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Connecticut Whale acquire Zoe Hickel from Boston

The first move of the NWHL trade deadline saw the Whale add an all-star

Zoe Hickel may very well be the only player traded before the NWHL trade deadline on February 8.
Al Saniuk

The day before the NWHL trade deadline, the Connecticut Whale and the Boston Pride made a trade. Zoe Hickel, a third-line forward and all-star with the Boston Pride, was sent to the Whale in exchange for a first round pick in next year’s draft and future considerations.

Hickel had one goal and five assists in 12 games with the Pride this season, and has been cemented on the third line with Rachel Llanes and Emily Field. A national team player, Hickel hasn’t had as much ice time due to the overall depth of the Pride roster.

For a team like the Whale, who have at times struggled to score this season, she should see an increased role.

“The Whale are very excited to add Zoe Hickel to our organization,” said Whale general manager Lisa Giovanelli in the press release. “We feel Zoe will be a great addition to our lineup and add excellent depth to our forwards. We are happy to be able to afford her this opportunity to jump into a bigger role in Connecticut. Acquiring Zoe is a huge step for the Whale in our quest for the Isobel Cup and we look forward to the sprint to the playoffs.”

The Pride are undefeated this season at 12-0 and have defeated Connecticut in each of their match ups this season, including a 4-2 victory this past weekend.

The Whale have seen their position in the NWHL standings slip to last place with just eight points this season, and trailing third-place Buffalo, who has 11 points.

If the Whale were to remain in last place and fall in the postseason, the Pride could end up with the first overall pick in the 2017 draft.

For the Pride, this could see increased ice time for Amanda Pelkey, who split time on the wing with Hickel and has seen power play time this season.

“We want to thank Zoe for her commitment and contributions to the Pride over the past two seasons,” said Boston general manager Hayley Moore. “As an organization, we pride ourselves on putting the players first, supporting their development, and preparing them for the National Team stage. We made this move so Zoe will have the opportunity to play a new role for the Whale. We wish her the best in Connecticut and beyond.”

The NWHL is in its all-star break and will be back in action next weekend with all four teams playing.