DailyGopher: Minnesota Women’s Hockey: PWHL Draft Preview, Minnesota’s team has plenty of Gopher ties and is set to add more


Well-known member
Mar 5, 2023
Reaction score

Minnesota Women’s Hockey: PWHL Draft Preview​

Minnesota’s team has plenty of Gopher ties and is set to add more.

"The General Manager... the inaugural coach... free agents... a pair of Minnesota All-Americans and US Olympians... heavily speculated that with the #1 overall pick..."

That’s because the most exciting, skilled player available when the draft begins at noon CDT also happens to be a Minnesotan, 2022 Patty Kazmaier Award winner Taylor Heise....

Darwitz said the draft, loaded with unsigned international veterans and college stars, is deep at forward and in goal.

“Do we need a goalie we can depend on? Yes,” Darwitz said. “We need to get one in the early rounds. But we’re also willing to wait until after (the) 12 and 13 (picks). We feel like the depth is pretty good.”

Great coverage by John Shipley at Pioneer Press. The article is repeated here:

He writes, "Darwitz and her staff — head coach Charlie Burggraf and assistant coaches Mira Jalosuo and Jake Bobrowski — will have 15 rounds to set the foundation of their inaugural team."

Huge news reporting there!



This PWHL story is sensational. To see a team that doesn't even have a name and logo emerge and take shape, first-rate pro every step of the way... And then to guess what they are going to decide.

And where they could play, a game here and there to generate interest, connecting with local girls/women hockey players and their families, surely the key marketing target. Targeted marketing = focus on reaching that group and don't fall for wasted resources on the wrong groups.

-Excel Energy Center, St Paul, home base (20,000 seats)

-Maybe another arena in the Mpls-St Paul metropolitan area with less capacity?

-Amsoil Arena, Duluth (6,700)?

-Herb Brooks National Hockey Center, St Cloud (6,000)?

-Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center, Mankato (5,100)?

-Hibbing Civic Arena (3,400)?

-Roseau Memorial Arena (3,000)?

-Eveleth Hippodrome (3,000)?

-IRA Civic Center, Grand Rapids (2,400)?

-Glas Fieldhouse, Bemidji (2,300)?

-Sioux Falls Arena, ND (7,500)?

-Madison, WI?

-Detroit/Vancouver/Florida/Expansion cities?

Surely the Minneapolis-St Paul Metropolitan area is the key concentrated population area by far that needs to sustain the team, the others are unknowns and maybe expensive detours for a pro team like this, I don't know.

It's fun to watch. Girls/women's hockey needs a boost, not sure how. Uncharted waters...

And it's GREAT! there could be higher opportunities ahead for women hockey players if this works, a pathway after college for a few.

Last edited:

  • Minnesota leads the country in total Girls/Women's players with 14,223. That's over 3,000 more girls/women than the second closest state (MA).
  • During the 2018-19 season, Minnesota led the nation with 157 women playing NCAA Division I Women’s College Hockey.
  • The U.S. Under-18 Women’s Team won four consecutive IIHF World Championships from 2015 to 2018, with Minnesotans playing a key role on each of the teams. In 2015, eight Minnesotans participated on the gold medal team, 16 were a part of the title team in 2016 and 11 played on the team in 2017. The 2018 team featured 10 Minnesota natives, led by team captain and tournament MVP Taylor Heise (Lake City, MN).

Top Bottom