Earlier in the week our Womens Hockey editor, Hannah Bevis, and I participated in an NWHL All-Star mock draft. But now the real results are finally in. So let’s look at how the two teams, Team Pfalzer and Team Knight stack up against each other.
Break-down of the NWHL teams
|Team Pfalzer||Team Knight|
|CT Whale Players||1||4|
|Buffalo Beauts Players||2||2|
|New York Riveters Players||1||1|
|Boston Pride Players||6||5|
The offensive power on team Pfalzer is almost unfair. Meghan Duggan, Kelley Steadman and Brianna Decker, are just a few of the true powerhouses Pfalzer managed to snag in the draft. Stealing Knights liney might be seen as a ruthless move by Pfalzer but can you imagine a top line with the 5th, 8th and second point leaders in the league? Shiann Darkangelo, Zoe Hickel and Emily Field also round out the forwards for team Pfalzer and it’s clear they have an offensive arsenal at their disposal.
Besides captain Hilary Knight herself, she was careful to score herself some top offensive producers in the draft. Kelli Stack has been an absolute champ for the Connecticut Whale and reuniting her with Knight is sure to be explosive. Five players on team Knight currently have 6 plus points so far this season, and she’s added some forwards who are talented at making passes when they count racking up their assist counts.
There are obviously some big names in defense on both teams. When it comes to team Pfalzer, besides the captain herself, who has 6 points this year, there are some pretty offensive minded defensive players. Megan Bozek, though she hasn’t shown it much this year, is a talented scorer and a great pick. Blake Bolden and Gigi Marvin are also two strong defensive players who have managed to stack up some points this year. Pfalzer was smart to chose players with which she already has experience and chemistry.
On team Knight you have perhaps the best two way defenseman in the league right now with Kaleigh Fratkin. I said it in my mock draft explanation and I’ll say it again because it’s true, Fratkin might be the ultimate pick. She’s the bang for your buck. She had incredible defensive play and has notched 5 goals and 6 assists to have the third most points in the league. Kacey Bellamy and Alyssa Gagliardi are two defense players who Knight is already very familiar with and Jordan Brickner has seemed to be collecting assist this season.
Pfalzer was the first to pick a goalie, snagging the Riveters’ Nana Fujimoto at 8th in the draft. Following that up she picked Pride goalie Brittany Ott at #16. Now while the Riveters have only managed to win a few games this season Fujimoto has seem to be hitting her stride in the crease and has arguably made a very solid case for why she could be the top goalie in the league. Ott has recorded 3 wins and 1 loss on the Pride but also looks to be a solid presence in the net, and practicing with the high-scoring players on the Pride also has to help increase your skill level on a daily basis.
Knight picked up CT Whale goalie Jamie Leonoff with her 5th pick of the draft and went on to add Brianne McLaughlin to the line up with pick #15. Jamie Leonoff has been in net for 4 of the Whale’s 7 wins and has helped her team to remain undefeated at the top of the league. She participated in both of the Whales games that went into OT and the shootout helping to lift them to a victory in both situations. She has been rock solid in net and nothing less should be expected going forward.
McLaughlin is no new teammate to Knight. The two have played on many national US teams together. McLaughlin has done a real solid job for the Beauts, and was instrumental in the teams one win this season. No doubt Knight has confidence in her play after playing with her on several occasions. This might be the one area where Knight might have a distinctive edge.
How did our mock draft compare?
Out of the total 11 players Hannah picked 3 actually ended up on team Pfalzer. As for me, 4 out of my 11 picks ended up on Team Knight. However, out of the 22 total players mock drafted between us 15 were taken in the actual draft.
Some surprises neither of us picked? Britany Ott and Emily Field seem to top that list. Some upsets when it comes to players not chose? How did Babstock, Skeats, and Johnston manage to slip though, just to name a few? You can read more about some upsets and surprises in the draft in Hannah’s article here.
Either way, both teams are incredibly stacked and the amount of talent that will be on display in Buffalo in January will be unbelievable and a true treat to watch.
Don’t see your favorite player(s) on the list? Don’t worry, you can vote on two more players you want to join the two teams in Buffalo.