PWHL's historic 1st trade required navigating new league's roster rules
Natalie Darwitz had a front-row seat to watch Sophie Jaques's talent with the puck over the last two seasons.
Darwitz, who was an associate head coach at the University of Minnesota before becoming PWHL Minnesota's GM this season, saw Jaques put up 48 points in 41 games with rival Ohio State last season.
The performance earned Jaques the Patty Kazmaier award, given annually to the best female player in the NCAA. She was only the second defender to win the award after Hockey Hall of Famer Angela Ruggiero did it in 2004.
"Every time she was on the ice, she was just a dominant threat," Darwitz told CBC Sports. "There were times where, in disbelief, I'd be like, how did she even make that play or get open or how did she do it again? We know the ceiling is really high for her."
Darwitz made history on Sunday, playing a role in what will go down as the PWHL's first trade, along with Boston GM Danielle Marmer. And it was a big one.
Jaques, who was drafted 10th overall by Boston in September, was traded to Minnesota. In return, Boston got Finnish forward Susanna Tapani, who put up five points in Minnesota's first nine games, and depth defender Abby Cook.
It comes as general managers across the league navigate roster management in the league's first season, all while complying with rules outlined in the collective bargaining agreement.
For players, it's the first time many have ever had to contemplate the prospect of getting traded.
"From our standpoint, this isn't just playing a board game and making a quick decision," Darwitz said. "There's a lot that goes into it. For us, it's not only are we obviously looking at this year but my job as the GM is what's next year, what's the following year look like."
Trades have only been