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Transaction Tuesday: Ketchum Returns

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New York Riveters Media Day Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

It’s time for our fourth installment of Transaction Tuesday - catching you up on all offseason moves made by teams in the NWHL and CWHL.

Note: All developments that have taken place in the last two weeks are noted with bold text.


NWHL

  • Hayley Moore has been named the league’s deputy commissioner and director of player development.

Boston Pride

  • Centralization: Gigi Marvin, Kacey Bellamy, Alex Carpenter, Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight, Brianna Decker, Amanda Pelkey
  • Out: Blake Bolden (HC Lugano, Swiss League)
  • Re-signed: Lexi Bender, Jordan Smelker, Jillian Dempsey, Mary Parker, Emily Field
  • Signed: Kathyrn Tomaselli (practice player last season), Michaela Levine (practice player last season), Kaliya Johnson, Janine Weber, Brianna Laing, Paige Savage, Sydney Daniels
  • Front office: Thomas Poeck replaces Bobby Jay as head coach, Hayley Moore will leave her post as the team’s general manager

The Pride signed Harvard’s Sydney Daniels away from the New York Riveters. The Riveters drafted Daniels with a second round pick in the 2016 NWHL Draft, but the rookie winger has chosen to stay close to home.

Daniels has been a high-volume shooting winger for the Crimson for the past four seasons. She scored 11 goals in 24 games in her senior season to lead Harvard. With Daniels under contract, Poeck now has all nine of his forwards for the 2017-18 NWHL season.

Boston needs to sign another goaltender and add four more defenders to complete its roster.

Buffalo Beauts

  • Centralization: Emily Pfalzer, Megan Bozek
  • Re-signed: Corinne Buie, Amanda Leveille, Sarah Casorso, Jordyn Burns, Hayley Scamurra, Kourtney Kunichika, Lisa Chesson
  • Signed: Kelsey Neumann (practice player last season), Jordan Ott, Kayla Parsons (practice player last season), Taylor Accursi, Kathy Donohue
  • Out: Harrison Browne (retirement), Brianne McLaughlin (retirement), Ashley Vesci (retirement), Devon Skeats (retirement), Shiann Darkangelo, Emily Janiga, Kelley Steadman

The Beauts have by far been the busiest NWHL team in recent weeks. After an agonizingly slow start to the offseason, Buffalo’s team is finally starting to take shape.

Steadman is a huge loss for the Beauts. She was among the NWHL’s most dangerous forwards in the league’s first two seasons. Frankly, the numbers that Steadman put up were sensational.

Fortunately for the Beauts key veterans Kunichika and Chesson will both be back. Chesson is a crucial player for Buffalo’s blue line and Kunichika is captain material. She can do a little bit of everything, including generate offense.

The Beauts also signed two undrafted rookie forwards out of Mercyhurst. The pair should help to replace the depth that the Beauts lost after winning the 2017 Isobel Cup.

“Accursi and Donohue come to us from Mercyhurst – the same program that produced two great players for us in Kelley Steadman and Emily Janiga,” head coach Ric Seiling shared. “Coach Michael Sisti does an outstanding job developing players, and we believe Taylor and Kathy will be immediate impact players for us.”

Connecticut Whale

  • Re-signed: Kelly Babstock, Elena Orlando, Cydney Roesler, Juana Baribeau
  • Signed: Sydney Rossman (Quinnipiac), Shannon Doyle (practice player last season), Anya Battaglino (practice player last season), Rachael Ade
  • Out: Kelli Stack (Kunlun Red Star, CWHL), Kaliya Johnson (Boston Pride), Zoe Hickel (Kunlun Red Star, CWHL)

The Whale are still looking for a second goaltender and the fate of Haley Skarupa and Dana Trivigno remains uncertain. Connecticut could certainly use their skill with Stack and Hickel out of the picture.

