Busy Day in the PWHL

On Friday, September 1st, 2023, it would be a busy day in the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) with hiring’s and signings.

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Naming General Managers

Kicking off the day the PWHL would announce at 9a EST the General Managers for all six clubs.

The Professional Women's Hockey League would announce the six General Managers for their inaugural season as they would kick off a busy day in the PWHL. - Graphic Courtesy of the PWHL
The Professional Women’s Hockey League would announce the six General Managers for their inaugural season as they would kick off a busy day in the PWHL. – Graphic Courtesy of the PWHL

The six individuals that would be named General Manager for the league’s six teams would be:


Danielle Marmer – Marmer comes from the Boston Bruins where she served the last year as a Player Development and Scouting Assistant, where she would become the first woman to hold an on-ice role with the organization. Marmer was previously the Director of Player Development at Quinnipiac University and an assistant coach for Connecticut College’s Women’s Hockey team. Raised in Dorset, Vermont, Marmer’s playing experience includes being a member of the winningest class in Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey history.


Natalie Darwitz – Darwitz’s playing career included winning three Olympic medals, three IIHF World Championship gold medals, and two NCAA National Championships at the University of Minnesota. She is also a former U.S. Olympic Team Captain and three-time NCAA All-American. Darwitz spent the last two seasons as an Associate Head Coach of the Gophers NCAA D1 women’s hockey team.


Danièle Sauvageau – Originally from Deux-Montagnes, Quebec, Sauvageau’s wide range of experience includes coaching Canada’s National Women’s Team to its first ever Olympic Gold Medal in 2002, becoming the first woman to coach in the Canadian Hockey League (QMJHL), and founding the women’s hockey program at the University of Montreal. Sauvageau also held the GM role for the PWHPA’s Montreal region from 2020-23 and head coach from 2020-22.

New York

Pascal Daoust – Daoust’s hockey career has spanned nearly three decades across a multitude of roles in the game. Most recently, he served as the General Manager of the Val-d’Or Foreurs of the QMJHL from 2016-23. Prior to the QMJHL, Daoust was also an Assistant Coach for the startup University of Montreal’s women’s hockey team, winning two national championships, along with three additional national podiums, in seven seasons.


Michael Hirshfeld – For the past seven years Hirshfeld served as the Executive Director of the NHL Coaches’ Association (NHLCA). His role included fostering the NHLCA’s relationships with hockey federations and associations across North America, Europe, and Asia., as well as support to coaches of all levels across the NHL and AHL.


Gina Kingsbury – Kingsbury most recently served as Vice President of Hockey Operations at Hockey Canada and has also been the General Manager of Canadian Women’s National Team Programs since 2018. As General Manager of the CWNTP she has won Olympic gold in 2022 and back-to-back gold at the 2021 and 2022 IIHF Women’s World Championships.

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The PWHL Draft

Then at 10a EST the PWHL announced the results of the draft lottery that was conducted to to establish the order for the inaugural PWHL Draft which will take place on Monday, September 18th, 2023.

The lottery was administered by PWHL Hockey Operations using a computerized list randomizer during a video conference call with all six General Managers. Teams had equal odds of securing the top pick in the lottery process.

The draft will consist of 15 rounds and 90 total picks, and will use a snake format in which, once a round is completed, the following round will be conducted with the teams selecting in the reverse order of the previous round. There will be no draft picks traded until at least the completion of the 2023-24 season.

Any player who is interested in competing in the 2023-24 PWHL season must declare for the draft by Sept. 3. Prior to the Sept. 18 draft, a 10-day free agency period will commence at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sept. 1 allowing each team the opportunity to sign three players to Standard Player Agreements.

After conducting the draft lottery, the Montreal franchise was awarded the first overall pick in the PWHL Draft. The draft order is as follows:


Round 1:
1. Minnesota, 2. Toronto, 3. Boston, 4. New York, 5. Ottawa, 6. Montreal.

Round 2:
7. Montreal, 8. Ottawa, 9. New York, 10. Boston, 11. Toronto, 12. Minnesota.

Round 3:
13. Minnesota, 14. Toronto, 15. Boston, 16. New York, 17. Ottawa, 18. Montreal.

Round 4:
19. Montreal, 20. Ottawa, 21. New York, 22. Boston, 23. Toronto, 24. Minnesota.

Round 5:
25. Minnesota, 26. Toronto, 27. Boston, 28. New York, 29. Ottawa, 30. Montreal.

Round 6:
31. Montreal, 32. Ottawa, 33. New York, 34. Boston, 35. Toronto, 36. Minnesota.

Round 7:
37. Minnesota, 38. Toronto, 39. Boston, 40. New York, 41. Ottawa, 42. Montreal.

Round 8:
43. Montreal, 44. Ottawa, 45. New York, 46. Boston, 47. Toronto, 48. Minnesota.

Round 9:
49. Minnesota, 50. Toronto, 51. Boston, 52. New York, 53. Ottawa, 54. Montreal.

Round 10:
55. Montreal, 56. Ottawa, 57. New York, 58. Boston, 59. Toronto, 60. Minnesota.

Round 11:
61. Minnesota, 62. Toronto, 63. Boston, 64. New York, 65. Ottawa, 66. Montreal.

Round 12:
67. Montreal, 68. Ottawa, 69. New York, 70. Boston, 71. Toronto, 72. Minnesota.

Round 13:
73. Minnesota, 74. Toronto, 75. Boston, 76. New York, 77. Ottawa, 78. Montreal.

Round 14:
79. Montreal, 80. Ottawa, 81. New York, 82. Boston, 83. Toronto, 84. Minnesota.

Round 15:
85. Minnesota, 86. Toronto, 87. Boston, 88. New York, 89. Ottawa, 90. Montreal.

Free Agency Opens

As of 1p EST Free Agency opened up, it would continue the busy day in the PWHL. - Graphic Courtesy of the PWHL
As of 1p EST Free Agency opened up, it would continue the busy day in the PWHL. – Graphic Courtesy of the PWHL

Then at 1p ET Free Agency would officially open. All six teams will have an opportunity to sign three players before the Draft. Free Agency will be open until September 10th.

Any player that is not drafted will be able to sign with any team as an undrafted free agent.

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