The New York Riveters turned some heads when they signed first overall pick in the 2016 NWHL draft Kelsey Koelzer for the remainder of the 2016-17 season. The unusual move came after Koelzer’s season with Princeton came to an end when the Tigers failed to qualify for the NCAA tournament.
Signing players late in the season to play just a few games hasn’t been done before in the NWHL, but apparently, it’s becoming a trend. Today, the Boston Pride signed forward Mary Parker from Boston University. Parker wasn’t drafted in either of the NWHL drafts but signed as a free agent, likely to fill Zoe Hickel’s spot after the former Pride forward was sent to the Connecticut Whale. She joins the team today and is eligible to play in any remaining regular season and Isobel Cup playoff games. Like Koelzer, terms of Parker’s contract were not disclosed.
Parker will wear No. 7 for the Boston Pride. She scored 24 goals in 36 games at Boston University, where she’s currently a graduate student; before attending BU, she played at Harvard University for the Crimson.
"The Pride are thrilled to welcome Mary Parker to the pack,” said Boston Pride GM Hayley Moore. “Coming off an exceptional season at BU, she is ready to jump right into the professional game. Her compete level, lethal shot, and Boston roots make her a perfect fit for our team."
Parker will play a depth role on the already stacked Pride, who frankly need some help filling their bench. Last Saturday against the New York Riveters, the team started the game with only 15 skaters and then lost Emily Field and Jordan Smelker mid-game to injuries.
"I am very excited and incredibly honored to have the opportunity to join the Boston Pride and play in the NWHL,” said Parker. “It will be very special to play for Boston, my hometown team. I’m looking forward to improving my skills and playing at the next level with such great players.”
We’ll have more information and a video coming soon on Kelsey Koelzer’s signing with New York and will link to it here once it’s posted.