The Canadian Women’s Hockey League held the annual player draft on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 via conference call. 58 players were selected across five teams: the Brampton Thunder, Boston Blades, Calgary Inferno, Montreal Stars, and Toronto Furies.
Laura Fortino, a forward from Ontario whose assist in the 2014 Winter Olympics led to Marie Philip Poulin’s overtime game-winning goal, was selected first overall by Brampton. Fortino has been competing for Canada on the national stage since 2008, when she won a silver medal at the IIHF U-18 Women’s World Championships. During her time in the NCAA, Fortino played for Cornell University, where she was named a First Team All-American and a top-1o Finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award as the top female player in NCAA hockey.
Toronto claimed Megan Bozek with their second-overall pick. Bozek, a member of the U.S. Women’s Olympic Hockey Team that took home silver in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, spent her collegiate hockey years as a Minnesota Golden Gopher, where she helped the team capture the NCAA Division I national championship and was one of three finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. She was also a CCM Hockey All-American First-Team Selection, WCHA Defensive Player of the Year, All-WCHA First Team, and All-WCHA Academic Team.
With the third pick, the Calgary Inferno chose Sarah Davis, Bozek’s teammate in Minnesota. Davis played four years of Gopher hockey, eventually earning the title of assistant captain. In her senior year, she played in all 41 games and ranked fourth on the team for points with a career-high 49.
Jenny Potter, the forward who went fourth overall to the Boston Blades, is a four-time Olympic medallist, including a gold medal at the first-ever women’s hockey competition in the Olympics in 1998 in Nagano. She has also won five gold medals and seven silver medals in the IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship. Of her selection, Blades head coach Digit Murphy spoke of her Olympic experience as a enormous boon for the club, citing her offensive depth. “Jenny is one of the top players in the game,” Murphy said.
The fifth and final first round pick, by the Montreal Stars, was Kim Deschenes. Deschenes played for the Université de Montréal Carabins in the position of forward. As captain, Deschenes led the team to excellence in the 2012-2013 season, and won a silver medal with the Carabins in the 2012 CIS championship.
CWHL commissioner Brenda Andress spoke highly of the whole 2014 draft class, saying,“With each and every season, the calibre of our league continues to grow, and the skilled players selected in this year’s draft are prime examples. We look forward to watching these talented athletes excel on the ice, and serve as role models off the ice, as the CWHL continues to get bigger and better.”