Markova, hockey player from Agidel: “I hope I will show myself and be able to sign a contract with Boston”

A hockey player Ilona Markova told how she managed to become the first Russian woman in history to be selected in the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) draft.

Markova, 22, who plays as a forward for Agidel Ufa, was selected by Boston in the seventh round, 37th overall.

— How do you even get into the PWHL draft?

— To do this, you must submit the documents yourself. I did this through an agent. There are special agents in North American women’s hockey. But I decided to work with the Gold Star agency, headed by Dan Milstein, for me it is the best thing. Then you just wait for the draft, that’s how it works.

I have not gone as far as the draft procedure itself, it is of no use. I looked online and was happy when Boston picked me.

– And after? Is it possible to combine studying somewhere at Boston University and playing in the PWHL?

— If you study and play hockey, then you have to go to the university league. Or I am now studying at a university in Russia, I am in my graduation year and I can easily combine this with WHL. And someone else manages not only to study and play hockey, but also to work.

But the PWHL means it’s a higher level league, so not many people manage to combine it. It’s professional hockey, like the NHL. Today, the new PWHL league is in such development that 20,000 people come to the matches. This is a real step forward for women’s hockey. And salaries are expected to be decent.

The implication is that if you play in the PWHL, you don’t need to work anywhere on the team, you just focus on hockey. In addition, the league will continue to develop, new teams will appear. There are six clubs so far, but there will be more.

— What are your next steps?

— My contract with Agidel has ended and the rights in Russia are assigned to the Ufa under-25 club. At the same time, I can safely travel to the United States. After being selected in the draft, I have to go there. And before signing the contract, I will have to prove myself. So I’m only at the beginning of my journey.

— When does the season start there?

— Training camp in Boston will open in October and the season itself will begin in November. I really hope I can sign a contract.

— The Russian women’s team has also been suspended from international competitions since February 2022. Is it prestigious that our athlete, despite this, was noticed and invited to the PWHL?

– I agree with that. And this doesn’t just concern me. But the PWHL also wants to see which athletes perform in the WHL and if they can handle the situation at that level. In general, in the North American league, we don’t look at nationality. There are no limits, they simply assess your hockey level. They will sign a contract with you if you are worthy. I like this mentality and approach to business,” Markova said in an interview with .

Last season in the WHL, Markova played 49 games, including the playoffs, scoring 50 (19+31) performance points.

PWHL has been around for a year. In the league’s inaugural season, which ended in May, Boston reached the Finals, where it lost to Minnesota (2–3) in a best-of-three series.

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Source : MatchTV

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