One hundred and thirteen players representing nine countries were selected in the 2017 CWHL Draft on Sunday and will join the Boston Blades, Calgary Inferno, Kunlun Red Star, Markham Thunder, Les Canadiennes de Montreal, Toronto Furies, and Vanke Rays for the 2017-18 season. Held at the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Doc Seaman Centre in Toronto, the newest draft class represents 65 different USports and NCAA programs and features players from around the world, including Canada, USA, China, New Zealand and Turkey, among others.
Forward Courtney Turner (Union College; Milton, MA) was selected first overall by Boston Blades general manager Jessica Martino. Forward Kristyn Capizzano (Oakville, Ont.; Boston College) went second overall to the Toronto Furies, followed by defenceman Nicole Kosta (Quinnipiac University; Mississauga, Ont.) to the Markham Thunder, forward Mélodie Daoust (McGill University; Valleyfield, Qué.) to Les Canadiennes, and defenceman Taryn Baumgardt (Quinnipiac University; Innisfail, Alta.) to the Calgary Inferno.
The first round concluded with the CWHL’s two newest teams making their first picks. Kunlun Red Star selected goaltender Noora Räty (Espoo, Finland) sixth overall while the Vanke Rays added forward Cayley Mercer with the seventh selection.
“The 2017 CWHL Draft represents an exciting time for our League. In the eighth year of our draft, we added another talented group of NCAA and USports graduates who will help grow our game,” CWHL Commissioner Brenda Andress said. “These passionate players will complement our existing rosters, and their additions show the growth of the CWHL. I wish every one of these players the very best of luck as they get set for the next step in their hockey careers with our seven great teams.”
This year’s draft set a record in prospect attendance, with 31 players on site for their selection.
CLICK HERE for the full list of this year’s CWHL draft picks.
Get yourself set for the 2017 CWHL Draft with a look at some of the top players at each position who will have new hockey homes on Sunday.
After setting new career highs in assists and points in her junior season with the Boston College Eagles, Capizzano continued the trend in her senior year, hitting a new personal best in goals, and showing off her versatility in spreading out the offence on the power play, penalty kill and at even strength. Capizzano served as an alternate captain for the Hockey East champion Eagles in 2016-17 and, for a third straight year helped her team advance to the Frozen Four while also eclipsing the 100-point mark to wrap up her collegiate career.
Hailing from North Reading, Mass., Carpenter has represented the U.S. on numerous occasions over the course of her hockey career, earning an Olympic silver medal (2014), three gold medals at the Women’s World Championship (2013, 2015, 2016, 2017) to with three appearances at the Four Nations Cup. The 2015 Patty Kazmaier Award recipient, she scored the overtime-winner in the gold medal game against Canada in the 2016 World Championship and in Sochi in 2014 led her team with four goals.
In five seasons with the McGill Martlets, Daoust racked up 272 career points (116 goals, 156 assists) in 143 games to rank fifth all-time. Team captain in her final two seasons, Daoust helped the Martlets to three RSEQ conference titles and four appearances at Nationals over the course of her career while also joining earning the Gladys Bean Trophy as McGill’s top female athlete three times, a feat realized by only two others before her. A current member of Canada’s National Women’s Team, the Valleyfield, Que., native made her Olympic Games debut in 2014, clinching gold with Team Canada.
Baumgardt was a steady presence for the Quinnipiac Bobcats during her collegiate career and, as a senior, was named to the ECAC 3rd Team All-League Selection. The defenceman was also recognized for her efforts off the ice over the course of her university career, twice earning a spot on the ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team and being named a Quinnipiac Scholar-Athlete in her junior season. In 2017, Baumgardt was among the three finalists for the Mandi Schwartz Award as Student-Athlete of the Year.
Grigg played collegiately at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and in 2014 scored early in the second overtime to lift her team to its first-ever College Hockey America Championship. Her success that year led her to be named to the CHA All-Conference 2nd Team while in 2014 and 2015, she was named to the CHA All-Tournament Team. A native of Oakville, Ontario, Grigg sits atop the RIT record books with 143 games played.
A two-time Canadian National Champion (2013, 2016), Beaulieu served as captain of the Université de Montréal Carabins from 2015 to 2017. In 2015-16, she shared the captaincy honours with 2016 CWHL Draft pick Marion Allemoz. As a rookie in 2012-13, Beaulieu was named to the RSEQ All-Rookie Team.
A long-serving member of the Finnish Women’s National Team, Räty has established herself as one of the top goaltenders in the women’s game. She earned Best Goalie honours for a third time at the 2017 Women’s World Championship, adding to a collection of accolades that includes two Frozen Four MVP awards and a trio of nominations as a finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award. Räty is also a two-time NCAA National champion with the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Chuli earned numerous honours over the course of her career with the University of Connecticut Huskies. In addition to being named team MVP for a third straight season in her senior, she was also named to the American Hockey Coaches Association’s All-America Second Team. In 2015-16, Chuli made 972 saves between the pipes, bringing her career total to 3,467 saves, setting a record for the most stops in program history.