Quinnipiac’s Girard heads impressive list of NCAA women’s college hockey talent selected during 2021 NWHL Draft

Taylor Girard tallied 16 points in 15 games during the 2020-21 season for Quinnipiac (photo: Rob Rasmussen).

The National Women’s Hockey League held its annual draft Tuesday night, featuring collegiate graduates from across North America.

A total of 30 players were selected by the league’s six member clubs over the five-round process and were introduced live on Twitch for the first time in league history.

“These athletes represent the future of the NWHL and professional women’s hockey in North America who will help inspire the next generation of young girls and boys,” said NWHL commissioner Tyler Tumminia. “We are proud to celebrate all of the hard work, dedication, and resiliency that have driven their careers this far. I hope all of the players enjoy this special moment with family and friends, and we can’t wait to see you and all of our fans in Season 7.”

Forward Taylor Girard, who collected 16 points in 15 games this season for Quinnipiac, was selected first overall by the Connecticut Whale, who opened the draft for the first time in franchise history.

“It’s so special to be drafted by the Whale,” Girard said on the NWHL Draft Show. “I got to know the area of Connecticut the last few years and I love living on the East Coast. I’m really happy I can still be close to Quinnipiac and it will make the adjustment easier. I’m excited to really just contribute in any way that I can. I’m really excited to get to know my new teammates and start this next season with the Whale.”

Toronto led the way with eight total selections followed by Buffalo with seven, Minnesota with five, Connecticut and Metropolitan with four each, and Boston with two.

All picks in the NWHL Draft were announced by special guests representing female and male sports leaders, media personalities, league partners, and fans.

Draft round (overall selection)Player's namePosition2020-21 NCAA teamNWHL team
1 (1)Taylor GirardFQuinnipiacConnecticut
1 (2)Emilie HarleyFRobert MorrisBuffalo
1 (3)Maegan BeresDBoston CollegeToronto
1 (4)Tatum SkaggsFOhio StateToronto
1 (6)Mak LangeiDBemidji StateMinnesota
2 (7)Anjelica Diffendal FRobert MorrisBuffalo
2 (8)Emma PolaskiFSyracuseConnecticut
2 (9)Annie MacDonaldFPrincetonToronto
2 (10)Rachel MarmenDMercyhurstToronto
2 (11)Caroline RossDColgateMetropolitan
2 (12)Tina KampaDBemidji StateMinnesota
3 (14)Anna Zíková DMaineBuffalo
3 (15)Missy SegallFHamiltonBuffalo
3 (16)Leah MarinoFRobert MorrisToronto
3 (17)Julia ScammellDNew HampshireMetropolitan
3 (18)Taylor WenteFMinnesotaMinnesota
4 (19)Allison AtteaFHoly CrossBuffalo
4 (20)Hannah BatesDSt. Cloud StateConnecticut
4 (21)Finley FrechetteFCornellBoston
4 (23)Jordan SanisloDSacred HeartMetropolitan
4 (24)Jenna BrennemanGPenn StateMinnesota
5 (25)Casey TraillDCastletonBuffalo
5 (26)Grace MiddletonFNew HampshireConnecticut
5 (27)Abby NearisFBrownBoston
5 (28)Daria TereshkinaDMaineToronto
5 (29)Morgan SchauerDLong IslandMetropolitan
5 (30)Kendall WilliamsonFColgateMinnesota

In addition to the 27 NCAA players, three players were taken from the Canadian college hockey ranks.

NWHL clubs will have a two-week window to exclusively sign their draft picks to contracts for the 2021-22 season. Any selected players who go unsigned in this timeframe will become eligible for free agency at 9 a.m. ET on July 14. Any unselected players immediately qualify for free agency beginning at 9 a.m. ET on June 30.

The inaugural NWHL International Draft will be held on July 25.

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