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PWHL draft preview: Three more Northeastern hockey stars expected to join professional league

Megan Carter, Gwyneth Philips and Katy Knoll are hoping to join the nine fellow Huskies who helped launch the new league.

The arena at the PWHL opening game.
Katy Knoll and other prospective professionals attended PWHL Boston’s opening game in January. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Three Northeastern University stars are in line to be picked when the Professional Women’s Hockey League holds its second annual draft on Monday.

Northeastern’s Megan Carter, Gwyneth Philips and Katy Knoll are in contention for the 42 picks that will be made over seven rounds by the original six PWHL teams.

Northeastern played a prominent role this past season as nine former Huskies helped the new league exceed expectations while drawing huge crowds. 

Carter, who is projected as a third-round pick by Hockey News, was a two-time Hockey East defender of the year. She is looking forward to the PWHL’s bruising style of play.

“There aren’t any words to describe my excitement,” Carter says of the opportunity to continue playing professionally. “I can’t wait to be out there. The compete level, the skill level, the physicality is just next level. 

“The quality of the league is nothing like I’ve ever seen before. And the support that it’s received is amazing. To see all these young girls having role models — that in itself is a we’ve-made-it moment.”

Philips is rated as the top goalie of the draft and 15th-best player overall, according to The Athletic. Philips was national goalie of the year as a Northeastern junior in 2022-23 (succeeding Husky legend Aerin Frankel, a two-time winner) and set NCAA career records for save percentage (.958) and goals-against-average (.96).

Northeastern coach Dave Flint notes that PWHL teams generally prefer to spend high picks on skaters.

“She could go in any round,” Flint says of Philips, who is USA Hockey’s third-string goalie (behind Frankel, the starter).

Knoll, a forward who ranks second all-time at Northeastern with 22 game-winning goals, is rated 40th overall by The Athletic — positioning for her consideration in the seventh round, if not earlier. Altogether 167 players from the NCAA and international leagues have declared for the draft.

“I’m the kind of player who likes a more physical game,” says Knoll, a strong defensive player who was the second-leading scorer (28 points with 11 goals) last season for the Huskies (25-11-3).

Audience members at the PWHL clapping and cheering.
The 2023-24 Northeastern women’s hockey team, shown here attending the PWHL opener, may send three more players to the league — with more to go pro in future. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

If Knoll isn’t drafted, Flint is confident that a PWHL team will invite her to training camp. “I think Katy Knoll brings a lot to the table,” Flint says.

The league’s inaugural season culminated with four Huskies meeting in the recent PWHL Finals. Northeastern legend Kendall Coyne Schofield and her former Husky teammate Denisa Krizova led Minnesota to a 3-0 victory in Game 5 despite the efforts of fellow Huskies Alina Mueller (whose overtime goal in Game 4 forced the winner-take-all finale) and Frankel, whose virtuoso goaltending helped carry Boston to title contention.

Joining that quartet for the inaugural PWHL season were former Huskies Chloé Aurard and Brooke Hobson (both playing for New York), Maureen Murphy (Montreal), Maude Poulin-Labelle (Toronto) and Hayley Scamurra (Ottawa). Additionally, Lauren MacInnis was signed by Ottawa.