New York Riveters

  • Centralization: Amanda Kessel
  • Pyeongchang-bound: Sojung Shin (Korea)
  • Out: Madison Packer (retirement), Janine Weber (Pride)
  • Re-signed: Katie Fitzgerald, Tatiana Rafter, Rebecca Russo, Alexa Gruschow, Miye D’Oench, Kiira Dosdall, Lauren Wash, Ashley Johnston, Bray Ketchum
  • Signed: Sarah Bryant (practice player last season), Cheeky Herr (practice player last season), Lindsey Hylwa

Veteran winger Bray Ketchum will be back for a third year with the Riveters, which is good news for New York’s offense. Ketchum had 10 goals in her first NWHL season, but her production slipped in 2016-17. She’s a safe bet for having a big bounce-back season in 2017-18.

Bray Ketchum of the New York Riveters deflects a puck with a high stick in a game against the Boston Pride.
Al Saniuk

In other news, Ashley Johnston broke her foot and has amazing tattoos.

CWHL

Boston Blades

  • Out: Kayla Tutino (trade with Les Canadiennes)
  • Front office: General manager Krista Patronick has left the team.

Patronick is a huge loss for the Blades. Boston will be hard-pressed to find someone who will match her dedication and build off of the momentum that she created last season.

Markham Thunder (formerly Brampton)

  • Centralization: Laura Stacey, Laura Fortino, Jocelyn Larocque, Erica Howe (alternate)
  • Front office: Jim Jackson will replace 2016-17 Coach of the Year Tyler Fines as head coach, Chelsea Purcell named full-time general manager

There have been reports that the CWHL’s Brampton franchise will be moving east to the city of Markham next season. An announcement from the league is expected later today.

Calgary Inferno

  • Centralization: Rebecca Johnston, Jill Saulnier, Bailey Bram, Brianne Jenner, Haley Irwin, Blayre Turnbull, Brigette Lacquette, Meaghan Mikkelson, Geneviève Lacasse, Emerance Maschmeyer (alternate)
  • Pyeongchang-bound: Iya Gavrilova (Russia), Akane Hosoyamada (Japan), Aina Takeuchi (Japan)

Kunlun Red Star

  • In: Kelli Stack, Noora Räty, Zoe Hickel, Melanie Jue, Brooke Webster
  • Front Office: Digit Murphy - head coach, Rob Morgan - associate coach

The vast majority of the Chinese national team has registered for the 2017 CWHL Draft. There is, however, at least one noteworthy omission. Mengying Zhang has not yet registered for the draft. She was one of China’s top scorers at the Pyeongchang Olympic Qualifiers and at this year’s Worlds.

The Asian Winter Games 2017 - Day 8
Xin Fang, a member of the Chinese National team, was one of many native Chinese players to register for the 2017 CWHL Draft.
Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

Les Canadiennes de Montreal

  • Centralization: Marie-Philip Poulin, Lauriane Rougeau
  • In: Kayla Tutino (trade with Boston Blades)
  • Out: Leslie Oles (EV Bomo Thun, Swiss League)

Toronto Furies

  • Centralization: Natalie Spooner, Renata Fast, Erin Ambrose
  • Pyeongchang-bound: Sena Suzuki (Japan)
  • Out: Kelly Terry (retirement), Michela Cava (Modo, SDHL)
  • Front Office: Nicole Latreille is the Furies new general manager.

Latreille will not be the only new general manager in the CWHL this year, but she is one of the first to sign on the dotted line. She steps into the role that once belonged to Rebecca Michael.

From the CWHL’s press release:

A former elite-level hockey player for Guelph University and the Ottawa Raiders, Nicole is hoping to develop an atmosphere where the athletes can focus solely on performance excellence. Her main goal is to engage the community, build the Furies brand and create a platform that allows the athletes to succeed.


Outside of the North American professional leagues there was one signing in particular that deserves mention in this week’s Transaction Tuesday.

Evelina Thyr has re-signed with Brynäs IF of the SDHL, she played just five games last season because of some scary health issues.