23-24 PWHL Preview: Boston

The PWHL season is fast approaching, so it's time to take a look at what to expect from PWHL Boston this year.

23-24 PWHL Preview: Boston
PWHL Boston players celebrate after a goal. Photo Credit: PWHL Boston/X

The inaugural PWHL season is right around the corner, which means it’s season preview time! Women's professional hockey has a storied history in Boston. The Boston Pride won three of the seven PHF Isobel Cup Championships, while the Boston Blades of the CWHL won two championships in their nine seasons. PWHL Boston will look to build on their predecessor's successes, so without further ado, let's take a look at how they can do that this season.

Final Roster and Current Staff Members


First up, here’s a look at PWHL Boston’s final roster. The list includes each player’s contract term and whether they were a camp invite, draft pick, or free agent.

Forwards (13):

  • Brandt, Hannah (1 year, drafted 5-27)
  • Darkangelo, Shiann (1 year, drafted 12-70)
  • Gabel, Loren (2 years, drafted 4-22)
  • Girard, Taylor (2 years, drafted 9-51)
  • Knight, Hilary (3 years, signed FA)
  • Kosta, Nicole (1 year, camp invite)
  • Marvin, Gigi (1 year, camp invite)
  • Müller, Alina (3 years, drafted 1-3)
  • Pelkey, Amanda (1 year, camp invite)
  • Rattray, Jamie Lee (3 years, drafted 3-15)
  • Schafzahl, Theresa (2 years, drafted 7-39)
  • Shirley, Sophie (1 year, drafted 11-63)
  • Wenczkowski, Taylor (1 year, camp invite)

Defenders (7):

  • Brown, Emily (1 year, drafted 8-46)
  • DiGirolamo, Jessica (2 years, drafted 6-34)
  • Fratkin, Kaleigh (1 year, camp invite)
  • Healey, Jess (1 year, drafted 15-87)
  • Jaques, Sophie (3 years, drafted 2-10)
  • Keller, Megan (3 years, signed FA)
  • Morin, Sidney (1 year, drafted 9-49 MIN)

Goaltenders (3):

  • Frankel, Aerin (3 years, signed FA)
  • Kronish, Cami (1 year, camp invite)
  • Söderberg, Emma (2 years, drafted 10-58)

Reserves (3):

  • Buckles, Emma, defender (Drafted 13-75)
  • Davis, Sammy, forward (Camp Invite)
  • Isbell, Samantha, forward (Camp Invite)

Staff and Consultants

Courtney Kessel blows her whistle during a PWHL Boston practice
Courtney Kessel blows her whistle during a PWHL Boston practice. Photo Credit: PWHL Boston/X

Next, here is a list of all current PWHL Boston staff members and consultants as of publication.


  • Courtney Kessel- Head Coach
  • Pernilla Winberg- Associate Coach
  • Stefanie McKeough- Associate Coach
  • Cierra San Roman- Video Coordinator

Front Office:

  • Danielle Marmer- General Manager
  • Marley McMillan- Director, Business Operations
  • Izzy Germain- Director of Team Services + Hockey Operations
  • Paul Nemetz-Carlson- Special Advisor to General Manager (consultant)

Who Isn’t Here?

Forward Tatum Skaggs was the only player drafted by Boston to not attend training camp. She was taken 82nd overall by PWHL Boston but did not attend training camp. The 25 year old played in the PWHPA last season, where she scored six points in 18 games. Her future hockey plans are unknown.

Boston also waived three members of their training camp roster. 

McKenna Brand follows through on a shot during a Boston Pride game.
McKenna Brand follows through on a shot during a Boston Pride game. Photo Credit: Michelle Jay/The Boston Pride

Forward McKenna Brand was among those waived by Boston. The 27 year old spent the previous five seasons with the PHF’s Boston Pride, where she produced 87 points in 91 games. The two-time Isobel Cup champion served as an alternate captain for the Pride for the last three seasons. Her future hockey plans are unknown.

Boston also waived goaltender Lindsay Browning. The 24-year-old played a few games with the PWHPA last season after completing an incredible college career at Cornell University. She holds multiple records at Cornell, including career goals-against average (GAA) and save percentage (SV%). She was also a Patty Kazmaier award finalist in her sophomore season (2019-20). Browning is currently an associate coach with the Holy Cross women’s ice hockey team, and it is unknown if she intends to continue her playing career elsewhere.

Last but not least, Boston waived defender Lauren MacInnis, who spent her first professional season overseas last year after completing her collegiate career at Northeastern University. The 25-year-old is known as a stay-at-home defender but also showed some offense last season, putting up eight points in 16 games across three professional leagues in Sweden and Austria. Her future hockey plans are unknown.

