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Whale sign center Sophia Agostinelli

Connecticut adds another new face and some size down the middle.

The Connecticut Whale celebrating a goal from the 2016-17 NWHL regular season.
Al Saniuk

The Whale have been the NWHL’s quietest team this offseason. Before today Connecticut had only 15 players under contract, and just six of those players were projected to play as forwards. After signing free agent Sophia Agostinelli today, the Whale now have seven forwards under contract for next season.

Two years ago Agostinelli played defense for the Hannover Lady Scorpions in the Frauen-Bundesliga. She had two goals and one assist in 17 games. The 5-foot-10 Boston native appears to be the first NWHL player born in North America that didn’t play college hockey in the United States or Canada.

Agostinelli was a standout high school hockey player at Framingham High School, but she chose to play Division I Lacrosse over Division III hockey in college. After her college lacrosse career at Holy Cross Agostinelli stepped back on the ice in Germany for the 2015-16 season. But she kept a close eye on the NWHL.

“I’m proud to have this opportunity with the Connecticut Whale,” Agostinelli shared in the NWHL’s press release. “Two years ago I watched the inaugural NWHL season at odd hours of the night in Germany on my iPhone. Last year I had the chance to watch my friends play on the ice and root them on from the stands. This year I’m lucky enough to have the chance to play with them on the ice, and I am beyond excited.”

To help prepare for the challenge of professional hockey Agostinelli played in a summer league with current Whale teammates Anya Battaglino, Elena Orlando and Kelly Babstock. She also did CrossFit training to get her conditioning to where it needed to be to play professional hockey.

Agostinelli is counting on her size and mixed sports background to help her make an impact in the NWHL. She is the third new face to join the Whale’s forward corps this offseason. Connecticut still has a lot of roster spots to fill with October rapidly approaching. This could be the first in what might be a flurry of signings as the NWHL preseason and regular season approach.