American Taylor Heise was the first-ever player selected by the Minnesota team in the new Professional Women’s Hockey League (LPHF) draft on Monday in Toronto.
The forward was named MVP of the 2022 Women’s Hockey World Cup with 18 points.
The 23-year-old has had a phenomenal collegiate career, winning the NCAA’s top division player title for the 2021-2022 season. She had scored 66 points in 39 games.
Heise grew up in Minnesota and Minnesota general manager Natalie Darwitz was on the coaching staff at the University of Minnesota when Heise played there.
With the second pick, Toronto chose Canadian defender Jocelyne Larocque. The 35-year-old won two Olympic titles in 2014 and 2022 and took silver at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang.
The Boston team chose the Swiss Alina Müller in third place. The forward played five seasons, from 2018 to 2023, at Northeastern University in Boston.
New York selected Canadian defenseman Ella Shelton with the 4th pick. The Ontario native won gold with Canada at the 2022 Games in Beijing.
American defender Savannah Harmon was the Ottawa team’s fifth choice.
Erin Ambrose and Kristin O’Neill in Montreal
To complete the first round of this draft, the Montreal team selected Canadian defenseman Erin Ambrose.
“Many thanks to the Montreal team, I’m really looking forward to the start of the season,” Ambrose said in French at the Radio-Canada Sports microphone. This is a truly special moment for women’s hockey.
Montreal immediately went with the seventh pick and selected Canadian forward Kristin O’Neill.
In the first two rounds, eight Canadians, three Americans and one Swiss were selected with the first 12 picks.
The repechage for the new women’s championship began at around 1 p.m. Monday at the CBC/Radio-Canada atrium in the Queen City. Next, teams from Toronto, Boston, New York, Ottawa and Montreal (in that order) will announce their first-round picks.
It is like that the fun “To have all this,” Marie-Philip Poulin said on Radio-Canada Sports a few minutes before the auction began. It’s a great day for women’s hockey. It’s sick!
Poulin has already been announced as a member of the new Montreal cast, along with Laura Stacey and Ann-Renée Desbiens.
There are a total of 268 players available for this draft, but only 90 of them will be selected. These candidates come from the PWHPAof PHFEurope, the Canadian university network, the NCAA or are not officially affiliated with an organization.
Players not selected in the draft become free agents and can sign a contract with the team of their choice or be invited to a professional tryout.
According to the collective agreement, each team must have at least 28 players, 23 of whom are under contract, when training camps begin next November.
The names of each of the six organizations have still not been released.
The first season of the LPHF The start is planned for January 2024.
The first round of the LPHF draft
- Minnesota: Taylor Heinse, striker, USA;
- Toronto: Jocelyne Larocque, defender, Canada;
- Boston: Alina Müller, striker, Switzerland;
- New York: Ella Shelton, defense attorney, Canada;
- Ottawa: Savannah Harmon, defense attorney, United States;
- Montreal: Erin Ambrose, defender, Canada
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