Whale acquire first overall pick, Beauts head into 2021 Draft with seven picks

Two trades made just two weeks before the draft!

Today, the NWHL announced two trades impacting the 2021 NWHL Draft, which takes place on June 29. For the first time in franchise history, the Connecticut Whale have the first overall pick.

The Whale shipped the 2nd overall pick and their third round pick (14th overall) to the Buffalo Beauts in exchange for the top pick of the draft. It looks like the Whale have their eyes on a specific player and have made it a priority to bring her to Connecticut.

Whale acquires: 1st overall pick
Beauts acquires: 2nd overall pick, 14th overall pick

“We wanted to trade up in the draft to ensure that we are able to secure the rights of a player that we have identified as one of the top players eligible in this year’s draft,” Whale assistant general manager Laura Brennan shared in the league’s release. “She is someone that we feel will make an impact on our team and fit with our style of play and team culture.”

But the Beauts weren’t done there. General manager Nate Oliver made another deal, sending the Beauts’ second round pick in next year’s draft to Boston to acquire their third round pick (15th overall) in this year’s draft. That means the Beauts will have the first three selections of the third round on June 29th and seven total picks.

Beauts acquires: 15th overall pick
Pride acquires: Buffalo’s 2022 second round pick

“The Beauts went into the offseason knowing that we wanted to acquire a couple extra picks in this year’s draft,” Oliver said in the league’s release. “I feel fortunate that we were able to do so. By working through trades with Boston and Connecticut, we were able to secure the first three picks of the third round, and we still get the second overall selection as well. While this year’s draft has been challenging given the additional year of NCAA and U SPORTS eligibility, there are solid players whom we have identified and whom we believe can immediately bolster our roster for the 2021-22 NWHL season.”

These are the ninth and tenth trades in NWHL history, respectively. This also marks the second consecutive year that the top pick has changed hands. Last year, the Toronto Six sent the first pick and a fifth round pick in the 2020 Draft to the Boston Pride in exchange for Boston’s first round pick in 2020 and Boston’s first and second round picks in the 2021 Draft.

The Six still have five picks in the first two rounds of the 2021 Draft, including three in the first round. As a result of today’s deals, the Pride won’t make their first selection until the fourth round. The Riveters will wait until the second round to take their first player off the board as a result of the trade they made with Toronto last year to acquire Kelly Babstock.

2021 NWHL Draft Order of Selection

Round 1: Connecticut (from BUF), Buffalo (from CTW), Toronto (from BOS), Toronto, Toronto (from MET), Minnesota

Round 2: Buffalo, Connecticut, Toronto (from BOS), Toronto, Metropolitan, Minnesota

Round 3: Buffalo, Buffalo (from CTW), Buffalo (from BOS), Toronto, Metropolitan, Minnesota

Round 4: Buffalo, Connecticut, Boston, Toronto, Metropolitan, Minnesota

Round 5: Buffalo, Connecticut, Boston, Toronto, Metropolitan, Minnesota