CWHL’s Blades select Kayla Tutino first overall, six countries represented at draft

Boston University captain Kayla Tutino was taken with the first-overall pick of the 2016 CWHL draft and Harvard netminder Emerance Maschmeyer was the first goaltender selected. Six countries had players drafted and eight players with NWHL ties were selected.

Kayla Tutino has plied her trade with the NCAA’s Boston University Terriers for the past five seasons, and she’s staying put in Beantown to begin her professional career.

Tutino, 23, was taken first overall by the Boston Blades at the 2016 CWHL draft after an impressive season with the Terriers in 2015-16. Named the captain of the club ahead of the campaign, Tutino, a Montreal native, scored 11 goals and 30 points in 39 games to finish tied for 52nd in scoring. Over the course of her five-year stay with the Terriers, Tutino had notched 63 goals and 144 points in 164 games.

However, even with Tutino being taken first overall, she may not be the player who has the most immediate offensive impact.

Tutino’s 30 points were the third-most of players selected out of the NCAA, with Montreal’s first-round pick Sarah Lefort and Toronto third-round choice Michela Cava outproducing Tutino in 2015-16 with 35 and 38 points, respectively. The top scorer of the draft from the college ranks, though, was CIS standout Iya Gavrilova.

Gavrilova has the honor of not only being the highest scoring college player picked — she put up 20 goals and 43 points for the University of Calgary and contributed three goals at the World Championship for Russia — but also the oldest. The 28-year-old will turn 29 before she even heads to training camp.

The top goaltender selected was Emerance Maschmeyer, who was taken fourth-overall by the Calgary Inferno. A native of Bruderheim, Alta., Maschmeyer was among the top 10 goaltenders in the NCAA in 2015-16 in terms of save percentage with a .938 mark to go along with a 1.87 goals-against average in 26 games. She also represented Canada at the World Championship, boasting a 1.25 GAA and .956 SP in three contests.

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Maschmeyer’s selection represented more than being the first at her position picked in the 2016 draft, though. She was also the first player taken in the 2016 draft who had previously been drafted by the NWHL, as Maschmeyer was a seventh-overall selection of the Buffalo Beauts in 2015. All told, six players were taken in the CWHL draft who were selected during the 2015 NWHL draft, including the seventh (Maschmeyer), eighth (Chelsey Goldberg) and ninth (Erin Ambrose) picks from the NWHL’s 2015 selection process.

In addition, two players were selected off of NWHL rosters. Erin Zach and goaltender Amanda Makela were members of the Buffalo Beauts during the past campaign, but Zach was taken in the seventh round by the Toronto Furies and Makela was made a selection of Les Canadiennes in the eighth round.

As for international talent, Japan’s prominence in the women’s game continued as three of the country’s players — Sato Kikuchi, Rina Takeda and Nachi Fujimoto — were selected. Also selected were the captain of France’s national team, Marion Allemoz, by Les Canadiennes and Mexico’s Claudia Tellez by the Inferno.

The draftees will get their chance to make their respective clubs come September, and the 2016-17 CWHL campaign is slated to kick off in mid-October.

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