Two nights, five rounds six picks and one blockbuster trade and GM Karilyn Pilch has left her mark on the future of the Pride franchise.
Day one of the draft was highlighted by the trade from Boston to take the number one overall pick to take local phenom and Boston University legend, Sammy Davis. While it was a steep price to pay that included both their first and second round picks next year, one can hope that with the amount of talent taken this year, plus their existing mountain of great players, that they will not be in need of much draft capital next year. Reports are that Davis has already signed with the team, though Pilch has dispelled this as only rumors at this time.
The second round saw Boston drafting in their assigned slot of last, due to their first place regular season finish. With that pick they took Tereza Vanišova from the University of Maine.
The start of day two saw another Hockey East selection when Taylor Wenczkowski of New Hampshire was taken. The next round gave the Pride their only pick from outside of HEA when they selected Taylor Turnquist out of Clarkson.
Boston held the final two picks of the draft as part of trade from Toronto. With the penultimate pick Meghara McManus was the second UNH product selected while Paige Capistran of Northeastern was the final pick in the 2020 NWHL draft.
Biggest Name- Sammy Davis
It’s hard not to say the biggest name selected is the top overall pick that they traded three picks to get, especially when that player is Sammy Davis. Davis has been a nightmare to Hockey East fans for five years and all of them will breathe easier knowing she can not steal a game from them. Davis scored the OT winner in the 2019 Beanpot to give BU their first ever varsity win in that tournament, so she is not stranger to pressure in the big games.
Biggest Steal- Tereza Vanišova
Vanišova is a huge talent and was an exciting way to wrap the first day of the draft. While she has had some inconsistency in her time in Orono, her talent is unquestionably good. With some high end line mates she could make a huge difference. Vanišova as a Czech national had more options as to where the wanted to continue playing as she doesn’t have the family ties in any of the NWHL cities. Though David Pastranak being a fellow Czech National Team player might have held some attraction for Boston.
Biggest Question- Taylor Turnquist
The question isn’t whether Taylor can be a productive member of the team, it is which role will she play. Last season as Clarkson was decimated with injuries Turnquist was forced into forward duty as a second line center. While she was effective there it is clear she is more comfortable on the blue line, especially with the depth up front the Pride already own.
Round 1 (1-1) Sammy Davis, Boston University, F
Round 2 (6-12) Tereza Vanišova, Maine, F
Round 3 (6-18) Taylor Wenczkowski, New Hampshire, F
Round 4 (6-24) Taylor Turnquist, Clarkson, D
Round 5 (5-29) Meghara McManus, New Hampshire, F
Round 5 (6-30) Paige Capistran, Northeastern, D
This was a highly successful draft for the Pride. They were a very talented team without any glaring holes at the end of last season. So the focus one this draft was on building atop the solid foundation they already have and making sure the new additions had the right character and locker room fit. While they paid a steep price to acquire the elite talent it should serve them well in years to come.