Looking At Minor Hockey's Top Feeder Programs To The PWHL, News (Toronto Aeros)

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Sep 29, 2023 | Ian Kennedy@ The Hockey News | 1069 views
Looking At Minor Hockey's Top Feeder Programs To The PWHL
The Toronto Aeros are the minor hockey organization with the most alumni in the PWHL thus far, followed by Shattuck St. Mary's, Stoney Creek, and Oakville

Looking at the the NCAA programs sending the most players to the PWHL, some stand out, like Wisconsin, Clarkson, and Ohio State combining to provide more than 33% of the players in the league. 

But when you step back even further, it seems some development pathways have yielded more results beginning in minor hockey, all the way to the PWHL.

The Toronto Aeros topped all programs with 9 players, followed by Shattuck St. Mary's, the Stoney Creek Sabres Oakville Hornets who each sent seven alumni to the PWHL.

Toronto Aeros

A full 10% of the league's population has worn a Toronto Aeros jersey. The Aeros are part of the OWHL U22 Elite circuit, and although they're not currently the powerhouse they were, the club is the top producer of alumni who are signed, or were draft, by a PWHL team. Those alumni include Jessie Eldridge, Jill Saulnier, Sophie Jaques, Loren Gabel, Erin Ambrose, Laura Stacey, Daryl Watts, and Claire Dalton. 

Shattuck St. Marys

Aerin Frankel and Abbey Levy, two of the initial 11 netminders in the league came through Shattuck St. Mary's. Among the skaters who graduated from the program are Blayre Turnbull, Natalie Buchbinder, Maureen Murphy, Clair DeGeorge, and Maggie Connors.

Stoney Creek Sabres

Probably almost every player in the PWHL has played in Stoney Creek at the annual Showcase, but seven players also wore the Sabres jersey in OWHL action. Saulnier is a repeater from the Aeros who also played with the Sabres, but this group also includes Brianne Jenner and Sarah Nurse who signed in free agency, and Elaine Chuli, Kristen O'Neill, Kayla Vespa, and Alexa Vasko who were all selected in the PWHL Draft.

Oakville Hornets

Oakville has produced a talented group of players. Another Aeros alumni Loren Gabel makes her second appearance on this list. She played for both the clubs before winning a Patty Kazmaier and PHF MVP honor. Oakville's alumni group also includes past and present Team Canada members Victoria Bach, Jamie Bourbonnais, and Emma Maltais, along with PWHL draft picks Jessica Digirolamo and Lexie Adzija, and Team USA national team member Hayley Scamurra.

Other top minor hockey programs (at least three Alumni):

Mississauga Chiefs, London Devilettes, Okanagan Hockey Academy, Burlington Barracudas, Dawson College Blues, Ottawa Lady Senators, Chicago Mission, and National Sports Academy