Princeton Defenseman Kelsey Koelzer is First Pick in NWHL Second Annual Junior Draft

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Princeton University offensive defenseman, Kelsey Koelzer was the first overall selection in the National Women’s Hockey League second annual junior draft this past Saturday, June 18.

The New York Riveters held the first selection and selected the offensive defenseman. The Riveters hope that Koelzer will be able to give them a little offense with some consistent defense from the blue line.

With the second selection, the Buffalo Beauts decided to select another top two-way defenseman as they chose 2014 United States Olympian, Lee Stecklein. Stecklein was the youngest member of US National Team during the Sochi games.

Third overall selection went to the Connecticut Whale, who decided to chose from the University of Minnesota, Dani Cameranesi. In 121 games with the Golden Gophers, Cameranesi scored 169 points. While the high energy forward may provide a lot of offense, she also is tenacious with the puck.

The defending Isobel Cup Champions, the Boston Pride chose Wisconsin goaltender, Ann-Renee Desbiens. This past season the Badger netminder recorded 21 shutouts. Her career save percentage is a .970 and a .952 save percentage. Desbiens was awarded the US Hockey Online Player of the Year as wells as the 2016 Western Collegiate Hockey Association Player of the Year.

In the second round the Riveters selected Harvard Crimson Player, Sydney Daniels. Their third round choice was Wisconsin two-way defenseman, Jenny Ryan. In the fourth New York selected a defensive forward and faceoff specialist in Wisconsin’s Sydney McKibbon. The Riveters fifth and final selection of the 2016 NWHL, was North Dakota forward, Amy Menke.

The Beauts decided to sure up their offense in the second through fifth rounds. For their second choice they chose, from Clarkson University, Cayley Mercer. In the third they went with Hayley Scammurra from Northeastern University. In the fourth round they selected Quinnipiac forward, Emma Woods. For the Beauts final selection they chose from Boston University, Maddie Elia.

The Whale, just as the Riveters did, decided they were going to go with a nice selection of offense and defense for the 2016 draft class. With their second choice they chose Boston College’s Andie Anastos. In the third they went with Melissa Channell a shutdown defenseman from Wisconsin. Their fourth pick was Northeastern forward, Paige Savage and their final pick was Quinnipiac netminder, Sydney Rossman.

The Pride decided to go big on defense after the first round. In the second round, they went with two-way defenseman Sarah Nurse out of Wisconsin. Nurse’s is also the sister of Edmonton Oiler defenseman Darnell Nurse. She is also the niece of former National Football quarterback, Donovan McNabb.

In the third round the Pride chose Minnesota-Duluth forward, Ashleigh Brykaliuk before going back to the defensive route and choosing blueliner, Hallie Krzyaniak from North Dakota in the fourth round, and then in the fifth and final round, took Minnesota-Duluth defenseman turned forward, Lara Stalder.

As the Pride were the top offensive team in the NWHL last season, they felt they needed to sure up their back end in the second NWHL Junior Draft.

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