2024 PWHL Draft Recap: Ottawa
- 7 min read

2024 PWHL Draft Recap: Ottawa

2024 PWHL Draft Recap: Ottawa by Melissa Burgess

PWHL Ottawa added skill and depth across the roster through the 2024 draft, including top selection Danielle Serdachny and goaltender Gwyneth Philips.

Draft Picks

Round #1: Danielle Serdachny (F), 2001, (#2 overall) – Serdachny is coming off five seasons at Colgate, where she registered 238 points, including a whopping 157 assists, in 180 games. She also captained the Raiders in her senior season, a year in which she broke the Colgate record for points in a season, points in a career and assists in a career. In addition to winning four straight ECAC titles, she was twice named an NCAA First Team All-American, was a top-three finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award in her senior year and a top-10 finalist this year. Serdachny scored the overtime, gold-medal winning goal for Canada at Worlds this year, adding to a collection that included a gold medal at U18s in 2019 and a silver medal at Worlds in 2023.

Round #2: Ronja Savolainen (D), 1997, (#8 overall) – One of nine SDHL players to be selected in this year's PWHL draft, Savolainen brings plenty of pro experience to North America. She spent the last eight seasons with Luleå HF and is considered one of the toughest defenders to play against. On the offensive side, she put up 146 assists and 227 points total in 258 career SDHL games. The PWHL's hockey operations department noted her transitions, consistent decision-making and strong mobility as key assets. Savolainen is a six-time SDHL champion with two Olympic bronze medals, three Worlds bronze medals and one Worlds silver medal.

Round #3: Gwyneth Philips (G), 2000, (#14 overall) – It came as no surprise that Philips was the first goaltender off the board, as her numbers speak for themselves. She had a 1.17 GAA and .955 save percentage in 37 games in her final season at Northeastern, outstanding numbers eclipsed only by her senior year, where she had a 0.87 GAA and .960 save percentage. During her graduate year, the Huskies went 23-11-3 with her in net. The Pittsburgh Penguins Elite alum was named NCAA goalie of the year in 2023 and was a Patty Kaz finalist that same year. She won a silver medal at Worlds this year in her senior national team debut, though she didn't see any ice time.

Round #4: Stephanie Markowski, D, 2001, (#20 overall) – Markowski is one of eight Ohio State players selected in the PWHL draft, but she also previously played four seasons at Clarkson. Across five years and 173 NCAA games, she recorded 92 points, including 73 assists. Markowski, an Edmonton native, is already plenty familiar with Ottawa head coach Carla MacLeod, who led her and Serdachny on the 2019 Team Alberta squad at the Canada Winter Games. Markowski & Serdachny have known each other since they were four years old. Markowski brings a strong two-way game to Ottawa's blueline and is a much-needed right-handed defender.. The Athletic ranked Markowski as their 23rd overall prospect, so Ottawa taking her at #20 is just about as expected.

Round #5: Mannon McMahon, F, 2001, (#26 overall) – McMahon has spent her entire career up to this point playing in the state of Minnesota, so it'll certainly be a change for her to make the move to Ottawa. McMahon spent the last five years at Minnesota-Duluth and captained the team in her graduate season. She also set career highs in goals (14) and points (31) in her final year. It's clear that Ottawa values what McMahon brings to the table as a two-way forward; she ended up being drafted quite a bit higher than most mock drafts had her going. Daily Faceoff had her at #38 while The Athletic had her at #39.

Round #6: Anna Meixner, F, 1994, (#32 overall) – Meixner was the lone Austrian drafted, having previously represented her country internationally at the Olympic qualifiers, D1A Worlds and D1 U-18s. She captained the Austrian national number multiple times over the past few years, too. Aside from international play, Meixner bounced around a bit between the SDHL and EWHL for a few years before landing with Brynäs IF in 2020. In four seasons with Brynäs, she put up 131 points in 111 games and was the SDHL MVP in 2023. She's been noted for her speed and finishing touch.

Round #7: Madeline Wethington, D, 2000, (#38 overall) – Wethington comes to the PWHL following five seasons at Minnesota, where she recorded 100 points, including 74 assists, in 172 career NCAA games. Before her time there, she was named Ms. Hockey as the best female high school player in Minnesota. She's represented the U.S. on multiple occasions, including in the collegiate series, U-22 and U-18 series and at U18 Worlds, where she won three gold medals. Most recently, she was given the Lindahl Outstanding Student-Athlete Achievement Award, pursuing a master's in biological sciences after graduating with a major in cellular and organismal physiology. Fun fact: Wethington comes from a storied hockey family. Winny Brodt-Brown and Chelsey Brodt-Rosenthal are her aunts, while Jack Brodt is her grandfather.


