2016 NWHL draft: Midseason SB Nation poll

The Ice Garden weighs in on NWHL’s 20 2016 draft picks at the midpoint of season

The Ice Garden welcomes you to our first ever midseason poll on the 2016 NWHL draft class. We polled five of our most knowledgeable columnists and asked them to provide an updated ranking of the prospects in the 2016 NWHL Draft based on how their seasons have gone. Along with the prospect’s rank, you will see their average rank, the highest rank, lowest rank, comments (on the top four prospects), and statistics up until this point in the year.

A brief overview of the results: The top-rated player at the midway point was not the first overall pick, but the Whale’s Dani Cameranesi. The Pride’s Lara Stalder was the biggest riser, being drafted 20th and newly ranked 7th. The Riveters’ Sydney Daniels made the biggest drop, being drafted 5th and newly ranked 10th. The Boston Pride might be considered to have the best draft thus far, with four out of five prospects landing in the top 10.

Contributing their rankings and thoughts to this list were:

Madison Taylor, WCHA Columnist

John Mazza, NCAA Columnist

Jon Beidelschies, ECAC Columnist

Laura Berestecki, Hockey East Columnist

Anthony Mauro, NCAA Editor

Full ranking:

1. Dani Cameranesi, F, Minnesota — Connecticut Whale (2016 3rd OA)

Average Rank: 1.6

High Ranking: 1st (3x)

Low Ranking: 3rd (1x)


“There are not enough words to describe the impact Dani Cameranesi has had on the Gophers. Not only is she killer on the offense, but she also is a great team player who lifts the play of those around her.” — Madison Taylor

“Cameranesi is having an impressive year with Minnesota. Through her 17 games played, the forward has picked up 18 goals and 13 assists for 32 total points. She leads the senior class in both goals and points. She has a career total of 200 points and should put up more when she returns from her injury. Any team would be lucky to sign such a talented forward.” — John Mazza

· Season to Date: 17GP – 18G – 13A – 31PTS – 14PIM

2. Ann-Renée Desbiens, G, Wisconsin — Boston Pride (2016 4th OA)

Average Rank: 2.4

High Ranking: 1st (1x)

Low Ranking: 4th (1x)


“Desbiens has been lights out — averaging less than a goal a game (as of last week) and anchoring the No. 1 team in the country. She spent some time on the injury report due to a concussion, so we'll have to see if there are any lingering effects. I think she wins the Patty Kaz this year.” — Jon Beidelschies

“A 0.75 GAA? Does anything else need to be said? The Badgers have been playing a really solid game all season on both offense and defense, but a lot of [credit for] their success definitely falls on their extremely talented goaltender.” — Madison Taylor

· Season to Date: 16GP: 14W-1L-1T; 12GA – 264SV – 276SHOTS – .957SV% – 8SHO

T3. Kelsey Koelzer, D, Princeton — New York Riveters (2016 1st OA)

Average Rank: 3.6

High Ranking: 1st (1x)

Low Ranking: 9th (1x)


“Koelzer stays on top. She's on pace to match her 33-point 2015-16 season, when she was first team All-American, All-ECAC, Ivy League Player of the Year, and [won] a host of other awards. A tough, scoring defender is hard to come by, and she holds onto the top slot.” — Jon Beidelschies

“The number 1 overall draft pick was off to a rough start but is proving that she still belongs in the first round. With a late start due to Ivy League rules, Koelzer is putting up numbers comparable to blueliners who have played more games. Her defensive play will help any team make an Isobel Cup run.” — John Mazza

· Season to Date: 16GP – 5G – 11A – 16PTS – 22PIM

T3. Cayley Mercer, F, Clarkson— Buffalo Beauts (2016 6th OA)

Average Rank: 3.6

High Ranking: 2nd (1x)

Low Ranking: 5th (1x)


“Mercer has been super consistent this season, which pulled her up to the top 4 for me. She has 26 points in 18 games for Clarkson and always manages to get lots of shots on net. If she can maintain her consistency, she could have a great rookie NWHL season.” — Laura Berestecki

“Mercer has taken an impressive 114 shots on goal this season, leading the NCAA. Through 22 games she 28 points and a +20 rating. Her strong offensive showing shows she deserved to be drafted in the first round of last year’s draft.” — John Mazza

· Season to Date: 22GP – 11G – 17A – 28PTS – 12PIM

5. Sarah Nurse, F, Wisconsin— Boston Pride (2016 8th OA)

Average Rank: 5.6

High Ranking: 4th (1x)

