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Defender Michelle Picard re-signs with the Riveters

United States v Canada Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images

For the second straight season the New York Riveters appear to have a blue line that will be the envy of the NWHL. Today the Riveters agreed to terms with former Olympian and shutdown defender Michelle Picard.

From the league’s press release:

“Last year we had a great season with the Riveters, but came up short of our expectations. This year we aim to bring home the Isobel Cup to our loyal fans. My experience with the NWHL has been greater than I imagined. It allowed me to continue playing the game I love at a competitive level. I have met some amazing people within the Riveters organization, and I'm so grateful to be a part of it.”

Last season Picard emerged as one of the NWHL’s brightest new stars. There is nothing flashy about her game, but there’s also no denying that she was one of the most effective defenders playing professional hockey in North America.

In 18 games last season Picard scored two goals and assisted on six others while skating on the Riveters top defensive pair. She led the league in blocked shots, took just two minor penalties and helped to transform New York’s penalty kill.

Picard is the 16th player to sign with the Riveters this offseason. She joins a blue line that features fellow returning defenders Ashley Johnston, Kiira Dosdall, Courtney Burke and Kelsey Koelzer. The Riveters also agreed to terms with rookie defender Jenny Ryan earlier this month.

Last season the Riveters blue line was the team’s most consistent strength. As a result of the Picard signing, that will likely hold true for the 2017-18 season.