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Transaction Tuesday: Beauts thundering forward with CWHL imports

Rebecca Vint of the Brampton Thunder trying to get the puck through the Boston Blades goaltender.
Michelle Jay

Here is our eighth installment of Transaction Tuesday — catching you up on all the offseason moves made by teams in the NWHL and CWHL. The drafts are done and we’re now in September, but the signings are still coming. And we finally have confirmation that CWHL players will be compensated for the first time in the 2017-18 season.

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, Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight, Brianna Decker, Amanda Pelkey
  • Out: Blake Bolden (HC Lugano, Swiss League), Rachel Llanes (Kunlun Red Star), Alex Carpenter (Kunlun Red Star)
  • Re-signed: Lexi Bender, Jordan Smelker, Jillian Dempsey, Mary Parker, Emily Field, Alyssa Gagliardi, Marissa Gedman, Brittany Ott
  • Signed: Kathyrn Tomaselli (practice player last season), Michaela Levine (practice player last season), Kaliya Johnson, Janine Weber, Brianna Laing, Paige Savage, Sydney Daniels, Paige Harrington, Dana Trivigno, Meagan Mangene, Corey Stearns, Madison Litchfield
  • Front office: Thomas Poeck replaces Bobby Jay as head coach, Hayley Moore will leave her post as the team’s general manager.
  • 2017 Draft Picks: Katie Burt, Kenzie Kent, Mallory Souliotis, Lexie Laing, Lauren Kelly, Julia Fedeski

The Pride are finally all set in net. Ott, the 2016 Goaltender of the Year, has re-signed. And rookie Madison Litchfield has also agreed to terms with Boston. On paper, the Pride’s goaltending depth looks rock solid.

Boston also recently picked up Meagan Mangene and rookie Corey Stearns. Mangene played her first NWHL season with the Pride. She’s a versatile skater who is comfortable and capable of playing both forward and defense. Stearns played her senior season at Princeton University in 2012-13. She’s a friend and former college teammate of Denna Laing.

Brittany Ott tracking the puck in a game against the New York Riveters.
Al Saniuk

Buffalo Beauts

  • Centralization: Emily Pfalzer, Megan Bozek
  • Re-signed: Corinne Buie, Amanda Leveille, Sarah Casorso, Jordyn Burns, Hayley Scamurra, Kourtney Kunichika, Lisa Chesson, Jacquie Greco
  • Signed: Kelsey Neumann (practice player last season), Jordan Ott, Kayla Parsons (practice player last season), Taylor Accursi, Kathy Donohue, Kristin Lewicki, Sarah Shureb, Kaylyn Schroka, Jessica Sibley, Kelly Seward, Colleen Murphy, Julie DiTondo, Maddie Elia, Sarah Edney, Rebecca Vint, Jess Jones
  • Out: Harrison Browne (New York Riveters), Brianne McLaughlin (retirement), Ashley Vesci (retirement), Devon Skeats (retirement), Shiann Darkangelo, Emily Janiga, Kelley Steadman (retirement), Paige Harrington (Boston Pride)
  • 2017 Draft Picks: Kennedy Marchment, Savannah Harmon, Brittany Howard, Annika Zalewski, Amy Schlagel

A month ago the Beauts looked like a different, but still very much solid hockey team. Today Buffalo looks like it could be the team to beat in the NWHL next season. After agreeing to terms with former Thunder defender Sarah Edney, Buffalo signed sniper Rebecca Vint and CWHL co-leading scorer Jess Jones.

Any lingering concerns about the Beauts power play losing too much firepower are gone. The Beauts may have lost a lot of key pieces to the team’s 2017 Isobel Cup victory, but this current roster has chemistry, skill and depth.

