Canada is set to launch a new professional women’s hockey league in 2024. Find everything that you need to know about the PWHL, which is set to feature three Canadian teams, beginning early next year.
The newly named Professional Women’s Hockey League will begin play next year in January 2024. Newly added to the franchise, are three Canadian teams based in Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa.
The inaugural franchise will feature a 24-game regular season beginning next year. The PWHL will have three teams in the US and three teams in Canada to start off the new season. While there are no details of where they will play, team names, or logos, the league has confirmed the location of the franchises.
Professional Women’s Hockey League Will Feature Six New Franchises
On Tuesday, the new PWHL official revealed their original six franchises. The league will feature teams in the US and Canada.
The American franchises will be located in Boston, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and the New York City area, which could include either Connecticut or New Jersey.
Meanwhile, the Canadian franchises will be based out of Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa.
Players will be allocated to those six teams after the free-agency period, which is scheduled for early September followed by the first-ever PWHL draft on September 18.
Teams will be able to start building their rosters on September 1st during the 10-day free-agency period.
PWHL Free Agency and Draft
All players who are active members of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association (PWHPA) are eligible during the draft, along with current and graduating NCAA and U-Sports players.
During the free agency period, only three players are allowed to be signed.
The first-round draft order will be determined through a lottery. NCAA athletes and U Sports players can only be acquired through the 15-round draft.
PWHL 2024 Schedule
The PWHL 2024 full-season schedule will be available in October with some games located at neutral venues in partnership with the NHL.
That means teams may not be playing all 12 of their home games in the same venue.
The inaugural PWHL 2024 season will consist of 32 regular season games along with at least two playoff rounds.
The league is expected from January until late May or early June. There will be a break in April due to the IIHF Women’s World Championship as well.
Next year, the subsequent season is expected to start in November.
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