Greatest Strength


GM Danielle Marmer built arguably the best tandem in the league in Aerin Frankel and Emma Söderberg. They are both young, with Frankel only 24 years and Söderberg just 15 months older at 25. However, they are already two of the best goaltenders in the world. 

Frankel is simply phenomenal, having had a dominant college career and recently serving as Team USA's starter. Earlier this year, she led the US to their first IIHF World Championship gold in four years. She was also one of the best goalies during the PWHPA’s Dream Gap Tour last season. She is already skilled enough to steal games for Boston if she has to, and somehow, she's still improving.

Meanwhile, Söderberg is fresh off an excellent college career with UMD and she has been the backbone of Team Sweden internationally for the past several years. She was the main reason Sweden pushed Canada to the brink of elimination during the world championship this year, looking unbeatable until finally, Sarah Nurse buried one in overtime. She is already a luxury to have as a second goaltender, and she should only continue to improve.

Lastly, their third goaltender, Cami Kronish, is no slouch. She was a huge reason why the University of Wisconsin took home the national title last season, putting up a sterling 1.56 GAA and 0.932 SV% in her first season as the starter after spending several seasons as an extremely reliable backup. 

While all teams have talented goaltenders, Boston’s are shaping up to be the best of the pack. They will carry them far this season.

Two Big Questions Heading Into the Season

Photo of Aerin Frankel in a black PWHL practice jersey
Aerin Frankel during a PWHL Boston practice. Photo Credit: PWHL Boston/X

How does Boston deploy their goaltenders?

Aerin Frankel and Emma Söderberg might be the best one-two punch in the PWHL. Boston sought out Frankel in free agency, and when she’s on her game, there are few in the world, if any, who are better. She is their number one goaltender. However, playing her as a clear-cut number one may not be the best plan for Boston. Söderberg is also a phenomenal goaltender and she is used to being the go-to. She backstopped the University of Minnesota-Duluth to two straight Frozen Four appearances and started all but six of their 39 games last season. She also plays in just about every international game for Sweden. Playing infrequently may be a difficult adjustment for her, so it might be in Boston’s best interests to at least start the season with more of a 1A-1B style instead of playing Frankel in nearly every game.

How does Boston’s depth stack up?

Boston’s top-end talent may be the best in the league, but other teams appear to be more balanced. That is not to say Boston’s depth looks bad. In fact, they have no obvious holes. However, their depth may not be as strong as a team like Montréal. If their top-end talent is as good as we think they are, Boston should be a top team in the regular season if their depth is just average. However, come playoff time, depth will be the key to winning. As stacked as the league is, talent will not be enough to secure a championship. In a five-game series, it becomes much easier to figure out how to shut down the top players than when you see them in just one or two game spurts. So, a balanced lineup is more valuable than a top-heavy one, so keep an eye on that for Boston.

“Real Rookie” to Watch

Sophie Jaques skates with the puck during a PWHL pre-season game.
Sophie Jaques skates with the puck during a PWHL pre-season game. Photo credit: PWHL Boston/X

Alina Müller and Sophie Jaques. 

With two rookies this talented, it is impossible to pick just one to watch. Jaques is coming off a phenomenal season as a member of the Ohio State Buckeyes. She is a two-way threat, putting up over a point per game in her final two OSU seasons, and her hockey IQ is extraordinary. She won the 2023 Patty Kazmaier award as the best Division I women’s ice hockey player after being a finalist the year before. She was the first Black woman and just the second defender to win the award. The other Patty Kazmaier-winning defender? Hockey Hall of Famer Angelo Ruggerio. The fact that she was still available in the second round surprised many, and she could be a game-breaker for Boston for a long time. 

And then there’s Alina Müller. A finalist for the Patty Kazmaier award in all five of her NCAA seasons, Müller was dominant in her time at Northeastern University. She holds the all-time program assists record with 156–which smashed the previous record of 119. She is also the all-time points leader for women's Hockey East with 254 (destroying the previous record of 175). Simply put, she was a massive part of why Northeastern made three straight Frozen Four appearances. That is not even mentioning her international play. A Swiss senior national team member, Müller has already represented her country seven times despite being just 25 years old. She scored the bronze-medal-winning goal for them back in 2014 and became the youngest player ever to win a medal in ice hockey at 15. She also led the entire Olympic tournament in goals and points in 2018. She is a generational talent and barring any shocking collapses or unfortunate injuries, she will be a force to be reckoned with in the PWHL for a long time.



