Czech women amongst those drafted in historic first Professional Women’s Hockey League

Dominika Lásková

The newly established Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) held its first inaugural player draft this past Monday, where the six teams set to play in January 2024 selected their top player picks. Among them were Czech women who will head across the pond to lace up their skates in the highly anticipated women’s league.

Czech women will be able to make their mark on the professional ice hockey rink this coming year, as Czech talent were amongst those names selected on Monday’s first PWHL draft. Dominika Lásková, a 26-year-old defender who was part of the bronze medal winning Czech national women’s team for two consecutive years was selected in the fourth round of picks to play for Montreal’s new women’s club, making her the highest selected Czech player in the league.

Four other Czech women were also drafted into the PWHL, Aneta Tejralová and Kateřina Mrázová will head to Ottawa, Tereza Vanišová is bound for Montreal, and Denisa Křížová it set to play for Minnesota. Carla MacLeod, two-time Olympic gold medallist for Canada’s national ice hockey team has been coaching the Czech national women’s team and led them to two consecutive bronze medals in the World Championships. MacLeod has been selected as head coach for Ottawa’s PWHL team, and will continue to work with Aneta Tejralová, the present captain of Czechia’s national women’s team in the upcoming season.

Teams will be established in six cities across North America. In Canada, Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa will be home to clubs, and in the United States New York, Boston, and Minnesota. All the cities selected have strong hockey history roots and are home to some of the most popular teams in the NHL. The names of the Original Six teams still remain to be chosen.

The PWHL is marking a historical moment in changes being made in professional women’s ice hockey. While many professional players have had to balance working full time jobs while playing professional puck, the league hopes to change this over the years and push for equality across the board for women playing the game. Many of the player salaries range between $35,000 to $80,000 Canadian dollars.

The puck is set to drop in the inaugural season in January 2024, and players will begin training with their respective teams in the upcoming months.