U SPORTS players to watch — 2024 PWHL Draft prospects

The IX: Hockey Friday with The Ice Garden, May 17, 2024

Happy Friday everybody! It’s Alyssa Turner from the Ice Garden bringing you today’s newsletter. As we approach the upcoming 2024 PWHL Draft in Minnesota this June, I decided to take a deeper look into some U SPORTS players who could hear their name called.

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Three U SPORTS players who could be drafted

During the PWHL’s inaugural season, there were 11 former U SPORTS athletes who were on PWHL rosters. Out of those eleven, seven of them were full-time players while the other four were reserves.

Sarah Bujold, Jade Downie-Landry, and Ann-Sophie Bettez were three full-time players who played their college careers in U SPORTS. Melodie Daoust, who spent time on Montreal’s reserve roster and full-time roster is another notable former U SPORTS athlete who played in the PWHL this season.

Emmy Fecteau — F

Over the last few seasons Concordia forward Emmy Fecteau has taken U SPORTS hockey by storm. She’s a pure leader both on and off the ice and has consistently delivered in big-time moments. During her senior year, she capped off an incredible collegiate career as she helped lead Concordia to its second national championship in three years.

Concordia forward Emmy Fecteau has taken U SPORTS hockey by storm. (Photo Credit: Concordia University / Stats: Elite Prospects)

The two-way forward won Hockey Canada’s 2023 Isobel Gathorne-Hardy Award, which is awarded to a women’s hockey player in Canada who displays values, leadership and personal traits representing the broader women’s hockey community. The previous two winners of the award were Marie-Philip Poulin and Eve Gascon.

Emmy Fecteau currently ranks 31st on the Hockey News’ PWHL Draft Rankings.

Rylind MacKinnon — D

In a draft that features a handful of game-breaking defenders, Rylind MacKinnon might become the steal of the 2024 PWHL Draft. 

Over the past two seasons, the University of British Columbia defender was the captain as she led her team to back-to-back Canada West championships in the 2022 and 2023 seasons. She also set a new program record for the most career points as a defenseman with an impressive 81 points (34 goals, 47 assists) during the regular season. 

Rylind MacKinnon might become the steal of the 2024 PWHL Draft. (Photo Credit: University of British Columbia)

In September, the UBC standout was invited to the National Women’s Team Selection Camp. She was the only U SPORTS player to attend. Heading into this year’s PWHL Draft, a player like Rylind MacKinnon could strengthen any team’s blueline and will make an immediate impact.

Rylind MacKinnon currently ranks 25th on the Hockey News’ PWHL Draft Rankings.

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Kendra Woodland — G

There is an abundance of goaltending talent in the upcoming PWHL Draft and the talent doesn’t stop just in the NCAA. Kendra Woodland out of the University of New Brunswick has been one of the best netminders in U SPORTS over the last few seasons. 

In 2023, Woodland won the Brodrick Trophy as the U SPORTS women’s hockey player of the year. In that season, she led the country in save percentage with a .960 and finished the regular season with an impressive 23-5 record. Her impressive numbers at UNB spread across her whole entire collegiate career as she never had a season where her save percentage fell below .926. 

Kendra Woodland out of the University of New Brunswick has been one of the best netminders in U SPORTS (Photo Credit: USPORTS. Stats: Elite Prospects)

In addition to her play for UNB, she helped Canada win a gold medal in women’s hockey at the 2023 FISU World Winter University Games. In her four starts, she recorded three shutouts, a 0.25 GAA, and an insane .984 save percentage.

The number of goalie spots in the PWHL might be limited, but if a team decides to take a chance on Kendra Woodland, they will not regret it. 

Kendra Woodland currently ranks 59th on the Hockey News’ PWHL Draft Rankings.

Other players to keep an eye on

  • Leah Herrfort
  • Rosalie Bégin-Cyr
  • Marie-Camille Théorêt
  • Camryn Drever
  • Kelly-Ann Nadeau
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