Low Ranking: 7th (2x)

· Season to Date: 20GP – 15G – 10A – 25PTS – 14PIM

6. Lee Stecklein, D, Minnesota — Buffalo Beauts (2016 6th OA)

Average Rank: 6.4

High Ranking: 4th (1x)

Low Ranking: 10th (1x)

· Season to Date: 17GP – 2G – 9A – 11PTS – 12PIM

7. Lara Stalder, F, Minnesota-Duluth — Boston Pride (2016 20th OA)

Average Rank: 8.4

High Ranking: 5th (1x)

Low Ranking: 14th (1x)

· Season to Date: 20GP - 9G - 18A - 27PTS - 6PIM

8. Andie Anastos, F, Boston College — Connecticut Whale (2016 7th OA)

Average Rank: 9.2

High Ranking: 6th (2x)

Low Ranking: 18th (1x)

· Season to Date: 18GP – 9G – 11A – 20PTS – 10PIM

9. Ashleigh Brykaliuk, F, Minnesota-Duluth — Boston Pride (2016 12th OA)

Average Rank: 9.6

High Ranking: 8th (1x)

Low Ranking: 12th (1x)

· Season to Date: 20GP - 12G - 12A - 24PTS - 6PIM

10. Sydney Daniels, F, Harvard — New York Riveters (2016 5th OA)

Average Rank: 11.6

High Ranking: 7th (1x)

Low Ranking: 17th (1x)

· Season to Date: 10GP – 5G – 1A – 6PTS – 12PIM

11. Hayley Scamurra, F, Northeastern— Buffalo Beauts (2016 10th OA)

Average Rank: 11.8

High Ranking: 8th (1x)

Low Ranking: 16th (1x)

· Season to Date: 20GP – 4G – 11A – 15PTS - 28PIM

12. Jenny Ryan, D, Wisconsin— New York Riveters (2016 9th OA)

Average Rank: 12.6

High Ranking: 9th (2x)

Low Ranking: 19th (1x)

· Season to Date: 20GP – 6G – 4A – 10PTS – 8PIM

13. Sydney McKibbon, F, Wisconsin — New York Riveters (2016 13th OA)

Average Rank: 13.4

High Ranking: 11th (1x)

Low Ranking: 16th (1x)

· Season to Date: 20GP – 5G – 13A – 18PTS – 4PIM

14. Emma Woods, F, Quinnipiac — Buffalo Beauts (2016 14th OA)

Average Rank: 13.6

High Ranking: 6th (1x)

Low Ranking: 17th (1x)

· Season to Date: 20GP - 8G - 9A - 17PTS - 8PIM

15. Mellissa Channell, D, Wisconsin — Connecticut Whale (2016 11th OA)

Average Rank: 14.6

High Ranking: 10th (1x)

Low Ranking: 20th (1x)

· Season to Date: 20GP – 1G – 8A – 9PTS – 14PIM

16. Maddie Elia, F, Boston University — Buffalo Beauts (2016 18th OA)

Average Rank: 15.0

High Ranking: 10th (1x)

Low Ranking: 20th (1x)

· Season to Date: 20GP – 7G – 12A – 19PTS – 36PIM

17. Paige Savage, F, Northeastern — Connecticut Whale (2016 15th OA)

Average Rank: 15.8

High Ranking: 12th (1x)

Low Ranking: 18th (1x)

· Season to Date: 20GP – 4G – 12A – 16PTS – 8PIM

18. Halli Krzyzaniak, D, North Dakota — Boston Pride (2016 16th OA)

Average Rank: 16.0

High Ranking: 12th (1x)

Low Ranking: 18th (3x)

· Season to Date: 20GP – 2G – 9A – 11PTS – 8PIM

19. Sydney Rossman, G, Quinnipiac — Connecticut Whale (2016 19th OA)

Average Rank: 16.8

High Ranking: 13th (1x)

Low Ranking: 20th (1x)

· Season to Date: 18GP: 11W-4L-2T; 25GA – 284SV – 309SHOTS – .919SV% – 6SHO

20. Amy Menke, F, North Dakota — New York Riveters (2016 17th OA)

Average Rank: 18.4

High Ranking: 14th (1x)

Low Ranking: 20th (2x)

·  Season to Date: 20GP – 5G – 11A – 16PTS – 21PIM