing style.

"I like to play with a lot of energy, and I like to have fun, playing the game we all love. I'm pretty tenacious on the ice too."

The draft brought Natalie Spooner back to when she first entered the league in 2012.

"It definitely wasn't a day like today. We didn't get to come in and be drafted -- I just kinda found out over Twitter. I think it's just exciting that the draftees today got to come in and get a real draft experience, and put on their jersey."

Spooner noted that the Furies selected potential stars today.

"It's exciting that they're part of the organization now. Emily Fulton has been in the Hockey Canada program for a while now, and I watched her at Cornell a bit, so it's exciting and I hope she can bring some scoring to the team."

"I've heard the other draftees are really good to. I'm just excited to get our season underway."

She mentioned where she thinks the Furies need the most help.

"I think we can use a little bit of help everywhere. I think we're gonna need some defense, but also we need some help upfront scoring still. I think if we can get some good forwards and defense then we'll be pretty well off."

Of note, the Brampton Thunder selected Moeko Fujimoto -- the first of four players from Japan entering the league this year.

The Toronto Furies also selected Tomomi Kurata.

She talked to PPP through a translator on how she hopes to put Japan on the map for hockey.

"I can't imagine the big picture yet, but this is very exciting for Japanese hockey."

Commissioner Brenda Andress also mentioned how happy she was with how the draft went.

"I'm always excited and happy with the draft, but this year we had the most players enter our draft since when we first started. It's always fun to see the new talent coming in, and the excitement, and thats what the CWHL's all about: creating opportunities, and that's what happened here today."

She also told us CWHL fans have lots to look forward to.

"There's going to be some exciting stuff happening very shortly with some phenomenal announcements coming up. Every year we're just excited when something else comes up that benefits the players, and benefits the communities."

Andress noted that the Montreal Stars are getting a new name and new logo, and the Toronto Furies are also getting a new logo.

Her message to CWHL fans is simple: "Every single fan can make a difference in not only growing our league, but also women in sport. Something as simple as buying a tickets, so we ask the CWHL fans to help us to grow the game and they can really make a difference in growing the game not only for the present, but for future generations."

"I couldn't be more proud to be the commissioner of the league. Each one of these players are like my children, I look at them and their excitement, and I think that together with the people that came before me, and the great staff and board that I have, and the players, I'm very proud to be part of this."