PWHL Toronto assembles new talent wave from its 2024 draft class

Jun 21, 2024 | Sports

The 2024 PWHL draft is now in the books, with the league’s six teams loading up on some of the best talent in the world.

PWHL Toronto was chief among them.

For the franchise, it was a chance to bolster its roster following a disappointing end to their season where they blew a 2-0 series lead in their first-round series to PWHL Minnesota.

They started by selecting centre Julia Gosling from St. Lawrence University, who said she was surprised to hear her name called.

“There was definitely a bit of shock,” she said. “I didn’t know where exactly I’d end up, and once I heard them say my name, it was such a surreal moment, and that my dream came true was just unreal.”

Gosling said that while being selected was a huge honour, she’ll have to continue to prove herself in a league as intense and physical as the PWHL.

However, the pick was no surprise to Ted Brown, Gosling’s former coach with the London Devilettes of the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association.

“She’s a power forward, which means that she’s strong,” he said. “She’s extremely fast at skating, handles the puck very well and is not afraid of a little body contact. She plays all areas of the game.”

Gosling is already very familiar with the organization, having played under general manager Gina Kingsbury and head coach Troy Ryan with the Canadian national team.

PWHL Toronto selected defender Megan Carter from Northeastern University with its next pick

She will join an already strong defence corps that allowed the fewest goals in the league last season while providing an offensive scoring touch.

Kingsbury described the pick as a steal and said she’ll be able to seamlessly transition into the league.

“We love what she brings in terms of physicality and in terms of reliability,” she said.

Kingsbury selected another forward with her third-round pick, drafting Izzy Daniel from Cornell University.

Daniel dominated in the NCAA last season, amassing 59 points in 34 games, resulting in her winning the Patty Kazmaier Award as the best women’s college hockey player in the United States.

PWHL fan Adin Bendat-Appell said this pick stands out the most to him.

Bendat-Appell, who is also the administrator for PWHL Report on Instagram, said he thought Daniel would have been selected much sooner and loves her offensive upside.

“She is a brilliant and skilled player and her collegiate career backs that up. She has the potential to be an amazing top-6 forward for Toronto next season,” he said.

In the fourth round, PWHL Toronto selected another defenceman, Lauren Bernard from Ohio State University.

They rounded out their class by selecting a couple of forwards, Noemi Neubauerova and Anneke Linser, and a goaltender, Raygan Kirk.

Bendat-Appell said he views Kirk as maybe the most underrated player in the entire draft.

“She’s tall and covers a lot of the net while also being very agile and athletic between the pipes. She’ll also likely help alleviate some of the pressure off of the starter, Kristen Campbell,” he said.

Overall, Bendat-Appell said this was a strong draft class for PWHL Toronto.

“I think that they did a great job acquiring impressive depth at every position while at a disadvantage picking last in every round,” he said.