Ottawa Adds Size and Skill in 2024 PWHL Draft

A normal draft? In this city?

Ottawa Adds Size and Skill in 2024 PWHL Draft
Photo by Scott Graham / Unsplash

Those of us who are fans of both the Ottawa Senators and PWHL Ottawa have learned to approach drafts with a bit of apprehension. The Sens have gained a reputation for overthinking things every summer, going off the board for players they like and overvaluing character and guys whose parents played in the NHL. PWHL Ottawa don’t do that (so far!), but we're so used to it from the other team that it's like we're bracing ourselves for it.

Thankfully, Ottawa seems to have acquitted itself well. They started out with probably the easiest pick in the whole draft: there was an obvious top 2, and Ottawa had the second pick, so they just needed to snatch up whoever New York didn't pick. After that, they went with talented players who fit their needs. Nothing too crazy. The one theme I can sense is that they seem to have prioritized big, tough players, but they didn't sacrifice any skill to get that.

First Round: Danielle Serdachny

Sarah Fillier was the consensus first overall pick going into the draft, so it’s no surprise that New York took her first. There was, however, some discussion about whether they’d go off the board and select Serdachny instead, which tells you what a good player Ottawa got at second overall.

Fans of Team Canada were introduced to Serdachny during the 2023 World Championships, where she got 1 assist in 7 games. If they didn’t notice her then, they definitely noticed her in 2024, when she scored the Golden Goal for Canada.

In her NCAA career for Colgate University, she’s been above a point per game for the last three seasons, and lead the entire league in points in 2022-23, being named a top-3 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier. She’s a big, physical player who can bring the toughness Ottawa is apparently seeking. She’s a talented goalscorer and a menace around the net, but she's also a skilled playmaker. I think Ottawa fans will like her.

It doesn’t always work out that the best player available is also the player who best fits your specific needs. That’s what happened to Ottawa in the 2024 draft. What a great pick. If they can bring back Daryl Watts, that top 6 is going to be nasty.

Second Round: Ronja Savolainen

Once again, Ottawa went for a big, tough player - this time a defender. Savolainen has been playing for Luleå in the SDHL since 2016, and has represented Finland in many, many international tournaments. She’s one of the top scoring defenders in the SDHL, and sounds like a perfect fit for Ottawa. It’s also fun to see this team get even more international. Shoutout to The Victory Press, who got this pick exactly right in their mock draft, and described Savolainen as a "utility knife" defender.

Third Round: Gwyneth Philips

Philips was the first goaltender selected, and the last for several rounds. She was the best goaltender in the NCAA last year, and has been Northeastern’s starter for the last two seasons. She made her international debut for the US at the most recent world championships, where she was the third goalie. Here’s a wild stat, courtesy of Hailey Salvian:

Philips was the best goaltender available, and gives Ottawa more options in the crease.

Fourth Round: Stephanie Markowski

Ottawa grabbed another defender in round 4 - this one Canadian. I understand that she’s a physical, shot-blocking defender with good passing skills. She's also good friends with Danielle Serdachny, so it's cool that those two will get to play together.

Fifth Round: Mannon McMahon

Centre Mannon McMahon was Minnesota-Duluth’s second leading scorer this past season, with 31 points in 39 games. She’s also a former teammate of Gabbie Hughes and Ashton Bell. I got the impression from actual women’s hockey experts that this pick was a bit of a reach, but hopefully she’ll make a good bottom-six forward in Ottawa.

Sixth Round: Anna Meixner

With their sixth pick, Ottawa went for experience. 29-year-old Meixner is an Austrian forward who’s been playing in the SDHL since 2016. She’s a consistent point-per-game player and the Captain of Austria’s national team. She was widely considered to be a huge steal in round six. That’s also another nationality that Ottawa can check off the list!

Seventh Round: Madeleine Wethington.

Ottawa rounded out the draft with another defender. I can't say I know that much about her, but The Athletic had her going in round 4, so that sounds like good news for Ottawa. She's also been Minnesota's top scoring defender for the past two years.

So there you have it. A good, normal draft from an Ottawa hockey team. I can't wait to see which of these players make the roster next season!

Not everyone can afford to pay for sports coverage right now, and that is why we will keep as much of the site's content free for as long as we can.

But if you are able to, please consider subscribing to help keep our articles free (and get a few extra perks).

Erik Condra
  • Ability to comment and participate in our community
  • Twice monthly newsletter available only to subscribers
  • Ad-free reading
  • Our undying love and appreciation
Brady Tkachuk
  • Everything from the Erik Condra tier
  • 10% discount on all merch
  • Access to any future paywalled content
  • A personal thank-you from the Silver Seven staff
Daniel Alfredsson
  • Everything from the Brady Tkachuk tier
  • Inner peace knowing you are supporting quality, independent coverage of your favourite sports team