YES, YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY! PRO WOMEN’S HOCKEY IN MINNESOTA.
What's going on?
Back in August of this year, it was announced that the creation of the new Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) was in motion. The PWHL revealed the six new franchises that will take part; Minnesota, Boston, New York, Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa are the areas that have been chosen to kick start this new league.
How will it work?
The six founding teams will play a 24-game season starting in January 2024. Venues have not yet been released yet, but teams are expected to play in a wide variety of arenas, including ones that are in neutral areas (cities that aren’t where the founding six teams are located).
How will rosters be built?
In early September, teams were granted a free agency period where each team could select up to three players to add to the squad.
Players who were interested in playing in the PWHL declared for the draft that was held on September 18th. A total of 268 players signed up for the draft and of those, only 90 were chosen to potentially represent the six founding teams. (Daily FaceOff)
From here, 185 players were added to Training Camp rosters to prep for the upcoming season. With the camps beginning on November 15th, the league looks to finalize all rosters by December 11th.
What does this mean for the future of women's hockey in Minnesota?
With a creation like this, opportunities are endless. Having a professional women’s hockey team here in Minnesota will not only bring more visibility to the sport, but it will bring a greater awareness to women in sports. With this increase in visibility, more sponsors will be investing, which in turn eventually leads to better resources and opportunities for players at all levels. It allows aspiring hockey players to have closer role models to look up to, and it can lead to a rise in the number of girls taking up the sport at a grassroots level.
If you’d like to learn more about the creation of this exciting league, check out the link below!