Taylor Heise never takes this opportunity for granted. 

“Just seeing all those people who have done so much for this sport, it’s an honor to not only be on the ice with them, but to learn from them every day,” she said. 

What You Need To Know

  • Heise was the first overall pick in the inaugural PWHL Draft last year 

  • This will be her sixth World Championship and third one with the senior team

  • USA takes on Switzerland in the preliminary round Wednesday night

The 24-year-old forward for the U.S. Women’s National Team understands how much work was put in on and off the ice to get here.

“I know how many people have put their life on the line, all their energy, and expanded into the league and into this, and how women’s sports have grown dramatically, even in the past three years,” Heise said.

In September, she was the first overall pick in the inaugural draft of the newly formed Professional Women’s Hockey League. Heise was selected by her home state team Minnesota.

“It’s been fun to see everyone, and know you’re going to get everyone’s best out there on the ice every day,” she said.

After scoring four goals and seven assists in 14 games in the PWHL, Heise is now ready to bring the same caliber of play to Team USA, which is currently preparing for the IIHF Women’s World Championship in Utica.

“It’s done such a good job of making me who I am and the person that I am, and I’m very blessed to have met so many amazing people,” she said. 

Not bad for someone who came from a basketball family. Her brothers and parents all played collegiately. But for Heise, it was the ice over the hardwood right off the bat.

“I just got a note in my backpack one day in first grade, and I told my mom, 'I think this would be something cool,'” she said. 

Once she got on the ice, Heise never got off. Being the anomaly and forging her own path made her really fall in love with hockey.

She played in college at the University of Minnesota prior to being drafted into the PWHL. Now with Team USA, she’s ready for her sixth World Championship. It’ll be the third one with the senior team and the defending gold medalist.

“It’s a dream and an honor to be a part of this program,” Heise said.