Saturday afternoon marked the first draft for the newly-formed National Women's Hockey League, and there were Eagles all over the draft board.
The first overall pick was Alex Carpenter, winner of the 2015 Patty Kazmaier Award.
Carpenter was picked by the New York Riveters, but she wouldn't be alone. The Riveters picked Eagles with the first pick of the second and fourth rounds as well, with linemate Haley Skarupa and fellow junior Dana Trivigno joining Carpenter in New York. With only five rounds with which to choose players, the Riveters must have seen something they liked in the BC program to grab three out of five players from the Heights.
The fourth Eagle chosen was Lexi Bender, who will stay at home with the Boston Pride as the third pick in the third round.
The inaugural draft was open to players who have completed their junior season. Players who have already graduated are eligible for free agency and as such were not chosen in the draft.
The NWHL comes as a rival to the Canadian Women's Hockey League, which formed in 2007. The CWHL pays for travel and uniforms but does not pay players and players are mostly responsible for their own equipment. In addition, the league had come under criticism this past season for having players actually owing the league money for not having enough fans attending the games under their name (this article from ESPN tells the story in depth).
The NWHL, however, promises to provide equipment and pay its players -- if not a livable wage, at least something which allows the players to practice and play hockey without worrying about carrying a full time job as well during the season. The current salary cap allows for an average salary of roughly $14,000 per player.
Congratulations to the four Eagles, who all have one season left on the Heights to try and bring home a national title, and particular congratulations to Alex Carpenter for her historic selection as #1 overall in the inaugural draft!