Poised to make a positive impact in the American sporting zeitgiest, Dani Rylan is bringing professional women’s ice hockey to the United States. With the recent launch of the National Women’s Hockey League, Rylan’s efforts are showing that women’s hockey matters.
Employing a great entrepreneurial spirit, Rylan’s greatest innovation in the formation of the four-team league is the fact that players shall be compensated, making the NWHL the first women’s hockey league in North America to do so. Of note, the four charter clubs are based in Boston, Buffalo, New York and Stamford, Connecticut. With a Junior Draft scheduled for June 20, 2015 in Boston, eligible players such as Hannah Brandt, Alex Carpenter and Kendall Coyne, it ensures that a solid future is in place for the incipient league.
A former player herself, Rylan was a captain with the Northeastern Huskies, capturing the prestigious Beanpot championship. Currently based out of New York City, Rylan is helping to change the game, while changing the way fans view women in hockey. With the consultation of four-time Winter Games medalist Angela Ruggiero, Rylan is revolutionizing the game, gathering a strong momentum of support.
As the league continues to prepare for its first puck drop this autumn, a remarkable sign of encouragement came via the National Hockey League. With the league issuing a Statement of Support, it was a highly appreciated gesture that only helps to build much needed momentum for professional women’s hockey in the United States.
“It’s critical to have support from people who share the same vision. We are extremely fortunate to share the same vision as the NHL on the growth of women’s hockey and the importance of the grassroots development.”
Testament to Rylan’s strong leadership is the need to give back to the community. In launching the NWHL, Rylan ensured that the league would be a responsible corporate citizen. Through the establishment of the NWHL Foundation, a charitable and non-profit corporation, it aims to provide long-range financial support while helping make the female game grow.
Recently, the Foundation held an event at Chelsea Piers, which included several heroes from the US national women’s ice hockey team in attendance. Rylan sincerely hopes that the Foundation shall encourage more girls to pursue hockey, while giving them positive role models to look up to.
“The NWHL Foundation’s core mission is to fuel the continued growth of the sport from the grassroots level on up. There are thousands of hockey moms and dads out there doing whatever it takes to encourage their daughter’s dreams. Whenever I hear a hockey parent thank the NWHL Foundation for providing role models for their daughters and allowing them to dream bigger than ever before possible, that’s when everything clicks.
Among the charter teams that shall compete in the NWHL’s inaugural season, the feel-good story is the return of professional hockey to Connecticut. Dubbed the Connecticut Whale, the club shall play its home games out of Stamford. With the franchise’s name and logo paying homage to the former Hartford Whalers, it has already generated a significant level of excitement.
Considering the Hall of Famers that once donned the Whalers jersey (Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Dave Keon, Ron Francis, Paul Coffey, Brendan Shanahan), Connecticut hockey fans are hoping that women’s hockey legends shall emulate the Whalers legacy and eventually find their way to the Whale. Having already received very positive feedback, it represents a great point of pride for Rylan,
“Hockey and Connecticut should always go together. We’re honored to have the opportunity to showcase women’s professional hockey in Connecticut and look forward to opening some eyes with the elite skill level of the incredible players on the ice. The feedback we get every day from people in the community is incredible and we look forward to earning their fanship for years to come.”
As women continue to become an integral fabric in hockey, Rylan is hoping to set new standards of hockey excellence. Helping to provide the game with a whole new image, Rylan is the ultimate example of how ambition and a profound respect for the game can create significant results that benefit all.
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”