Founder and Commissioner
Dani Rylan founded the NWHL in April, 2015 with the goal of fueling the continued growth of the sport and brand of women’s hockey in North America and across the globe.
Since that time, the NWHL has grown exponentially, sparking an increased interest in women’s hockey viewership and participation. In 2017, the league’s Buffalo Beauts were purchased by Pegula Sports and Entertainment, the owners of the Sabres and Bills. A year later, the NWHL saw its first expansion with the addition of the Minnesota Whitecaps, who quickly became a sensation by playing to capacity crowds in Saint Paul.
In addition, Rylan and the league have formed valuable alliances with Dunkin’ Donuts (major corporate sponsorship), the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and Minnesota Wild (partnership with the NWHL’s area teams) and Twitter (a globally-streamed NWHL Game of the Week), among others.
Rylan was named to ESPN’s “IMPACT 25,” which recognizes the women making the biggest impact on their sport and the society in which they live, and she was honored by Fast Company as one the “Top 100 Most Creative People.” A passionate entrepreneur, she is a popular speaker and panelist at business and career conferences from coast to coast.
Prior to founding the NWHL, Rylan was captain of the NCAA Division I team at Northeastern, where she earned a Master's degree in Sports Management.
Raised in Tampa and now living and working in Brooklyn, Rylan continues to play the game she loves every chance she gets in New York City hockey leagues.