This year has been full of uncertainty after two competing women’s hockey leagues dissolved, leaving professional athletes without a team.
“It’s definitely been kind of a roller coaster,” said Kristen Campbell, who played in the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association.
But the combination of players’ determination and new investors led to the launch of the Professional Women’s Hockey League, a new organization made up of six teams and 150 players.
On Monday evening, the PWHL held its inaugural draft.
Campbell, from Brandon, Manitoba, was the 14th overall pick. She is proud to be part of history.
“When you were a little girl, you could never have imagined something like this would happen and it was never possible when we were growing up,” Campbell said. “It was also pretty special yesterday to see my name called out by a little girl who can now dream of one day playing in the PWHL.”
Four other Manitobans were drafted, including second overall pick Jocelyne Laroque, Ashton Bell, Kati Tabin and Corinne Schroeder.
Both Schroeder and Tabin attended Balmoral Hall in Winnipeg. This project is already inspiring teenage athletes at their alma mater.
“It’s definitely something the girls talk about. At our school, they’re student-athletes first and foremost, so they know that college and university is where they’re going, but now having something to aspire to after that is something that a lot of people are really pa*sionate about. ‘between them. said Regan Boulton, Interim Director of Hockey and Head Coach at Balmoral Hall.
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The inspiration doesn’t stop there.
University of Manitoba a*sistant coach Jordyn Zacharias, who played professionally herself, believes it will open doors for university athletes as well.
“Now, knowing that our players have the chance to move forward and make hockey a career and strive to achieve that, I know that many of them are very excited not only for themselves but also for younger generations,” Zacharias said.
The puck will drop on the PWHL season in January with a 24-game season.
The new league creates stability for current players and higher aspirations for the next generation of athletes.
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