When her name hadn’t been called by the 14th round of Monday’s inaugural PWHL draft, Tatum Skaggs shut off the TV. Thinking she had missed the mark and would have to come up with some other plan like free agency, Skaggs was shocked when her phone started to blow up with congratulatory texts.
Once she realized she had been selected by PWHL Boston in the 14th round, her confusion turned to elation.
“It was super exciting to be called amongst all the amazing other women that are in the draft as well, and just to help build a league,” Skaggs said at Wednesday’s press conference. “This will be my second year, so it’s been super exciting to just be with everyone and do this all together,” .
The former Ohio State forward played last year for Team Scotiabank in the now-dissolved PWHPA, and said the experience, coupled with her time playing overseas in Sweden and Austria, developed her game tremendously.
“I’m biased, but some of the best girls in the entire world played in the [PWHPA],” Skaggs said. “So just to play with them really pushed me also to elevate my game and move quicker with the puck, eyes up all the time, and just to grow that way was really important.”
For Skaggs, who thought her hockey career was over when she returned from Europe, the chance to play in Boston means she can continue to enjoy the off-ice camaraderie she loves.
“I love being just the girl that people can go to off the ice and, like, get a laugh, or help ease their anxiousness before the game—I love that part of hockey,” Skaggs said.
Defender Emily Brownalso loves to contribute to the locker room laughs, and will have the opportunity to as she joins Skaggs in Boston as an eighth-round pick.
Like her new teammate, Brown eagerly awaited draft day, calling it a “day you have circled on your calendar.” .
“[Boston] brings home championships in just about every sport on a pretty consistent basis, so [I’m] looking forward to being part of a city that loves their sports and supports their athletes just as much as any city in the world,” Brown said.
The Blaine, Minn. native played her college career for University of Minnesota and met or faced off against many of her new teammates over the years. On PWHPA Team Sonnet, Brown played with Emma Buckles last year, and says she’s “pumped” to have Sophie Jaques on her side of the bench now.
“I feel like it’s a really strong group that brings a lot of different skills and experience to the table,” Brown said. “So yeah, I’m really excited with the group we have.”
The complete list of PWHL Boston’s draft picks:
Round 1: Alina Müller (Winterthur, SUI), F, Northeastern
Round 2: Sophie Jaques (Toronto, ON), D, Ohio State
Round 3: Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, ON), F, PWHPA
Round 4: Loren Gabel (Kitchener, ON), F, PHF Boston
Round 5: Hannah Brandt (Vadnais Heights, Minn.), F, PWHPA
Round 6: Jessica DiGirolamo (Mississauga, ON), D, PWHPA
Round 7: Theresa Schafzahl (Weiz, AUT), F, Univ. of Vermont
Round 8: Emily Brown (Blaine, Minn.), D, PWHPA
Round 9: Taylor Girard (Macomb, Mich.), F, PHF Connecticut
Round 10: Emma Söderberg (Örnsköldsvik, SWE), G, Minnesota Duluth
Round 11: Sophie Shirley (Saskatoon, SK), F, Univ. of Wisconsin
Round 12: Shiann Darkangelo (Brighton, Mich.), F, PHF Toronto
Round 13: Emma Buckles (Toronto, ON), D, PWHPA
Round 14: Tatum Skaggs (Oconomowac, Wisc.), F, PWHPA
Round 15: Jess Healey (Edmonton, AB), D, PHF Buffalo