Stay up to date on all official signings as Minnesota builds its roster for the inaugural Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) season.
Minnesota currently has thirteen players under contract including forwards Sydney Brodt, Brooke Bryant, Kendall Coyne Schofield, Taylor Heise, Kelly Pannek, Susanna Tapani, Grace Zumwinkle, defenders Natalie Buchbinder, Maggie Flaherty, Lee Stecklein, and goaltender Nicole Hensley.
NOV. 29: SYDNEY BRODT (F) – ROUND 15, 85TH OVERALL (SIGNED 1-YEAR CONTRACT)
“Sydney brings a high intensity style of play with her speed and quickness. She had an outstanding career with the UMD Bulldogs and gained valuable experience with USA Hockey, as well as with the Whitecaps and in Sweden. We are excited to have Sydney as a part of Team Minnesota.” - Charlie Burggraf, Head Coach
"I couldn't be more excited to play for Minnesota! It's a huge honor to represent my home state and get the opportunity to compete in this league. I'm looking forward to building something special with our team this season." - Sydney Brodt
NOV. 29: BROOKE BRYANT (F) – FREE AGENT (SIGNED 1-YEAR CONTRACT)
“Californian Brooke Bryant plays a solid disciplined defensive style of play. She emerged in camp as someone who works hard and competes every day. She’s a great addition to our roster.” - Charlie Burggraf, Head Coach
"I am so excited to have the opportunity to play for Minnesota. Getting to play with, and against, the best players in the world is something I truly look forward to!" - Brooke Bryant
NOV. 27: NATALIE BUCHBINDER (D) – ROUND 7, 37TH OVERALL (SIGNED 2-YEAR CONTRACT)
“Natalie is a solid defensive minded player who is also an excellent playmaker. She was a member of the 2019 National Championship Wisconsin Badgers, as well as a member of the USA U18 and USA Rivalry Teams— we are looking forward to Natalie continuing her success with Team Minnesota!” - Charlie Burggraf, Head Coach
"I’m so grateful and excited to be a member of the PWHL Minnesota organization. I’m looking forward to playing in such an amazing hockey market, and to continue working with these great players and staff!" - Natalie Buchbinder
NOV. 20: MAGGIE FLAHERTY (D) – ROUND 4, 24TH OVERALL (SIGNED 2-YEAR CONTRACT)
Flaherty turns pro after five seasons on the blue line at the University of Minnesota-Duluth where she recorded 77 points in 153 games. The 23-year-old from Lakeville, Minnesota tallied a career-high 25 points, including nine goals in 39 games during the 2022-23 campaign, while skating to a plus-32 rating and blocking 50 shots. This performance earned her Third Team All-WCHA honors. In 2018, she won a gold medal representing the United States at the 2018 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship competing alongside fellow signee, Taylor Heise.
“Maggie is coming to us from the UMD Bulldogs where she had a stellar 25-point senior season. She has represented Team USA in U18 World Championship games and will bring international level experience for us. She is an offensive minded defender who will fit well in our playing style.” – Charlie Burggraf, Head Coach
“I am very excited about staying in my home state and getting to play near my family and friends. I can’t wait to get the season going and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to play for Team Minnesota in the state of hockey.” – Maggie Flaherty
NOV. 1: GRACE ZUMWINKLE (F) – ROUND 3, 13TH OVERALL (SIGNED 3-YEAR CONTRACT)
Zumwinkle is another member of the University of Minnesota’s 2023 graduating class to sign with her home state team, joining fellow Golden Gophers co-captain Taylor Heise. During the 2022-23 campaign, the 24-year-old from Excelsior, Minnesota set a career-high with 61 points in 39 games and was a Patty Kazmaier Award finalist for the second time in her NCAA career. Internationally, she’s a 2022 Olympian who earned silver at the Beijing games, and also competed with Team USA at the 2021 and 2022 IIHF Women’s World Championships bringing home a pair of silver medals.
“We welcome the very familiar Minnesota hockey family name Zumwinkle, to Team Minnesota, more specifically, Grace Zumwinkle! Grace is the quintessential team player as she leads both on and off the ice. She is a very talented forward and excels both offensively and defensively. She has been a force at every level she has competed at and still has tremendous potential as she is an elite level athlete. We are thrilled to have her in a Team Minnesota uniform!” – Charlie Burggraf, Head Coach
“I am super excited to sign with PWHL Minnesota. Ever since I was a young girl it has been a dream of mine to continue to play hockey professionally and it's a huge honor to continue to do so in my home state and The State of Hockey.” – Grace Zumwinkle
OCT. 31: NICOLE HENSLEY (G) – ROUND 2, 12TH OVERALL (SIGNED 3-YEAR CONTRACT)
Hensley was the first goaltender selected in the inaugural PWHL Draft and brings a wealth of experience between-the-pipes with the U.S. National Women’s Team. Her international success includes Olympic gold in 2018 and silver in 2022, plus five medals at the IIHF Women’s World Championship counting three gold and two silver. The 29-year-old from Lakewood, Colorado played collegiately at Lindenwood University, followed by four professional seasons around her Olympic centralization including the PHF’s Buffalo Beauts in 2018-19 and PWHPA from 2019-21 and 2022-23.
“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Nicole Hensley to Team Minnesota! Nicole has a very athletic style of goaltending that manifests in her aggressive approach to tracking the puck, challenging the shooter, and therefore stopping the puck. Nicole's high compete level has resulted in her excelling at every level she has played and becoming a premier goaltender and we are excited to have her as part of our team!” – Charlie Burggraf, Head Coach
“I’m very excited to sign with the PWHL Minnesota team and looking forward to getting to training camp and getting to work with our whole group. Minnesota has great sports fans, and I can’t wait to play in front of them!” – Nicole Hensley
OCT. 26: TAYLOR HEISE (F) – ROUND 1, 1ST OVERALL (SIGNED 3-YEAR CONTRACT)
Heise turns pro after an illustrious collegiate career at the University of Minnesota where she recorded over 200 points in five seasons and set a program record for most games played. The 2022 Patty Kazmaier Award recipient was also a top-10 finalist for the honor in 2023, serving as Golden Gophers captain and earning notable recognitions that include First Team All-American, All-USCHO First Team, and WCHA Forward of the Year. On the international stage, the 23-year-old from Lake City, MN won a gold medal with the U.S. National Women’s Team at the 2023 IIHF Women’s World Championship, and silver in 2022 where she was named a tournament All-Star, Best Forward, and MVP.
“Minnesota is thrilled to announce the signing of the number one overall draft pick, Minnesota native, Taylor Heise! We are elated to keep Taylor in the State of Hockey where she has already had a tremendous impact on the game. Taylor is one of the brightest stars in today’s game. Her excellence shines on the ice where her skills are immediately apparent, and in the community where she is an inspiration to young hockey players.” – Natalie Darwitz, General Manager
“I am beyond honored to be a part of this program and cannot wait to get started here in Minnesota with this amazing team in front of the best fans!” – Taylor Heise
SEPT. 6: KENDALL COYNE SCHOFIELD (F), KELLY PANNEK (F), LEE STECKLEIN (D)
Final team rosters must include 23 players signed to Standard Player Agreements, plus two Reserve Player Contracts. Salary terms will not be disclosed, as per the PWHL Players’ Association.