Each year the NWHL holds a draft where its teams draft players who have completed their junior seasons. As a result, NWHL fans have learned to pay close attention to NCAA players in their senior seasons.
Today at The Ice Garden we’re going to take a look at the senior seasons of the prospects selected by the Boston Pride and the Buffalo Beauts in the 2017 NWHL Draft.
Katie Burt - G
Boston College | Lynn, MA, USA
Burt was the first goalie to be selected first overall in the short history of the NWHL Draft for good reason. After winning gold with Team USA at the 2015 U-18 World Championship she established herself as a consistent workhorse starter at Boston College for four seasons.
Burt finished her four-year tenure with the Eagles with a .937 save percentage in 146 games played. She is coming off of a senior season where she faced 28.97 shots per 60 minutes behind a depleted blue line, but still managed to post a .933 save percentage.
Note: The Pride traded Zoe Hickel to the Connecticut Whale for what became the first overall pick during the 2016-17 season.
Katie Burt hoists the Beanpot trophy for the third time in her career. pic.twitter.com/239BvPQmgt— Shannon (@ShannonJoyKelly) February 14, 2018
Kenzie Kent - F
Boston College | Norwell, MA, USA
Kent put up better numbers as a senior than she did as a junior, but failed to return to the 40-point form she had as a sophomore. Kent, a disciplined, pass-first winger, picked up 10 of her 22 assists in her senior season on the power play. She finished the season ranked 16th in points among NCAA seniors.
Mallory Souliotis - D/F
Yale | Acton, MA, USA
Souliotis signed with the Pride on March 1 and dressed for two regular season games. Souliotis does not possess great size, but she is a versatile skater capable of playing both forward and defense. She finished her NCAA career with 70 points — 58 of which were assists — in 117 games for the Bulldogs.
Lexie Laing - F
Harvard | Marblehead, MA, USA
The youngest Laing sister skated in just three games as a senior due to a major injury she suffered in November. It was a huge loss for Harvard; Laing led the team in scoring as a junior and was one of the Crimson’s three captains.
If Laing is healthy enough we should expect her to follow her two older sisters, Denna and Brianna, into the NWHL. A busy skater with great hustle, she could add some valuable depth to Boston’s group of forwards.
Lauren Kelly - D
Northeastern | Watertown, MA, USA
Kelly wrapped up her NCAA career with a career-best 12-goal season for the Huskies. Eight of Kelly’s goals came on the power play. Her ability to add offense from the blue line should be attractive to the Pride; Boston’s lack of defenders with offensive upside limited the team’s options in 2017-18.
Julia Fedeski - D
Univ. of New Hampshire | Orillia, ON, CAN
Fedeski was the Pride’s only pick in the 2018 Draft that was born outside of Massachusetts and the United States. The 5-foot-10 Fedeski is a big defender who excels at blocking shots while also possessing a big shot of her own. She scored seven goals for the Wildcats in her senior season, six of which came on the power play.
Kennedy Marchment - F
St. Lawrence Univ. | Courtice, ON, CAN
Marchment’s production dropped in her senior season, but that was hardly a surprise with Brooke Webster playing pro hockey in China. Even without Webster on her line Marchment managed to finish the season as a point-per-game player for the Saints.
The second overall pick of the 2018 NWHL Draft is most comfortable at wing and a big threat on special teams; 14 of her 40 points as a senior were picked up on the power play.
Savannah Harmon - D
Clarkson Univ. | Downers Grove, IL, USA
Harmon may be small — she’s listed at 5-foot-3 — but Beauts fans know better than most that defenders don’t have to be big to make a big impact. Harmon led all seniors in plus/minus with a staggering +54 this year and finished the season with 11 power play assists.
The captain of Clarkson’s National Championship team put up 34 points in 41 games this year. Harmon is smart, quick, and capable of playing a ton of minutes; she has all the makings of a franchise defender.
Brittany Howard - F
Robert Morris Univ. | St. Thomas, ON, CAN
Howard finished the year ranked fourth among NCAA seniors in points after putting up 49 points in 31 games. This year she set the RMU’s single season record for goals in a season (25) and set a new program record for career goals. She also had seven game-winning goals. Are you starting to get the picture?
Brittany Howard with a quick OT goal wins it for RMU! Final score: 2-1 pic.twitter.com/KZHAgZv6wK— RMU Hockey (@RMUWHockey) October 7, 2017
Howard is on the smaller side for a center, but that doesn’t stop her from playing a physical brand of hockey. She does have a bit of a reputation for taking penalties in bunches, but Howard’s PIM numbers improved this year. When she isn’t taking penalties, she’s a huge threat while killing them; she scored three shorties this year for RMU.
Annika Zalewski - F
Colgate Univ. | New Hartford, NY, USA
Zalewski is a 5-foot-10 center from central New York who excels at faceoffs and has provided Colgate with leadership and consistent depth scoring throughout her NCAA career. She eclipsed 20 points for the third straight season as a senior and finished her college career with 84 points in 131.
Zalewski’s hometown is about a three-hour drive from the HarborCenter, the Beauts’ home ice rink. If Colgates’ captain signs with the Beauts she will be just the second Red Raider to do so; former Buffalo goaltender Kimberly Sass was the first.
Amy Schlagel - D
Univ. of New Hampshire | Blaine, MN, USA
The left-handed Schlagel scored 11 or more goals from the blue line for the second straight season this year. A high-volume shooter, Schlagel led all senior defenders in shots on goal this year (131), averaging 4.23 shots on goal per game.
Schlagel’s ability to generate offense from defense would be welcome on any NWHL team, including the Beauts. However, now that the Minnesota Whitecaps are in the league, she might be tempted to continue her hockey career a little closer to home.