This was not a very deep draft year at all. In a league already crowded with the top world-level talent from the U.S. and Canada, I don’t see many of these players making rosters, especially with a fourteen (!) round draft, including many players who did play D-1. But it will be interesting to see if there are any surprises as the year wears on, and I will continue to research some of the lesser known players. Why does it always seem like the Stars come out a winner in the draft, even while trying to choose Quebecois players? Good management, there’s no substitute.
Addition: as per wwhyte’s comment below, bear in mind that since the CWHL doesn’t pay, this causes all sorts of problems in terms of legal living situations, which in turn causes some teams to be even further constrained in their choice of players.
The Western representative, which apparently is sticking with Team Alberta as a name, scored only 30 goals last season and gave up 86. One quick way to fix that is pick up a converted defender who retains her scoring ways and some new goaltending, with Jessica Wong at #1 and Delayne Brian as the first pick of the second round. Wong was the captain of an embattled but plucky Bulldogs squad, served time on U-22 Canadian national team, and should be a popular addition. Brian helped Robert Morris overachieve in the CHA last year. I am a bit baffled as to some of their later selections for a team with this many serious needs. [again, see comments]
The Furies also had a scoring problem last season and a -12 goal differential, so it’s a surprise they passed on pure scorer Jess Jones and offensive defender Blake Bolden to take mid-range UMD forward Katie Wilson with the second pick. One has to believe this is a Torontonian thing at some level (the amorphous ‘leadership’ concept clearly played a role too). They also went with a similar type in Mattimoe. The real steal potential could be in the third round, where they picked up Sasha Nanji.
Brampton went with the offensive firepower and chose Jess Jones first. Clarkson’s Danielle Skirrow, a solid offensive player who covered both PP and PK with the Golden Knights, was their second choice. Although when your own team representative uses the term “small” to describe you it may not bode well for your ability to go into the corners with the size found in the CWHL.
As if Montreal needed another all-world talent. It’s just wasteful at this point. Lauriane Rougeau. I mean, really. Dumais in the third round was another nice pickup.
On the one hand, it’s annoying that the number one criterion for the Blades’ draft picks for many reasons must be country of origin, but we’re going through a pretty stellar period for U.S. players right now so it’s serving them well, as their recent Clarkson Cup win demonstrates. This was a weaker year for American graduating seniors (just wait), but it’s difficult to argue with powerful defender Bolden and Harvard standout and national team pool’s Jillian Dempsy with their first two picks.