Today the NWHL announced the re-signing of Riveters forward Bray Ketchum. She is the 13th founding player (including practice players) to return for a third consecutive season. “It's a privilege to be a part of this league and I am ready to bring the Isobel Cup to New Jersey,” said Ketchum in the league press release. “Our team proved a lot last season and I know we can do more this year.”
Ketchum led the team in goals (10) in the first season, but played a different role in her sophomore year. She operated more in a supporting role to rookies like Amanda Kessel and Rebecca Russo, and tallied two goals and five assists of her own. While the veteran is unassuming in her demeanor, her experience makes her a solid signing.
In addition to her two seasons with New York, Ketchum played three seasons in the CWHL and won the 2015 Clarkson Cup with the Boston Blades. She finished her Yale hockey career in the top 12 all-time for her school in goals (41, 7th), assists (43, 12th) and points (84, 11th). As a senior, she also competed for the Yale lacrosse team, and posted a hat trick in her final game.
While the team had a wealth of talent last season, the Riveters struggled with consistency. Ketchum joins Ashley Johnston and Kiira Dosdall as the three original Riveters to sign thus far. “To be able to have them in our locker room again, we couldn’t be happier,” said goalie Katie Fitzgerald in a phone interview. “Being those leaders, those forces to be reckoned with is so important to us, especially as younger players.”
Things will bode well for New York if all three players continue to make an impact on the ice, in the locker room and with the fans. Especially as the Riveters look to bounce back from an early exit from the playoffs in both season. Despite clinching second place and home ice advantage last year, New York has yet to advance to the Isobel Cup Finals.
As for Ketchum, she is ready to do whatever it takes to bring a title to the Riveters franchise. “As a ‘veteran’ of this league, I bring leadership and excitement to the program,” Ketchum told The Ice Garden via e-mail. “I want to bring the Isobel Cup to NJ/NY this season and I'm going to do everything in my power to help our team accomplish that goal.”
The NWHL will begin its third season this October.
*Story updated at 8:20pm ET to include original quotes from Bray Ketchum and Katie Fitzgerald