Day 2 of the NWHL Draft starts in a little bit so here is my take on what kinds of players I think each team should take. Yesterday, I wrote out all of the first 2 Round picks and you can find them here and tonight, I’ll be doing the same thing again with Rounds 3-5. But before the draft starts, check out who I think each team should take tonight.
Let’s start off with the Boston Pride. The Pride picked up first overall pick Sammy Davis and twelfth overall pick Tereza Vanisova. Both picks are fantastic for this already stacked Boston roster, now they have two players who were leaders for points per game:
If Mikyla Grant-Mentis is available tonight, the Pride should look at taking her. The Pride have 4 picks in the remaining 3 rounds. I think they should use one pick to get a goalie and the remaining on defensemen. The Pride have a wide variety of productive forwards and they just added two more last night so they’re set on that. Adding young defensemen is never a bad idea for this team. They excel at keeping the puck out of the net but blueline help is welcome. As for a goalie, they have league MVP (not officially yet but you know I’m right), Lovisa Selander, in net and backup Victoria Hanson but you have to prepare for anything.
The Minnesota Whitecaps picked up fifth overall Alex Woken and eleventh overall Patti Marshall. Woken is a forward and Marshall is a defenseman. The Whitecaps have been another powerhouse team but they struggle with depth. The Whitecaps have 3 remaining picks so if they get two more productive forwards and another defenseman, I’d be satisfied. I think they would hold off on another goalie and maybe bring in an experienced goalie from the PWHPA or a free agent. Amanda Leveille has been solid but the Whitecaps aren’t Boston, they don’t have the relentless offense that can dig them out of a hole if they get into one. A goalie can come later but they need the young forwards and defense right now.
The Connecticut Whale picked up second overall Kayla Friesen and seventh overall Victoria Howran. Friesen is a forward and Howran is a defenseman. This season was hard on the Whale. The team needs defense, they had a -61 goal differential and didn’t have a player crack 10 goals. Both of their first picks are a good start so I want them to follow the same path. The team has 4 more picks in the draft so maybe 1 more defenseman, 2 more forwards, and a goalie. Getting young, fast defensemen is necessary for this team right now, then getting productive forwards to up the goal counts is the moves. The only goalie with wins on the team is Brooke Wolejko. She close to split time with Sonjia Shelly. Putting a younger goalie will do them good, they’re fresh and if they have the defense in front of them, we could see the Whale thrive in the future.
The Buffalo Beauts picked Carly Jackson at third overall and Codie Cross at ninth overall. Jackson is a goalie and Cross is a defenseman. The Beauts are close to the same boat as the Whale. They had a -45 goal differential this season but when they could get on, they were alight. What they need to add is productive forwards. They got the goalie they needed and now they need to focus on productive forwards and they’ll need to throw in another defenseman. The team has 3 picks left so I think they’ll get 2 forwards and maybe another defenseman in the remaining rounds.
The Metropolitan Riveters had the fourth overall pick and picked Saroya Tinker and then got Delaney Belinskas at tenth overall. Tinker is a defenseman and Belinskas is a forward. In the next three rounds, the Riveters need to get a young goalie to help them out. The team has Sam Walther in the net but she needs a solid back up so putting a young kid in can help take the stress off her back. I’d also like to see them pick up some depth. Without their first line on the ice, the Riveters are floundering. They need some forwards that can get the offense going. So with their 2 remaining picks, I’d like to see the team pick up a goalie and a forward.
Lastly, the NWHL’s newest team, Toronto had the sixth overall pick, Jaycee Gebhard, and eighth overall pick, Amy Curlew. Gebhard and Curlew are both forwards. Gebhard was an absolute steal for Toronto. We’re going to see more signing for this team with experienced players so getting a few young prospects will be good but you don’t want this team to start off blind with no experience. Now they have 4 forwards so with their remaining two picks I’d like to see them pick a goalie and a defenseman.
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