The Montreal franchise of the Professional Women's Hockey League (PWHL) continued building its roster for the league's inaugural season by selecting Canadian defender Erin Ambrose as the sixth pick overall in the league's first-ever draft, held Monday afternoon.
Ambrose, from Keswick, Ont., represented Canada at the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing, after playing three seasons in the Canadian Women's Hockey League, including two in Montreal. Last year, she played for Team Sonnet in the Professional Women's Hockey Players Association league.
The Montreal team's general manager, Danièle Sauvageau, had the last pick in the first round of this historic draft.
She then selected Canadian forward Kristin O'Neill from the Cornell University program.
The 15 scheduled rounds will be held according to this formula.
Sauvageau laid the foundations of her line-up by signing centre Marie-Philip Poulin, forward Laura Stacey and goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens on the independent player market ten days ago. Sauvageau then hired Kori Cheverie as head coach.
The six-team league is due to launch in January. Toronto, Ottawa, Boston, New York and Minnesota are the other five teams.
HEISE MAKES HISTORY
American centre Taylor Heise made history by becoming the first player ever drafted by Minnesota. Heise is a native of Minnesota and spent five years with the University of Minnesota hockey program.
Toronto has set its sights on Manitoba defender Jocelyne Larocque, a veteran of Canada's national team who played for Team Adidas of the Professional Women's Hockey Player Association last season.
In third place, Boston chose the first European in Alina Müller. The Swiss centre is a product of the Northeastern University program. She has also played for the Zurich Lions of the National Women's A League and represented Switzerland at the last three Olympic Games.
The New York squad has selected Canadian defender Ella Shelton. A graduate of Clarkson University, she represented Canada at the Beijing Olympics.
Just before Sauvegeau selected her first player, Ottawa chose American defender Savannah Harmon.
Another Clarkson University graduate, she represented the USA at the Beijing Olympics. Harmon played last year in the league set up by the Professional Women's Hockey Player Association.