Whale selects four forwards in 2017 NWHL draft

Connecticut selected Brown forward Sam Donovan with the fifth pick in Thursday’s NWHL draft. (Graphic courtesy Brown University)

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – With a look toward the future, the four teams of the National Women’s Hockey League held their 2017 draft Thursday night. The Boston Pride selected Boston College goalie Katie Burt with the No. 1 pick in the draft while the Connecticut Whale selected four forwards.

None of the 20 players selected in the five round draft should have a significant impact upon the upcoming season since they are all entering their senior season in college. The 2017-18 NWHL campaign begins on October 28.

Boston selected Burt with the No. 1 pick in the draft that they acquired in a trade from Connecticut when the Pride sent forward Zoe Hickel to the Whale last February. Burt has posted a record of 61-7-5 in her first three seasons with the Eagles.

“She (Burt) has been a rock for us in net and I’m happy she is getting this recognition as one of the world’s best goaltenders,” BC coach Katie Crowley said. “She has the drive, leadership and work ethic to be the best.”

Brown University senior Sam Donovan

The Whale (5-12-1) selected four forwards taking Brown’s Sam Donovan in the second round, Yale’s Eden Murray in the third round, Northeastern’s Denisa Krizova in the fourth round and BU’s Nina Rodgers in the fifth and final round.

Donovan is a 5-foot-2 speedster from New Brighton, Minnesota. She had nine goals and 12 assists in 29 games a year ago for the Bruins (7-22) and has scored 28 goals with 24 assists in her three seasons with Brown.

“Sam is one of the hardest workers, both on and off the ice,” Brown head coach Bob Kenneally said. “A coach’s dream to coach, Sam is always looking to get better – whether it be through film, skill workouts or in the weight room. We count on Sam on the power play, penalty kills and all-important faceoffs.”

Murray, who is from Medicine Hat, Alberta, had nine goals and 18 assists in 31 games for Yale a year ago and has scored 22 goals in her collegiate career.

Krizova, a 5-foot-5 forward from the Czech Republic, had 18 goals and 27 assists last winter for Northeastern and has scored 51 goals with 88 assists in her first three seasons with the Huskies.

Rodgers, Connecticut’s fifth round selection, played two years at Minnesota before transferring to BU last winter where she scored 11 goals and had 20 assists.

2017 NWHL Draft
First round

  1. Boston (From Connecticut), Katie Burt, G, Boston College
  2. Buffalo, Kennedy Marchment, F, St. Lawrence
  3. New York, Taylar Cianfarano, F, Quinnipiac
  4. Boston, Kenzie Kent, F, Boston College

Second round

  1. Connecticut, Sam Donovan, F, Brown
  2. Buffalo, Savannah Harmon, D, Clarkson
  3. New York, Victoria Bach, F, Boston University
  4. Boston, Mallory Souliotis, D, Yale

Third round

  1. Connecticut, Eden Murray, F, Yale
  2. Buffalo, Brittany Howard, F, Robert Morris
  3. New York, McKenna Brand, F, Northeastern
  4. Boston, Lexie Laing, F, Harvard

Fourth round

  1. Connecticut, Denisa Krizova, F, Northeastern
  2. Buffalo, Annika Zalewski, F, Colgate
  3. New York, Toni Ann Miano, D, Boston College
  4. Boston, Lauren Kelly, D, Northeastern

Fifth round

  1. Connecticut, Nina Rodgers, F, Boston University
  2. Buffalo, Amy Schlagel, D, New Hampshire
  3. New York, Rebecca Leslie, F, Boston University
  4. Boston, Julia Fedeski, D, New Hampshire
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