Leilani Burke/Sun Staff Photographer

Senior forward Izzy Daniel celebrates after scoring at the Women’s Ice Hockey game against Harvard in Lynah Rink on Jan. 27, 2024.

June 10, 2024

Women’s Hockey’s Izzy Daniel ’24 Selected No. 18 Overall in PWHL Draft

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After leading Cornell to the NCAA quarterfinals and earning just about every accolade available, Izzy Daniel ’24 will continue her hockey career in the Professional Women’s Hockey League. 

With the eighteenth overall pick on Monday night, PWHL Toronto selected the Minneapolis native, who is now set to become the eighth Cornellian to lace up her skates in the league. Daniel was projected by many experts to be taken in the first two rounds, but concerns over her size (she is listed as 5 feet 5 inches) and lack of international experience may have factored into her slipping to the third round.

The 2024 PWHL Draft, held in Daniel’s home state of Minnesota, is the league’s second annual draft and will last seven rounds, with 42 players set to be selected. Princeton’s Sarah Fillier was selected with the first pick by PWHL New York, while four out of the top six picks in the draft are products of the ECAC.

Daniel — who earned the Patty Kazmaier Award in March, given annually to the top women’s hockey player in the NCAA — led Cornell in both goals and assists during her junior and senior years. In the 2023-2024 season, the Cornell forward was second in the nation in assists per game (1.12), third in points per game (1.74) and seventh in goals per game (.62). In addition to receiving the Patty Kazmaier Award, Daniel was named both the Ivy League and ECAC Player of the Year, along with ECAC Forward of the Year. Daniel’s impressive senior campaign landed a spot on the All-ECAC and All-Ivy first teams.

PWHL Toronto is coming off a disappointing finish to an otherwise impressive first year, finishing first in the regular season but falling to Minnisota in the first round of the playoffs. The team, led by general manager Gina Kingsbury and coach Troy Ryan, selected Julia Gosling with the sixth overall pick in the first round.

Daniel was considered one of the top prospects in the draft due in large part to her creative abilities with the puck on her stick. Fans of the Red have been wowed by both Daniel’s scoring ability and her flair for playmaking in the offensive zone with well-timed passes. 

While Daniel’s lack of international competition is a knock on her resume compared to the other top PWHL prospects, the effusive praise for Daniel given by her Cornell teammates demonstrates the former team captain’s leadership abilities. Current PWHLers such as Jaime Bourbonnais ’20 and Kristin O’Neill ’20 raved about playing with Daniel in Ithaca and seemed confident about her transition to the PWHL. 

“I think that she is one of the best players I’ve ever played with and one of the smartest players I’ve ever played with,” Bourbonnais told the Sun in May. “I’m really excited to see what happens in the draft coming up.”

The PWHL finished its inaugural season on May 29, with Minnesota defeating Boston in the fifth game of the finals to earn the first championship in league history. The league set multiple single-game records for attendance at a professional women’s hockey game, culminating on April 20, when 21,105 watched Montreal take on Toronto at the Bell Centre in Montreal. In total, the league’s six founding teams welcomed over 483,000 fans throughout the regular season and playoffs, averaging 5,689 per game.