Alina Müller winds up for a slap shot during a PWHL pre-season game.
Alina Müller winds up for a slap shot during a PWHL pre-season game. Photo Credit: PWHL Boston/X

Alina Müller

Sure, Müller has never played a professional game in North America. However, she has already rewritten history books, and there is simply no reason to believe she will not continue her dominance in the pros. When you are an integral part of an Olympic bronze-medal winning team at just 15 years old, it is unlikely much fazes you. She will likely be on a line with an all-time great in Hilary Knight, and regardless of who rounds that line out, it is sure to be magical. Given their immense talent, Boston will have no shortage of MVP candidates, but few teams go far at this level without a clear-cut #1 center. That is Müller for Boston, so she is the one to beat for MVP.


If Boston’s depth performs at even an average rate, they have a real shot to finish first overall in the standings. Their top-end talent is the best in the league, and their goaltending likely is as well. Depth will ultimately win a championship, and other teams look better balanced, but it is hard to say what happens once the puck drops. Just because a player was great in other professional leagues, in college, or for their national teams does not mean they will be great in this league. It is the true best-on-best unlike we have seen before, and there is only one thing for certain: all six teams are stacked. Regardless of who comes out on top, the standings will likely be tight, leaving a slim margin for error if Boston wants to be number one.

Even if depth proves to be an issue for Boston, they will likely finish in the top half of the standings. Barring any shocking implosions, their top-end talent and goaltending are just too strong for them to be a basement team. Making playoffs is the expectation, and it should not surprise many if Boston secures home-ice advantage as one of the top two seeds.


Boston opens their season at home on January 3rd against Minnesota. It is the final game in a league-wide stretch of three home-openers (which feature all six teams) in three days to kick off the inaugural PWHL season. Below is their full schedule, with home games in bold.

  • Wednesday, January 3- MIN vs. BOS, 7 p.m. EST, Tsongas Center (Lowell, MA)
  • Monday, January 8- OTT vs. BOS, 6 p.m. EST, Tsongas Center (Lowell, MA)
  • Saturday, January 13- BOS at MON, 3:30 p.m. EST, Verdun Auditorium (Montréal, QC)
  • Wednesday, January 17- BOS at TOR, 7:00 p.m. EST, Mattamy Athletic Centre (Toronto, ON)
  • Saturday, January 20- NY vs. BOS, 12:30 p.m. EST, Tsongas Center (Lowell, MA)
  • Wednesday, January 24- BOS at OTT, 7:00 p.m EST, TD Place (Ottawa, ON)
  • Saturday, January 27- MIN at BOS, 4:00 p.m. EST, Tsongas Center (Lowell, MA)
  • Sun, February 4- MON at BOS, 3:30 p.m. EST, Tsongas Center (Lowell, MA)
  • Wednesday, February 14- TOR at BOS, 7:00 p.m. EST, Tsongas Center (Lowell, MA)
  • Saturday, February 17- NY at BOS, 4:00 p.m. EST, Tsongas Center (Lowell, MA)
  • Wednesday, February 21- OTT at BOS, 7:00 p.m. EST, Tsongas Center (Lowell, MA)
  • Sunday, February 25- BOS at MIN, 3:00 p.m. CST, Xcel Energy Center (Saint Paul, MN)
  • Saturday, March 2- BOS at MON, 4:00 p.m. EST, Verdun Auditorium (Montréal, QC)
  • Wednesday, March 6- BOS at TOR, 7:00 p.m. EST, Mattamy Athletic Centre (Toronto, ON)
  • Sunday, March 10- NY at BOS, 3:30 p.m. EDT, Tsongas Center (Lowell, MA)
  • Wednesday, March 13- BOS at MIN, 7:00 p.m. CDT, Xcel Energy Center (Saint Paul, MN)
  • Saturday, March 16- OTT at BOS, time and location still TBA
  • Wednesday, March 20- BOS at TOR, 7:00 p.m. EDT, Mattamy Athletic Center (Toronto, ON)
  • Monday, March 25- BOS at NY, 7:00 p.m. EDT, UBS Arena (Elmont, NY)
  • Thursday, April 18- TOR at BOS, 7:00 p.m. EDT, Tsgonas Center (Lowell, MA)
  • Sunday, April 21- BOS at NY, time and location still TBA
  • Wednesday, April 24- BOS at OTT, time still TBA, TD Place (Ottawa, ON)
  • Saturday, April 27- BOS at MIN, time still TBA, Xcel Energy Center (Saint Paul, MN)
  • Saturday, May 4- MON at BOS, 3:30 EDT, Tsongas Center (Lowell, MA)