23-24 PWHL Preview: Looking at the European Players in the PWHL

The PWHL players from across the pond.

23-24 PWHL Preview: Looking at the European Players in the PWHL
PWHL Boston's goaltender Emma Söderberg during practice. (Photo via PWHL)

Eurovision Theme Night, anyone? Players from eight different European countries are rostered for the inaugural PWHL season. Here's how the teams and nationalities break down.

New York

Chloé Aurard: forward, France

Prior to the PHF's demise, Aurard was set to become the league's first French player. Now, she'll claim that milestone in the PWHL instead.

Johanna Fällman: defender, Sweden

Fällman is a Norrbotten icon. She comes to New York from Luleå Hockey/MSSK in the SDHL, where she won six championships with her hometown club and one more with MODO Hockey in 2012.

The fact that she went undrafted in the PWHL is just stupid, but at least New York was smart enough to invite her to camp and actually sign her. Her contract runs for one year.


Theresa Schafzahl: forward, Austria Schafzahl follows in the footsteps of Austrian pros in North America like Janine Weber and Antonia Matzka. She played five years at the University of Vermont and captained the Catamounts in her senior season.

Alina Müller: forward, Switzerland

Swiss phenomenon Müller is the only European player in the league with a three-year deal. Under the CBA, due to that contract length she's also the only European player whose contract can't be terminated on a whim. Everyone else here, if their team decides they're underperforming, it doesn't matter that they put their lives aside and traveled thousands of miles for the opportunity. Too bad, so sad.

Emma Söderberg: goaltender, Sweden

Söderberg is an excellent pickup for Boston. She flourished in her starting role with the UMD Bulldogs, and she looks to be the Damkronorna's heir apparent when Sara Grahn decides her international playing days are over. At 25 years old, Söderberg is just entering her prime and, knock on wood, has a lot of quality time ahead of her.


Two Czech national team players, forward Tereza Vanišová and defender Dominika Lásková, join Montréal on two-year deals. They come to Québec as champions after winning the 2023 Isobel Cup as teammates with the Toronto Six.


Considering that head coach Carla MacLeod also coaches the Czech national team, it's unsurprising to see Ottawa with the highest number of European players on their roster, albeit only two Czechs.

Kateřina Mrázová: forward, Czechia

At 31 years old, Mrázová has been around and seen it all, including a Clarkson Cup title with the Boston Blades in 2013. She's a great playmaker with stellar vision all over the ice.

Fanni Garát-Gasparics: forward, Hungary

Garát-Gasparics, 29, has been a mainstay of Team Hungary for over a decade. She spent last season with the Metropolitan Riveters, scoring 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in 24 games.

Fanni Garát-Gasparics. Photo: Imago

The undrafted Budapest native joins PWHL Ottawa after a successful showing as a camp invite.

Aneta Tejralová: defender, Czechia

Tejralová plays a more defense-minded game, but she's more than capable of turning on the offense. She took over the C for Czechia after Alena Mills retired from national team duties.

Sandra Abstreiter: goaltender, Germany

Bavarian netminder Abstreiter is one of two European goalies in the league, the other being Sweden's Emma Söderberg. She's coming off of six years in the NCAA with Providence College, where she finished with a 53-31-19 record and a .931 save percentage in 104 games played.

Sandra Abstreiter in goal for Germany, 2023. PHOTO: Mareike Zeck, Sportschau

Fun fact? Abstreiter is 5'11, easily one of the league's tallest players if not the title holder in that department.


Denisa Křížová: forward, Czechia

Křížová is a proven threat every time she steps on the ice: she's been in the top five in scoring on every club team she's been on since 2012.

Susanna Tapani: forward, Finland

After taking a year off from hockey to focus on her other elite sporting career as a ringette player, Tapani brings her elite skillset to North America. She's the league's only Finnish player this season after fellow Minnesota draftee Minttu Tuominen chose to continue her career in China instead of going to the PWHL.


None. Toronto didn't draft any players who were born and trained outside North America, nor did they invite any to camp. Interesting choice from a team in a new league that's allegedly dedicated to being the destination for the world's best players.

(Before anyone yells at me, Hannah Miller represented China at the 2022 Beijing Olympics, but she was born in British Columbia and played her junior hockey there before moving to the NCAA. Her choice of demonym and national identity is up to her.)