"I've tuned into the league and seen the incredible things Ottawa has done this year. To see their record-breaking crowds in Canada, and to see how excited the fans are, definitely gets me really excited to be back in Canada. It's been about five years, obviously, I was down in New York and at Colgate. I'm super excited to be a part of this organization." – Danielle Serdachny

"It's literally the first time I've ever played outside of the state other than obviously with USA Hockey events, so it's gonna be a really big change for me, but I'm all for change. I'm excited for a new environment, a new culture, a new city. So I think it's going to be a really good experience for me." – Madeline Wethington

"I played a lot of different roles in my time at UMD. I think it's taught me so many different lessons that I'll take with me to Ottawa, just knowing what it means to be each different role on a team and I credit that all to Maura [Crowell]. She was one of the best coaches I've ever had. I know that when I go to Ottawa, Carla's going to get the best player that's inside of me out." – Mannon McMahon

"I'm 5'10" and 170 pounds. I'm not afraid to throw my weight out there, so I was excited to see the league and how the refs just allow that physical play. I definitely use my size to my advantage and I'm ready to get after it." – Madeline Wethington

"Now that I'm living in it, it's definitely a dream come true. The Professional Women's Hockey League, it's been something I've had my eyes on ever since it was established. So to be here and be a part of this moment is just super incredible and speaks to the growth of the women's game." – Danielle Serdachny

"There's obviously a tremendous amount of great players. The first one that comes to mind is Brianne Jenner. She's a phenomenal player. I've never played with her, so I'm excited to go to battle with her every day." - Madeline Wethington, when asked who she's looking forward to playing with on Ottawa

"I'm a big-sized centerman. I'm physical, I've been known for my physical game. I'm a 200-foot player. I love to play in the D-zone. I'm ready for this next level of physicality. I've gotten a lot of physical penalties in college, so I'm excited for a little leeway with that, but yeah, I would say that physicality is a big part of my game." — Mannon McMahon

"Even through the interview process, she knew how to keep things light. That's the kind of player I am too, never taking things too seriously. To be a part of that, and have her coach me full-time, I think will be really special for me." – Danielle Serdachny on reuniting with Carla MacLeod

Current Roster

(listed with the amount of years remaining on their current contract)

Natalie Snodgrass, F, 1 year
Tereza Vanišová, F, 1 year
Hayley Scamurra, F, 1 year
Gabbie Hughes, F, 2 years
Brianne Jenner, F, 2 years
Zoe Boyd, D, 1 year
Aneta Tejralová, D, 2 years
Savannah Harmon, D, 2 years
Ashton Bell, D, 2 years
Jincy Roese, D, 2 years
Emerance Maschmeyer, G, 2 years

Draft Picks by Position

Forward: 3
Defense: 3
Goaltender: 1


PWHL Ottawa general manager Mike Hirshfeld had this to say after the draft:

We really came in here with a couple of priorities. One was to get a little tougher, a little grittier, and I think we accomplished that. We also wanted to add some size to our group. We were really able to check all the boxes. Wanted to get tougher on the back end, so we're really pleased with the defenders we added. Thrilled with the goalie we landed, think she has a great future ahead of her and really excited to watch her continue to develop and grow.

Right off the bat, it seems like Ottawa addressed the needs it set out to in the draft. Going into Monday, we pretty knew that Fillier & Serdachny would be the top two picks, and Ottawa couldn't go wrong with either one. Serdachny is a highly-skilled forward who will instantly get a top-six role in Canada's capital. The other standout draft pick for me is Gwyneth Philips, who provides immediate competition for and partnership with top netminder Emerance Maschmeyer. As Philips adjusts to the pro game and the workload that the pro league brings, Maschmeyer will be an excellent mentor.

If all three defensive draft picks sign, that will give Ottawa eight defenders signed before free agency opens. Hirschfeld spoke about how injuries hurt the team late in the season, so it's not a bad idea to add some depth and stack up a few extra players in case something similar happens again. As it stands right now, Lauren MacInnis, Emma Buckles, Tori Howran, and Taylor Davison are all pending free agent blueliners who skated for Ottawa last season.

Up front, there are still a few incredibly valuable forwards who Ottawa would be wise to lock up before free agency hits, including Kateřina Mrázová, who was second on the team in scoring this past season, and Daryl Watts, who led the team with 10 goals. Hirshfeld said he feels he's in a "good position" with both.

Ottawa narrowly missed out on making the playoffs in season one, and the team will undoubtedly have a little extra motivation to make it next year. Signing the draft picks will add a bounty of skill and depth, with still a few open spots for tantalizing free agents. Will it be enough to give them the extra edge next season?

(Photo: Heather Pollock/PWHL)