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Canada香蕉视频直播檚 Sarah Fillier projected to be first pick in PWHL draft

23-year-old just graduated Princeton University with a degree in psychiatry
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FILE -Switzerland香蕉视频直播檚 Stefanie Wetli (18) and Canada香蕉视频直播檚 Sarah Fillier (10) battle for the puck during a women香蕉视频直播檚 semifinal hockey game at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, in Beijing. Sarah Fillier is ready to shelve her Princeton education and focus on hockey in entering the PWHL draft, where she is projected to be selected first on Monday, JUne 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek, File)

Sarah Fillier has a degree from Princeton, but she香蕉视频直播檚 opting for a pro hockey career by entering the PWHL draft on Monday.

The projected No. 1 pick from Canada took a moment to cherish her past six years in college.

On the ice, Fillier capped a four-year college career 香蕉视频直播 she took two seasons off to focus on helping Canada win gold at the 2022 Beijing Games 香蕉视频直播 by finishing among the Tigers香蕉视频直播 all-time scoring leaders in fourth with 194 points. Off the ice, the 23-year-old leaves the Ivy League with a degree in psychiatry.

香蕉视频直播淚 just feel free to be honest. I loved my time at Princeton. It was a challenge academically for sure and a challenge athletically,香蕉视频直播 Fillier told The Associated Press last week.

香蕉视频直播淚 feel like getting a Princeton degree is so worth it. But now I香蕉视频直播檓 home and the only thing on my mind is the pro league and draft and trying to be the best hockey player that I can be,香蕉视频直播 she added. 香蕉视频直播淎nd I feel like I earned that after these four years.香蕉视频直播

From suburban Toronto, Fillier tops a deep class of prospects 香蕉视频直播 filled out by a large crop of European veterans after the league香蕉视频直播檚 first season香蕉视频直播 entering the six-team, seven-round draft in St. Paul, Minnesota.

New York holds the first pick based on its last-place finish, followed by Ottawa. Newly crowned champion Minnesota goes third after its fourth-place finish. Boston, Montreal and Toronto round out the order.

Among the top-ranked prospects are players coming directly out of college, including Colgate centre Danielle Serdachny, who scored the gold medal-clinching goal in overtime for Canada at the world championships in April. The possibility of Serdachny going first escalated Friday when New York filled its head-coaching vacancy by hiring Greg Fargo, who was her coach at Colgate.

Then there香蕉视频直播檚 U.S. national players, forward Hannah Bilka and defender Cayla Barnes, who helped Ohio State win the NCAA championship in March. Also in the mix are more experienced players who either took last year off from hockey or come from Europe.

Three-time U.S. Olympian Amanda Kessel spent last season as a special assistant with the NHL Pittsburgh Penguins. Canadian defender Claire Thompson focused on her second year studying medicine at NYU. Both are timing their return with an eye on competing at the 2026 Olympics in Italy.

香蕉视频直播淚 missed (playing) a lot. I think that this year was really excellent in putting things in perspective,香蕉视频直播 the 26-year-old Thompson said. 香蕉视频直播淚 think that has motivated me and made me really truly want to come back to hockey. Not because it香蕉视频直播檚 something that I should do, but because it香蕉视频直播檚 something I really want to do.香蕉视频直播

Among Europeans, 28-year-old forward Noora Tulus ends her nine-year pro stint in Sweden to test her skills in the PWHL.

香蕉视频直播淚香蕉视频直播檓 super-excited but I香蕉视频直播檓 also nervous. It香蕉视频直播檚 going to be best against best and you香蕉视频直播檙e around the best,香蕉视频直播 said Tulus, a two-time Olympian for Finland. 香蕉视频直播淚香蕉视频直播檓 looking to see where (are) my limits.香蕉视频直播

The influx of talent increases the competition for what remains a limited number of roster spots 香蕉视频直播 23 active plus a three-player reserve squad 香蕉视频直播 for a league that isn香蕉视频直播檛 considering expansion until after the 2024-25 season.

Two of three PWHL general managers polled by The AP expect about 25 of the 42 players drafted to make the roster next season. The third GM projected the number to be 30.

Of the 167 players declaring for the draft, 35 are international players representing 19 countries, including Japan, Hungary and Italy.

Though spots are limited, the PWHL embraces attracting more Europeans to cement itself as the world香蕉视频直播檚 premier women香蕉视频直播檚 league. And Europeans are driven to come to North America to help develop their games in a bid to narrow the competitive gap.

Players from the Czech Republic, for example, rely on playing outside their home country because of a lack of a league and development program.

香蕉视频直播淚n Czech, it香蕉视频直播檚 a bad situation,香蕉视频直播 said 21-year-old defender Daniela Pejsova, who spent the past six years in Sweden.

香蕉视频直播淚 mean, I香蕉视频直播檓 proud of the program with what we have with a national team, but there needs to be some more steps forward,香蕉视频直播 she added. 香蕉视频直播淚香蕉视频直播檓 hoping that the Czech players are going to this league more to move women香蕉视频直播檚 hockey overall forward.香蕉视频直播

The growth of the sport is also apparent in the U.S. with players developing in non-hockey markets, such as Bilka, who is from Texas, and Barnes, from California.

香蕉视频直播淚t香蕉视频直播檚 growing. More girls want to play. And now being able to see the PWHL, I think it香蕉视频直播檚 skyrocketing even more,香蕉视频直播 Barnes said. 香蕉视频直播淲hen we were younger, that was just a shot in the dark, a hope. So that香蕉视频直播檚 really exciting for the younger generations.香蕉视频直播

Defending champion Minnesota is in flux after the PWHL parted ways with GM Natalie Darwitz. Coach Ken Klee will oversee the team香蕉视频直播檚 draft selections.

In a twist, Abby Boreen is draft eligible despite being a member of Minnesota香蕉视频直播檚 championship team. Boreen is in this situation because she signed a reserve contract with Minnesota after not declaring for the draft last year.

香蕉视频直播淚t香蕉视频直播檚 definitely unique,香蕉视频直播 said Boreen, who had five goals and seven points in 14 games, including five in the post-season. 香蕉视频直播淚 didn香蕉视频直播檛 have the opportunity to experience the draft last year so, honestly, I香蕉视频直播檓 super-excited.香蕉视频直播

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John Wawrow, The Associated Press





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