The Edmonton Oilers continue their hiring spree, now adding the founder and former commissioner of the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) to their scouting staff. That’s right, Dani Rylan Kearney is now a part of the Edmonton Oilers organisation.
Who is Dani Rylan
Rylan’s hockey background is extensive as a player and executive. From the high school level playing out of the USHS league and the New England Girls Hockey League, through to collegiate level hockey playing in the NCAA, Rylan has had her fair share of playing hockey.
However, it’s her executive career that is much more notable. She founded the NWHL in March 2015, making for the first professional women’s hockey league to pay their players. The NWHL introduced a salary cap system for its first season right off the bat, where teams were subject to $270K caps and $10K league minimum contracts.
Rylan was solely responsible for bringing the league to life as she kickstarted the process and turned her vision into a reality. Over the course of half a decade, Rylan served as the commissioner before stepping down in 2020. Tyler Tumminia took over as interim commissioner while Rylan stayed in the league and oversaw four teams in the Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, Metropolitan Riveters, and Minnesota Whitecaps until also stepping down from that role in 2021.
To say that Rylan had her fingerprints all over the NWHL is an understatement. From start to finish, Rylan played an integral role in the growth of women’s hockey.
Today, the NWHL is known as the Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) and is expected to start play in January 2024.
Role with the Oilers
Rylan will be added to Edmonton’s hockey operations department as a regional scout. As per the Oilers’ organisational structure, Rylan joins the scouting department that consists of Brad Holland (AGM and Director of Professional Scouting), Rick Pracey (Director of Amateur Scouting), and Bob Green (Chief Amateur Scout).