12 Players from State of Hockey selected in PWHL draft
It didn’t come as too much of a surprise when Minnesota chose Taylor Heise with the No. 1 overall pick in the PWHL draft held Monday, Sept. 18 in Toronto.
The draft is the first for the new league, which was formed this summer and will feature six franchises: Minnesota, Boston, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and New York.
A total of 90 players were chosen over 15 rounds. Twenty-nine of those players were Americans and 12 were Minnesotans.
Minnesota had the top pick and chose the highly decorated Heise who is coming off a spectacular career with the Minnesota Gophers.
Here is a closer look at the 12 Minnesotans chosen in the draft:
Overall Pick: 1
Hometown: Lake City, MN
High School: Red Wing
2022-23 Stats (U of M): 38-29-36-65
Heise won the Ms. Hockey Award in 2018 and hasn’t slowed down since. After leading her high school team to the state tournament and amassing 374 points over her high school career, she transitioned to the Golden Gophers where she excelled out of the gate notching 35 points as a freshman. This past season she scored 65 points to finish with 225 in her career, sixth all time. She was the 2022 Patty Kazmaeier Award winner as college hockey’s top player. She is also a two-time Team USA participant at the World Championships and has notched 30 points in just 14 games.
Overall Pick: 13
Hometown: Excelsior, MN
High School: Breck
2022-23 stats (U of M): 28-35-36-61
Another Ms. Hockey Winner (2017) Zumwinkle is considered one of the top players to come out of the State of Hockey in the past 10 years. She took a similar path as Heise, winning Ms. Hockey and then going on to a great career at the University of Minnesota. At Breck High School she recorded 241 points. At Minnesota she played five season and scored 209 points. This past season she served as co-captain with Heise.
Overall Pick: 20
Hometown: Lino Lakes, MN
High School: Centennial
2022-23 Stats (UMD): 38-10-36-46
Hughes was the third Minnesotan to join the ranks of the PWHL. Coming off a tremendous college career at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, the former Centennial star was a top-3 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award. At Centennial High School she led her team to the state championship game in 2018 and finished her career with 315 points.
Overall Pick: 24
Hometown: Lakeville, MN
High School: Lakeville North
2022-23 Stats (UMD): 39-9-16-25
Minnesota grabbed Flaherty in the fourth round and 24th overall to anchor their blueline. The Lakeville native had a stellar career at Lakeville North where she had 146 points as a defenseman. She was Hughes’ teammate at UMD where she played in 153 games and notched 76 points.
Overall Pick: 27
Hometown: Vadnais Heights, MN
High School: Hill-Murray
2022-23 Stats: NA
Brandt will be one of the more experienced players chosen in the draft. The 29-year-old is a former Minnesota Whitecaps player and was the No. 2 overall pick in 2015 by the Connecticut Whale when womens’ professional hockey was just getting its start. She is also the all-time leading scorer in Minnesota Gopher history and was an integral member of the 2018 Gold Medal squad.
Overall Pick: 43
Hometown: Elk River
High School: Elk River/Zimmerman
College: Ohio State
2022-23 Stats (OSU): 41-4-15-19
Bizal was the second Minnesota-born defenseman off the board, going to Montreal in the eighth round and 43rd overall. She was a star at Elk river/Zimmerman and headed east to play for Ohio State as a solid defender with good playmaking skills that resulted in 67 career assists.
Overall Pick: 46
Hometown: Blaine, MN
High School: Blaine
2021-22 Stats: 34-4-11-15
Brown was a three-time captain at Blaine High school where she graduated in 2017. She was also a captain for three years at the University of Minnesota, serving as an assistant as a sophomore and wearing the “C” as a junior and senior. A solid defender and a bonafide leader.
Overall Pick: 49
High School: Minnetonka
2022-23 Stats (Whitecaps): 27-8-11-19
Morin graduated from Minnetonka High School in 2013 before moving on to UMD where she was a captain as a senior. After college she played internationally for several years before returning to Minnesota last season to play for the Whitecaps and also serve as an assistant captain.
Team: New York
Overall Pick: 57
Hometown: Rogers, MN
High School: Rogers
College: Ohio State
2022-23 Stats: 41-21-19-40
A 2018 graduate of Rogers High School, Levis put up big numbers at Ohio State with 93 points in 79 games in her final two seasons. At Rogers High school she had 221 points in five seasons.
Sophia Kunin (Shaver)
Overall Pick: 60
Hometown: Wayzata, MN
High School: Wayzata
2022-23 Stats (PWHPA): 20-3-6-9
Sophia Kunin graduated from Wayzata High School as Sophia Shaver where she went on to a solid career at the University of Wisconsin, helping lead the Badgers to the NCAA title in 2019 when she served as team captain. She is married to former Wild first-round pick and current San Jose Shark Luke Kunin.
Overall Pick: 73
Hometown: Mound, MN
High School: Mound Westonka
College: Ohio State
2022-23 Stats (Whitecaps): 22-6-8-14
Schepers is a 2017 graduate of Mound Westonka where she put up big numbers with 270 points during her career. She went on to Ohio State where she continued to score with 137 career points. Last season she had 14 points in 20 games with the Whitecaps. She will stay in Minnesota after being selected in the 13th round by Minnesota.
Overall Pick: 85
Hometown: North Oaks, MN
High School: Mounds View
2022-23 Stats (Whitecaps): 21-5-4-9
The captain of the Whitecaps is staying home. Brodt will remain in Minnesota with their final pick. Brodt had a storied career at both Mounds View High School and at the University of Minnesota-Duluth where she served as captain multiple years.