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NWHL International Draft Debuts July 25 On Twitch

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Inaugural Event Extends the League’s Reach Beyond North America
(Brooklyn, N.Y.) – The National Women’s Hockey League today announced details for the inaugural NWHL International Draft that will debut on Sunday, July 25. The historic single-round event will feature all six teams introducing their selections via Twitch online at twitch.tv/NWHL beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET.

“The NWHL International Draft will help strengthen league talent and competitiveness while growing professional women’s hockey beyond our North American borders,” said Lisa Haley, the NWHL’s Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations. “This is an event we hope develops over time with unique interest and exposure of our brand overseas and another opportunity to generate excitement for our fans.”

The draft is intended for players born outside of North America who are at least 21 years of age on or before September 1, 2021 and have not previously played in the NWHL or consumed any eligibility at the NCAA or U SPORTS level. Prior to the introduction of the NWHL International Draft this eligibility description applied to all international free agents. The immediate revision has been approved by the Office of the Commissioner.

Players who are considered eligible for the 2021 NWHL International Draft may not officially sign as free agents ahead of the selection process, however unselected players immediately qualify for free agency beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET on July 26. Teams will have a two-week window to exclusively sign their draft picks to contracts for the 2021-22 season. Any selected players who go unsigned in this timeframe will become eligible for free agency at 9:00 a.m. ET on August 9.

The order of selection among the league’s six teams will be consistent with the 2021 NWHL Draft order of selection determined using an inverse rank of winning percentages from the entire 2020-21 season considering all games played in Lake Placid and Boston and with ties decided by goal-differential.

The Buffalo Beauts hold the first overall pick in the inaugural NWHL International Draft followed by the Connecticut Whale who will choose second overall, the Boston Pride at three, Toronto Six at four, Metropolitan Riveters at five, and the Minnesota Whitecaps who will select sixth.

Slovakian defender Lenka Curmova and forward Iveta Klimasova who played for the Beauts in Season 6 would have been eligible under the terms of the NWHL International Draft. Other international born players such as Pride goaltender Lovisa Selander (Sweden) and forward Tereza Vanisova (Czech Republic), Whale forward Janine Weber (Austria), plus Riveters forward Sammy Kolowrat (Czech Republic) all had NCAA experience and would have been eligible through the traditional draft format.

Prior to the 2021 NWHL International Draft on July 25, the 2021 NWHL Draft featuring collegiate graduates takes place on Tuesday, June 29 with 30 picks to be made over a five-round selection process presented live via Twitch online at twitch.tv/NWHL beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET.

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