Connecticut Whale

  • Re-signed: Kelly Babstock, Elena Orlando, Cydney Roesler, Juana Baribeau, Sam Faber, Jordan Brickner
  • Signed: Sydney Rossman (Quinnipiac), Shannon Doyle (practice player last season), Anya Battaglino (practice player last season), Rachael Ade, Emily Fluke, Amanda Boulier, Cassie Dunne, Kaycie Anderson
  • Out: Kelli Stack (Kunlun Red Star, CWHL), Kaliya Johnson (Boston Pride), Zoe Hickel (Kunlun Red Star), Celeste Brown (retirement), Dana Trivigno (Boston Pride), Nicole Kosta (Markham Thunder)
  • Front Office: Head coach Ryan Equale.
  • 2017 Draft Picks: Sam Donovan, Eden Murray, Denisa Krizova, Nina Rodgers

Since the last time that we’ve checked in with Connecticut the Whale have added two more defenders and another forward. But the star power still isn’t there. And Haley Skarupa remains unsigned.

The Whale are also the only NWHL team to have just one goalie signed for the 2017-18 season. Expect Connecticut to get busy in the next few weeks because the Whale still have (10 possible) roster spots to fill.

New York Riveters

  • Centralization: Amanda Kessel
  • PyeongChang-bound: Sojung Shin (Korea)
  • Out: Madison Packer (retirement), Janine Weber (Boston Pride), Milica McMillen (retirement/coaching), Lauren Wash (retirement after re-signing)
  • Re-signed: Katie Fitzgerald, Tatiana Rafter, Rebecca Russo, Alexa Gruschow, Miye D’Oench, Kiira Dosdall, Ashley Johnston, Bray Ketchum, Courtney Burke, Kelsey Koelzer, Michelle Picard
  • Signed: Sarah Bryant (practice player last season), Cheeky Herr (practice player last season), Lindsey Hylwa, Jenny Ryan, Harrison Browne
  • Front Office: Chad Wiseman will be returning as the Riveters head coach and GM.
  • 2017 Draft Picks: Taylar Cianfarano, Victoria Bach, McKenna Brand, Toni Ann Miano, Rebecca Leslie

The Riveters haven’t made any moves since signing winger Harrison Browne. At first glance the Riveters defense looks set, but New York could use another top-six forward. It will be interesting to see what Wiseman does in the next few weeks.

Lauren Wash retired after re-signing this offseason, leaving the Riveters with an unexpected hole in the lineup.
Connor Murphy

CWHL

Boston Blades

  • Out: Kayla Tutino (trade with Les Canadiennes), Maggie DiMasi (trade with Les Canadiennes), Nachi Fujimoto (trade with Les Canadiennes)
  • Front office: General manager Krista Patronick has left the team. Jessica Martino will succeed her.
  • Drafted: Courtney Turner, Robyn Chemago, Bulbul Kartanbayeva, Amie Varano, Kaitlin Spurling, Michelle Ng, Erin Hall, Meaghan Spurling, Kelly Kittredge, Refika Yilmaz, Kristen Embrey, Erin Dwyer, Alison Quinn, Sarah Park, Casey Sathopoulos, Ashley Ryan, Taryn Harris, Rachel Vigliano, Megan Servaes, Gabby Crugnale, Casey Breese, Elizabeth Aveson, Cassandra Sherman, Cassandra Dunne, Carolyn Campbell

Calgary Inferno

  • Centralization: Rebecca Johnston, Jill Saulnier, Bailey Bram, Brianne Jenner, Haley Irwin, Blayre Turnbull, Brigette Lacquette, Meaghan Mikkelson, Geneviève Lacasse, Emerance Maschmeyer (alternate)
  • In: Brittney Fouracres (trade with Les Canadiennes), Sophie Shirley
  • Out: Emerance Maschmeyer (trade with Les Canadiennes)
  • PyeongChang-bound: Iya Gavrilova (Russia), Akane Hosoyamada (Japan), Aina Takeuchi (Japan)
  • Front office: Kristen Hagg was promoted to the team’s general manager. She served the Inferno as an assistant GM last season.
  • Drafted: Taryn Baumgardt, Kelly Murray, Sophie Shirley, Lindsey Post, Kayla Gardner, Kelty Apperson, Lyndsay Kirkham, Anissa Gamble, Kennedy Brown, Megan Grenon, Angela Burke, Hayley Rodger, Krista Wilson

We know of at least one new face that the Inferno will have on the ice next season: teenager Sophie Shirley.

