By: PWHL Ottawa Media

March 20, 2024


Audrey-Anne Veillette didn’t have to think too long. She’d just hung up the phone. The month of March had just begun, and PWHL Ottawa’s general manager Mike Hirshfeld had offered her a contract as a reserve player to complete the 2023-24 season. Her mind was already made up. She was going to put everything on hold, leave Montreal and move to the capital in a hurry.


This fall, the young Quebec forward quickly came to a conclusion: hockey is a much more enjoyable sport when you’re part of a team.


Audrey-Ann Veillette Photo Credit: PWHL


A 15th-round pick in the first-ever PWHL draft, Veillette was unable to showcase her skills at the selection camp in November. A lower-body injury sustained during summer training prevented her from taking part in on-ice training and scrimmages.


When she was released, Veillette never stopped working. She continued to train on her own, both on the ice and in the gym, in preparation for her comeback.





PWHL Ottawa has never stopped believing in the potential of this dynamic player, who scored 26 goals in 22 games last winter during her final season with the Université de Montréal Carabins. Hence the idea of bringing her back to the team as she completes her rehabilitation.


So Veillette is back in Ottawa. A friend, a former teammate with the Carabins, had a room to spare.


“It’s easier in Ottawa,” she says. “I have a therapist with me at every training session. I also have a coach with me on the ice. I don’t have to rack my brain like I did in the last few months, preparing my own workouts. In Ottawa, I feel really well looked after. I’ve got friends, too! It’s a lot harder to train on your own. When I show up at the rink every morning and see the girls, I’m really happy to be doing this as a team.”


Veillette considers herself even luckier, as the coach who oversees her progress on the ice is a childhood idol.


“I admired Haley Irwin when I was younger. I know her schedule as an assistant coach is already full. I’m really grateful, every day, when she stays with me. During each exercise, she has a little advice to give me. She really wants me to improve,” explained Veillette.


Veillette will continue to work, dreaming of the day when she can make her PWHL debut. “I’ve got good speed, I’ve got a good shot, but I like to describe myself as a momentum player. A player who will step up for the team. When we need a big shift, offensively or defensively, I like to be the player who makes the difference. And I can play anywhere in the line-up, although I have to admit I really like scoring goals.”