As the 2016 CWHL draft approaches, general managers may have already decided upon their picks – and indeed even recruited players to sign up for the Draft itself – but there may still a bit of mystery involved on both sides. Players are asked to select between one and three locations they agree to be drafted by, and if a player is willing to pick more than one, there can be a bit of competition between GMs. Luckily, needs vary across the league, but not too much.
Margaret Zimmer, a left winger native to St. Charles, Illinois, could find a home on a few different teams but her best fit may very well be the Boston Blades.
Zimmer is the quintessential well-rounded player who doesn’t hesitate to take a shot, make a block or step up when her team needs her to do so.
A 2016 University of Connecticut graduate, Zimmer skated in all but a handful of games for the UConn Huskies during her collegiate career and demonstrated her determination in a variety of ways. While she isn’t a team’s sniper or a national-team level playmaker, Zimmer is a dogged worker and has the stats to show for it, in shooting, shot-blocking and even off the ice.
She took the ice in 143 contests and notched 33 points (14 goals, 19 assists) throughout her time as a Husky; as a senior Zimmer posted a career high of 13 points (4 goals, 8 assists) points but fired a total of 70 shots, tying her for third-most on the team. She averaged two shots per game Although Zimmer is a winger, she also finished fourth on the team in blocked shots, registering 43 that season. Those shots blocked were the most of any forward on the UConn team during the 2015-16 season.
While Zimmer typically plays left wing, she has also swapped positions when called upon to do so.
Given that Zimmer is from Illinois, where the closest CWHL team is situated in the greater Toronto area, an approximately 8-hour drive from her hometown, it’s much more likely Zimmer was recruited by Boston Blades general manager Krista Patronick for her Massachusetts-based team.
Zimmer (who can belt a tune, too, apparently) has a strong shot and sure hands; Zimmer can snipe the corner of the net from as far away as the blue line, as she proved against the Vermont Catamounts in January.
As a junior at UConn she led all Hockey East forwards with 57 blocked shots. A double major in Biological Sciences and Molecular Cell Biology, Zimmer was also a two-time Hockey East All-Academic Team member following her sophomore and senior seasons.
Her team play and all-around skill makes Zimmer an excellent addition for Boston, a team that has suffered on the offensive front. It has a desperate need for offense, registering the fewest goals and even fewest shots on goal of any team in the CWHL during the 2015-16 season, relying heavily on a few players to produce forward momentum.
In short, every little bit helps, and Zimmer’s two-way capabilities must be tantalizing to a team like the Blades.
If Zimmer is intent on heading to a team other than Boston, she could find herself slated on the second team for most of the other franchises, players who practice but only go into games when there are injuries.
Either Toronto or Brampton, however, might find room for her on their first squads; both have a bit of room to work with and having finished third and fourth out of five teams, would also welcome the additional depth to the roster.
According to a 2016 interview with UConn Today, Zimmer plans to attend medical school beginning in 2017, so this upcoming season may be the last time fans can watch her play.