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Callan Sheridan | NCAA.com | December 21, 2018

Women's hockey: NCAA's look inside the 2018 NWHL Draft

Check out the top plays across college hockey

The National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) just wrapped up its 2018 draft, and NCAA.com is here to give you a rundown of where your favorite college hockey players will be starting their professional careers.

RELATED: Courtney Wittig becomes first DIII player taken in NWHL Draft

For new fans, here’s a quick lesson in how the draft works. There are five rounds with five picks in each round. The draft occurs over a two-day period, with rounds 1-2 on the first day and rounds 3-5 on the second. There are five teams in the league, so each team gets one pick each round. Draft order is determined based on teams’ winning percentage in the first half of the current season. Teams can draft any player entering her senior year of college, but she is not allowed to play for a team until she has graduated college and is no longer under NCAA rules (for those who play in the NCAA). Got it? Great. Then without further ado, here is the full NWHL 2019 Draft class:

ROUND 1

Overall Team player position school
1 Metropolitan Riveters Annie Pankowski F Wisconsin
2 Connecticut Whale Melissa Samoskevich F Quinnipiac
3 Buffalo Beauts  Megan Keller D Boston College
4 Minnesota Whitecaps Kelly Pannek F Minnesota
5 Boston Pride Kali Flanagan D Boston College

ROUND 2

Overall team player position School
6 Metropolitan Riveters Kendall Cornine F RIT
7 Connecticut Whale Makenna Newkirk F Boston College
8 Buffalo Beauts Loren Gabel F Clarkson
9 Minnesota Whitecaps Sophia Shaver F Wisconsin
10 Boston Pride Bailey Larson F Colgate

ROUND 3

overall team player position school
11 Metropolitan Riveters Courtney Wittig F Wisconsin-Eau Claire (DIII)
12 Connecticut Whale Katelyn Rae F Merrimack 
13 Buffalo Beauts Jessie Eldridge F Colgate
14 Minnesota Whitecaps Lauren Boyle  D Ohio State
15 Boston Pride Emily Clark F Wisconsin

ROUND 4

overall team player position school
16 Metropolitan Riveters Paige Voight F Merrimack
17 Connecticut Whale Dominique Kremer D Merrimack
18 Buffalo Beauts Olivia Zafuto D Colgate
19 Minnesota Whitecaps Grace Bizal D Boston College
20 Boston Pride Lovisa Selander G RPI

ROUND 5

overall team player position school
21 Metropolitan Riveters Cailey Hutchison F Maine
22 Connecticut Whale Maggie LaGue D Robert Morris
23 Buffalo Beauts Nicole Schammel F Minnesota
24 Minnesota Whitecaps Karlie Lund F Princeton
25 Boston Pride Jenna Rheault D New Hampshire

School Pride

This year, 15 schools were represented in the draft. Here’s the list of schools and how many players were selected from each:

Boston College — 4
Wisconsin — 3
Colgate — 3
Merrimack — 3
Minnesota — 2 
Quinnipiac — 1
RIT — 1
Clarkson — 1
Ohio State — 1
RPI — 1
Maine — 1
Robert Morris — 1
Princeton — 1
New Hampshire — 1
Wisconsin-Eau Claire (DIII) — 1

Conference

All four DI conferences were represented in the draft:

Hockey East — 9
ECAC Hockey — 7
WCHA — 6
CHA — 2

RELATED: Stats | Latest rankings 

Where in the world (and country)?

Not too surprisingly, players from just three different countries were selected. They are:

United States — 20
Canada — 4
Sweden — 1

Home states are a little more varied, with players hailing from 13 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. 

Arizona - 1
California - 2
Connecticut - 1
Illinois - 1
Massachusetts - 1
Michigan - 1
Minnesota - 6
North Dakota - 1
New Hampshire - 1
New Jersey - 1
New York - 2
Ontario - 3
Saskatchewan - 1
Vermont - 1
Wisconsin - 1

Position, please?

The draft displayed a solid mix of positions, featuring:

Forwards — 16
Defenders — 8
Goaltenders — 1

About that goalie…

The lone goaltender in this year’s draft, Lovisa Selander, was taken by the Boston Pride in the fourth round, 20th overall. She currently graces RPI’s collegiate roster and happens to be outlier in nationality, as well, hailing from Sollentuna, Sweden. Selander certainly earned her draft pick, currently ranking fifth in the nation with a .944 save percentage. She has 506 saves on the season so far, allowing just 30 goals in 16 games and earning two shutouts. 

Golden Ties

From the pool of Americans drafted, it's interesting to note the close relationship with USA Hockey. Of the first five draft picks, three competed with Team USA in the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. Keller, Flanagan and Pannek all came back for their senior college seasons with a gold medal around the neck, and the No. 1 draft pick, Pankowski, was a late round cut from the Olympics roster.  

Callan Sheridan is a graduate of Saint Peter's University and has produced content for The Press Enterprise, the American Junior Golf Association and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Follow her on twitter at @calsh_13.

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