Since PWHL Boston announced the big signing of free agent Hilary Knight added to the first team in Septemberthe city’s newest professional sports team has added plenty of other talent to its training camp roster. There are local players in the group of 16 forwards, as well as international stars and a few Olympic medalists. The players range in age from 23 to 36 and come from New England, the Midwest and abroad.
Training camp starts league-wide on November 15. The final selection of 25 players must be determined by December 11. Of those 25 players, 23 may be on a standard player contract, and two may be on a reserve contract. The regular season begins in January, but locations, team names and other details have yet to be announced.
Meet the forwards skating for a spot on Boston’s roster:
Hannah Brandt (round 5, pick 27)
A two-time Olympic medalist, four-time Patty Kazmaier Award finalist, three-time NCAA champion and five-time World Cup medalist, Brandt has no shortage of accolades. Since graduating from Minnesota in 2016, the 29-year-old Brandt has played five professional seasons, including two in the NWHL and three in the PWHPA.
McKenna Brand (training camp invitation)
“Homegrown” isn’t quite the word to describe Brand, who hails from Park Rapids, Minnesota, but she has spent a lot of time in Boston. Brand, 27, played at Northeastern and finished as the program’s leader in games played (150). She then went to the PHF’s Boston Pride in 2018, where she has played ever since.
Shiann Darkangelo (round 12, pick 70)
Darkangelo, 29, split her college years between Syracuse (2011-13) and Quinnipiac (2013-15) before starting her professional career with the Connecticut Whale of the PHF. After a few steps into the professional hockey scene – including a year-long stint in China – she landed with the PHF’s Toronto Six, a team she captained to win the 2023 Isobel Cup title.
Sammy Davis (training camp invitation)
Davis, 26, is no stranger to hockey in Boston. A former Boston University and Tabor Academy standout, she grew up in Pembroke and was selected by the Boston Pride with the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NWHL Draft. During her time at BU, she scored 66 goals and 76 assists.
Loren Gabel (round 4, pick 22)
The reigning PHF MVP, Gabel, 26, spent last season with the Boston Pride and recorded 40 points in 22 games. She was also the PHF Newcomer of the Year and All-Star MVP. As a senior at Clarkson in 2019, Gabel won the Patty Kazmaier Award after collecting 40 goals and 69 points. She spent three years in the PWHPA before joining the Pride last season.
Taylor Girard (round 9, pick 51)
After graduating from Quinnipiac in 2021, Girard joined the PHF’s Connecticut Whale and was named the PHF’s Newcomer of the Year in 2022. Girard, a native of Macomb, Michigan, led the league in short-handed passing with four last season. She ranked in the top four in points (28), assists (18) and power play goals (4).
Samantha Isbell (training camp invitation)
The 25-year-old from Thunder Bay, Ontario, compiled 31 points as a senior at Mercyhurst in 2019-20 before transferring to the PWHPA in Montreal for two seasons. She then joined the PHF’s Montreal franchise, but when the Mark Walter Group purchased the PHF to make way for the PWHL, her contract was void. She discussed the news with her nearly 32,000 followers on TikTok, where she regularly shares videos about life as a professional hockey player.
Hilary Knight (free agent)
One of Boston’s three free agent signings, Knight, 34, has spent 15 years as an integral member of Team USA, including playing in four Olympic Games (1 gold, 3 silver) and 13 World Championships (9 gold, 4 silver) since 2007. Her nine World Cup golds and thirteen overall medals are the most ever. Knight made her professional debut with the Boston Blades of the CWHL in 2012 and won two Clarkson Cups in three years. She also played two PHF seasons as captain of the Boston Pride and won the inaugural Isobel Cup in 2016.
Nicole Kosta (training camp invitation)
Since completing her fifth year at Quinnipiac in 2016, Kosta, 30, has played seven seasons of professional hockey with the Connecticut Whale (NWHL), Markham Thunder (CWHL) and PWHPA. She was a rotation player during that time, recording 8 points in 20 games last season with Team Scotiabank in the PWHPA.
Gigi Marvin (training camp invitation)
Marvin, 36, has played most of her professional career in New England, including three seasons with the Boston Blades, three with the Pride and one each with PWHPA New England and New Hampshire. The Minnesota graduate has scored 13 goals and secured three Olympic medals (1 gold, 2 silver) for Team USA. Her grandfather, Cal Marvin, is a member of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame and coached the Warroad Lakers (AHA) for 45 years.
Alina Müller (round 1, choice 3)
The 25-year-old Müller seemed like an easy pick for Boston’s first round pick. She graduated from Northeastern in 2023 as the program’s all-time leader in points (254), assists (156) and game-winning goals (28). She was the second-fastest player to reach 100 points in Northeast history, behind only Kendall Coyne. At the age of 15, Müller became the youngest player in Olympic history to win a medal in hockey when Team Switzerland won bronze at the 2014 Games. Four years later, she collected 10 points in six games at the PyeongChang Olympics.
Amanda Pelkey (training camp invitation)
Pelkey’s New England roots run deep, as the Montpelier, Virginia native has played nearly her entire career in the region. After attending Montpelier High School and the North American Hockey Academy (Stowe), Pelkey headed to the University of Vermont, where she finished as the program’s all-time leader in goals (49), assists ( 56) and points (105). Her professional experience began with Boston Pride from 2015-19 before joining the PWHPA.
Jamie Lee Rattray (round 3, pick 15)
Rattray played at Clarkson from 2010 to 2014, scoring 77 goals and 104 points, making her the program’s all-time leading scorer and earning her the Patty Kazmaier Award as a senior. Rattray, 31, has played professionally in the CWHL and PWHPA, and she won Olympic gold with Canada in 2022.
Theresa Schafzahl (round 7, pick 39)
Schafzahl, 23, ended her five-year career at the University of Vermont last spring. As a senior, she led the Catamounts with 25 goals and 21 assists for 46 points, a program record. Since 2018, she has been skating for the Austrian national team and has represented her country at five World Championships.
Sophie Shirley (round 11, pick 63)
Shirley, 24, capped a five-year career at the University of Wisconsin last spring by helping her team to an NCAA championship. The native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, recorded 37 points as a graduate student, including 25 assists. She initially signed with the Boston Pride after college before declaring for the PWHL draft.
Taylor Wenczkowski (training camp invitation)
The Rochester, NH, native played her junior career with the Boston Shamrocks while attending a virtual high school. She then played five years at the University of New Hampshire and totaled 21 points as captain in her senior year in 2019-2020. The 26-year-old Wenczkowski then returned to Boston to play three seasons with the Pride, helping the team win back-to-back Isobel Cups in 2021 and 2022.
Get the latest sports news from Boston
Get updates on your favorite Boston teams, straight from our newsroom to your inbox.