Professional Women’s Hockey League announces inaugural league formation

By TRT Staff with notes from

TORONTO – More opportunity has opened for Indigenous girls and women in the sport of hockey. On August 29, the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) was officially introduced today with a foundational announcement naming its six markets across Canada and the United States.

When the puck drops in January 2024, the world’s best women’s players will compete in Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto, as well as Boston, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and the New York City area.

“Hockey Indigenous would like to congratulate the Professional Women’s Hockey League on their inaugural league formation and [announcement on August 29]. We look forward to seeing the PWHL grow and we will continue to support Indigenous girls and women’s hockey athletes. We encourage the PWHL to support Indigenous athletes, communities and artists. This is a generational step for women’s hockey that will bring true transformation and one for the history books,” wrote Hockey Indigenous to add to positive discussion on the announcement.

Rosters for the inaugural season will begin forming during an initial free agency period that started on September 1, with the majority of the league’s founding players to be selected during the 2023 PWHL Draft on September 18.

The league is supported financially by business and philanthropic leaders Mark and Kimbra Walter and is led by a Board of Directors that includes sports icon Billie Jean King, sports executive Ilana Kloss, Los Angeles Dodgers President Stan Kasten, and Dodgers Senior Vice President of Business Strategy Royce Cohen.

The 2023-24 PWHL schedule will feature 24 regular season games per team. The full schedule will be announced in the coming months.

The PWHL is in the final stages of securing six General Managers who will be responsible for building team rosters through free agency and the draft. A Player Evaluation Advisory Committee has assessed the eligible player pool as an additional resource for the new GMs. The committee has extensive knowledge in coaching, scouting, and player development with members representing all levels of the women’s game from professional (PWHPA and PHF) to collegiate programs (NCAA and U SPORTS) to international competition (Hockey Canada, USA Hockey, and IIHF).

Key Dates: Sept. 1 – Initial free agency period begins, Sept. 3 – 2023 PWHL Draft declaration deadline, Sept. 10 – Initial free agency period ends and on Sept. 18 – the 2023 PWHL Draft

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