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PWHL draft comes to St. Paul with some new (and old) names to watch

The PWHL draft will be held Monday night at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium, and intrigue will surround the local team that just won the league’s first championship.

PWHL Minnesota, the league’s Walter Cup champions, parted ways with General Manager Natalie Darwitz on Friday. Coach Ken Klee, a longtime NHL player and former U.S. women’s national team coach, will lead the team’s draft.

Minnesota will pick third overall among the league’s six teams in each of the draft’s seven rounds, based on regular-season finish. The Cup-winning team that Darwitz has built and that Klee has coached is deep and talented, but will look to strengthen its scoring, which ranks fourth in the league.

PWHL concept at a glance

When where: Monday 6pm, Roy Wilkins Auditorium

How to watch: PWHL’s YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/@thepwhlofficial)

Tickets: Available for free at: www.thepwhl.com/en/2024-pwhl-draft

Award ceremony: 12:30 PM Tuesday, Great River Ballroom, Intercontinental St. Paul Riverfront Hotel

Draft order (reps for all seven rounds): 1. New York, 2. Ottawa, 3. Minnesota, 4. Boston, 5. Montreal, 6. Toronto.

Players to watch

Sarah Fillier, C, Princeton: Helped Canada win Olympic gold in 2022, scoring eight goals in the tournament. Had 30 goals and 13 assists in 29 games for Princeton last season. Considered the likely best overall choice.

Danielle Serdachny, C, Colgate: Amassed 25 goals and 45 assists in 39 games as a senior in college. Scored the winning goal in overtime to beat the United States and win gold at the 2024 World Championship.

Amanda Kessel, RW, Team USA: The former Gophers star is back on the ice after taking last season off to work in the Pittsburgh Penguins front office. The 32-year-old has an Olympic gold medal, plus two silver medals to her name. The 2013 Patty Kazmaier Award winner led Minnesota to three NCAA championships.

Hannah Bilka, LW, State of Ohio: Had 22 goals and 26 assists in 39 games to help the Buckeyes win the 2024 NCAA Championship. The Boston College transfer played two seasons at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, with 75 goals and 69 assists.

Britta Curl, C, Wisconsin: Bismarck, ND, native helped the Badgers win the 2023 NCAA championship and finish second this year. She has scored 41 goals and 63 assists over the past two seasons while playing a strong two-way game.

Three Minnesotans to watch

Abby Boreen, RW: Boreen played 14 games for PWHL Minnesota this season, limited as a reserve player as she attended pharmacy school. She had to enter the draft to become a full-time player and said she is open to playing for whichever team she chooses.

Madeline Wethington, D, Gophers: Wethington has been a consistent blueliner for the Gophers over the past five seasons and also won three gold medals at the World Under-18 Championship.

Izzy Daniel, F, Cornell: The Minneapolis native won the 2024 Patty Kazmaier Award after recording 21 goals and 38 assists in 34 games for the Big Red.

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