Two Gophers selected by Minnesota Whitecaps in NWHL Draft

Forward Alex Woken was drafted fifth overall, and captain defenseman Patti Marshall selected in the second round at 11th overall.

Freshman forward Alex Woken battles for the puck at Ridder Arena on September 30, 2016.

Chelsea Gortmaker

Freshman forward Alex Woken battles for the puck at Ridder Arena on September 30, 2016.

Julianna Landis

As fans and athletes continue to grapple with the sudden end of sports seasons, virtual drafts have been providing a hopeful outlook on the future.

Fans of women’s hockey in Minnesota got a glimpse of that future on Tuesday when two Gophers, forward Alex Woken and defenseman Patti Marshall, were selected by the Minnesota Whitecaps. Woken was selected fifth overall and Marshall was selected in the second round at 11th overall.

Woken served as an assistant captain in her senior season for the Gophers, posting 16 goals and 16 assists, totaling 32 points on the season. Woken was also tied for the team’s lead in power-play goals with four and proved a reliable force for the Gophers, playing in all 36 games.

Marshall, the Gophers’ captain, had 10 points and ranked third on the team with 44 blocked shots, helping lead the way on the defensive end. She played in 34 games this season. Marshall and Woken previously played together at Shattuck-St. Mary’s.

The National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) announced their draft selections live over Twitter, with the first two rounds revealed Tuesday and the remaining three rounds Wednesday. The Whitecaps picked fifth out of six teams, including a new expansion team coming to Toronto. 

This season, Minnesota made it to the league championship, where they were poised to play the Boston Pride for the Isobel Cup before the game was postponed due to COVID-19. The Whitecaps won the championship during the team’s inaugural season in 2019.