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The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News



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Three Huskies selected in second-annual PWHL Draft

Megan Carter, Gwyneth Philips and Katy Knoll (left to right). The three former Northeastern women’s hockey players were drafted by Toronto, Ottowa and Minnesota, respectively. Photos by Sofia Sawchuk (left and middle) and Katie Billman (right).

Three former Northeastern women’s hockey players were drafted at the second-annual Professional Women’s Hockey League, or PWHL, draft June 10: defenseman Megan Carter, goalie Gwyneth Philips and forward Katy Knoll.

The draft, which took place in St. Paul, Minn., featured seven rounds in which each of the six teams in the PWHL — New York, Ottawa, Minnesota, Boston, Montreal and Toronto — were afforded one pick each (barring any trades). 

Three Huskies declared for the draft following the conclusion of the 2023-24 season, and all three were drafted. All stars during their time at Northeastern, Carter was drafted by Toronto, Philips by Ottowa and Knoll by Minnesota.

“It was an amazing experience to be at the draft in person,” Knoll told The News. “I’m honored that I get the chance … to play in the second season.”

Unlike the NHL draft, the PWHL draft order was not determined by a lottery which awards the losingest teams; rather, the league uses a point system. Once a team is mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, it begins collecting draft order points; three points were awarded for every regulation win earned following elimination, two for an overtime or shootout win and one for an overtime or shootout loss, following the same pattern as the rest of the regular season. The team with the most draft order points earns the top pick in the draft, and the order remains the same through each round. 

PWHL New York, the first team to be eliminated from playoff contention, earned the first pick. Toronto, the first team to clinch a playoff berth, earned the last.

In January 2025, Carter will head back to her home province of Ontario and join Toronto’s squad. The Milton, Ontario, native was selected in the second round, 12th overall. 

In her fifth season at Northeastern, Carter captained a Husky crew that reached the Hockey East championship for the eighth year in a row. Her career-high 21 assists were second-best on the team, her 25 points topped all Hockey East defenseman and her 72 blocks led the team. 

Though Toronto’s roster is packed with offensive talent — including Natalie Spooner, who led the league in scoring this season with 21 goals — its spark quickly fizzled out in the postseason. Despite clinching the first seed in the tournament, the team fell victim to a reverse sweep by No. 4 Minnesota, who eventually went on to win the inaugural Walter Cup.

A sturdy and reliable defenseman, Carter could round out a Toronto d-corps that will rely on an increased depth to complete a successful rebound next season.

With the 14th-overall pick, Ottawa selected Philips — the first goalie pick of the draft. 

After spending three years as backup to standout netminder Aerin Frankel, who backstopped PWHL Boston to the finals in its inaugural season, Philips posted back-to-back knockout seasons in her fourth and fifth years with the Huskies. The former assistant captain lead the nation in save percentage two years in a row (.960 in 2022-23 and .955 in 2023-24), broke the single-season program record for wins (34), games played (38) and minutes played (2,272) and secured the NCAA record for career save percentage (.958).

Following a shaky season, Ottawa was the second of two to be eliminated from playoff contention. With six of its seven overtime matchups resulting in losses, the team found itself in need of a goalie who can lock in and win tight battles. Philips could be just the one to do so.

In the seventh and final round of the draft, Minnesota used its last pick to draft Knoll.

An assistant captain in her fifth season at Northeastern, the power forward capped off a career which began with a Husky rookie-leading 26 points by tallying a career-high 17 assists and six game-winning goals, which also led the team. 

The prolific Buffalo, NY, native joins a Minnesota squad that looks to build on its quickly-established legacy. Though Minnesota remains in a good place in terms of their offensive strength — with Michela Cava being the only forward whose return is in question — Knoll’s physical prowess will fit in well with a league that, for the first time in women’s hockey, allows skaters to check their opponents.

“I’m definitely excited for the challenge. I got to watch a lot of games last year, and it was exciting to see the refs letting the girls play and letting them be physical. I think it really changed the game,” Knoll said. “I think, probably after a game or two, I’ll get used to it.”

Carter, Philips and Knoll join eight other former Huskies already playing in the league: Alina Müller (Boston), Maureen Murphy (Montreal), Chloe Aurard (New York), Hayley Scamurra (Ottawa), Brooke Hobson (New York), Denisa Krizova (Minnesota), Maude Poulin-Labelle (Toronto), Kendall Coyne-Schofield (Minnesota) and Frankel. 

In their time at Northeastern, Knoll and Carter were fast friends, becoming inseparable from almost the minute they first stepped foot into Matthews Arena. Their collegiate careers — and Philips’, too — overlapped with much of Müller’s, Murphy’s, Aurard’s and Hobson’s. In fact, they were all part of an explosive Husky squad that earned six consecutive Hockey East titles and three consecutive Frozen Four bids.

While it will be difficult to watch some of their closest friends become rivals, Knoll said, at the end of the day, this is what they’ve all dreamed of their whole lives.

“Since we were little, we all dreamed to play in such a league, and when we were little, that league didn’t exist,” Knoll said. “It just kind of shows how wide the Northeastern family spreads in the PWHL. … Knowing that I always have that Northeastern family to fall back on is really awesome.”

Being so familiar with each other’s play styles also gives them an edge against each of the six teams, Knoll added. 

Next up is training camp in November, where the three newest pro Huskies will compete for a spot on the teams.

About the Contributor
Julia Yohe
Julia Yohe, Sports Editor
Julia Yohe is a third-year journalism major at Northeastern University. She is also working towards a minor in sports media and communication. She has experience managing the social media accounts for her high school robotics team and the International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico, where she interned for four years. Now, she serves as the sports editor for The News and a correspondent for The Boston Globe.
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