Grace Zumwinkle ’17 drafted to the Professional Women’s Hockey League
Breck’s own Grace Zumwinkle ’17 was recently drafted to the Minnesota team in the newly created Professional Women’s Hockey League. Zumwinkle was drafted in the third round and was the 13th pick overall. She previously played hockey for the University of Minnesota and represented the United States in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Playing professionally is an incredible achievement; for Zumwinkle, it’s all the more exciting to be doing so in her home state. “When I first heard that Minnesota was gonna have a team, it was obviously a goal of mine having played high school and college hockey in Minnesota and having a lot of family here,” she says. “It’s a dream come true to be able to stay here and play in front of my home state.”
The alumni office caught up with Grace at Breck’s Anderson Ice Arena to talk about her upcoming season and how her Breck experience helped her get to where she is today.
What does it feel like to have been drafted to this new league?
It’s obviously super exciting. It’s been a whirlwind of emotions. I know there are so many people who have put in countless hours and time to make this league what it is today and grow it from the ground up. I think it’ll be awesome when we hit the ice for games in January.
Graduating college, there was never really a professional league for women to aim for, so I think the most exciting part is now there is something that players in college, high school, and younger can aim for like the NHL has been for men.
What are you most looking forward to in the upcoming season?
Definitely the games! I’m excited to play competitive games every single night. I’m not exactly sure what the schedule will entail, but I think seeing women’s hockey played on a larger scale will be awesome, especially for the growth of the sport.
I think there will be some hiccups along the way, especially just starting the league from the ground up. But like anything in life, you just gotta ride the roller coaster and see where it takes you.
In what ways do you think Breck prepared you — athletically and academically — to be where you are today?
Breck has definitely served my family in so many positive ways. Breck taught me the importance of balancing whatever life throws you. I think through academics and athletics, Breck gave me a lot of opportunities that have helped me grow into the person I am today.
I had the unique opportunity to play in three sports at Breck: tennis, hockey, and golf. Each season, all the coaches were instrumental in my success and development not only in the sport that I was playing, but also just in life beyond sports. So I give a huge shout out to all the coaches, teachers, and other staff members along the way who have helped me.
Breck's Class of 2024 includes five Semifinalists, seven Commended Scholars, and two National Recognition Award winners.
Breck alumna will represent her home state of Minnesota in the newly established league.
Ms. Z will share and expand her knowledge on diversity, equity, and inclusion at CSEE, Breck, and beyond.