From The Ice Garden’s Hannah Bevis:

Shirley isn't the first player to play in the CWHL before going to college, though it's an unusual route to go for women's hockey players; Marie-Philip Poulin played for the then-Montreal Stars before she went to Boston University, and Ann-Renee Desbiens, another Wisconsin standout, also played with the Stars before playing for the Badgers.

Shirley has scored 11 points in 10 games for Canada in the last two World Junior Championships. It will be interesting to see how she holds up playing with and against CWHL athletes in her rookie season. The Inferno drafted her in the third round of the 2017 Draft.

Kunlun Red Star

  • In: Kelli Stack, Noora Räty, Jessica Wong, Zoe Hickel, Melanie Jue, Rachel Llanes
  • Front Office: Digit Murphy is the head coach, Chris Vanstone is the general manager.
  • Drafted: Melanie Jue, Rui Zhu, Liying Yang, Wenzhuo Wang, Baiwei Yu, Zhixin Liu, Lu Wen, Yue Hou, Naixin Zhou, Yuqing Wang, Siye He, Lixue Xing, Bowen Jiang, Noora Räty, Alex Carpenter, Taylor Marchin, Shiann Darkangelo, Stephanie Anderson, Zoe Hickel, Madison Woo

Training camp has already begun for KRS and the Vanke Rays, and it looks pretty intense.

Les Canadiennes de Montreal

  • Centralization: Marie-Philip Poulin, Lauriane Rougeau
  • In: Kayla Tutino, Emerance Maschmeyer, Nachi Fujimoto, Maggie DiMasi
  • Out: Leslie Oles (EV Bomo Thun, Swiss League), Amanda Makela (trade with Toronto Furies), Brittney Fouracres (trade with Calgary Inferno)
  • Front Office: Meg Hewings will return as Les Canadiennes general manager.
  • Drafted: Melodie Daoust, Laurence Beaulieu, Natalie Barrette, Erinn Noseworthy, Emilie Bouchard, Tracy-Ann Lavigne, Marie-Soleil Deschenes, Cindy Laurin, Lore Baudrit, Shayna Dominique

Markham Thunder (formerly Brampton)

  • Centralization: Laura Stacey, Laura Fortino, Jocelyn Larocque, Erica Howe (alternate)
  • Signed: Alexis Woloschuk
  • Out: Kaitlyn Tougas (Modo, SDHL), Sarah Edney (Buffalo Beauts, NWHL), Rebecca Vint (Buffalo Beauts, NWHL), Jess Jones (Buffalo Beauts, NWHL)
  • Front office: Jim Jackson will replace 2016-17 Coach of the Year Tyler Fines as head coach; Chelsea Purcell named full-time general manager.
  • Drafted: Nicole Kosta, Lindsay Grigg, Cassie Clayton, Devon Skeats, Justine Treadwell, Rianna Langford, Cara Sayles, Megan Delay, Itsuki Baba, Mariya Sorokina, Anna Goulding, Carly Richardson

The Thunder no longer have Edney, Vint or Jones. Needless to say, Markham is going to look like a much different team next season and it won’t just be the new jerseys. Jackson is going to have to completely re-tool the power play and find players who are ready and skilled enough to step into roles in the top six.

To help replace some of the talent that the Thunder have lost, Chelsea Purcell signed defender Alexis Woloschuk. Woloschuk played her college hockey at Boston University and played in the SDHL last season with HV71 — and her defense partner there? None other than new Markham draft pick Lindsay Grigg.

Toronto Furies

  • Centralization: Natalie Spooner, Renata Fast, Erin Ambrose
  • PyeongChang-bound: Sena Suzuki (Japan)
  • Out: Kelly Terry (retirement), Michela Cava (Modo, SDHL), Jenelle Kohanchuk (Modo, SDHL)
  • Front Office: Nicole Latreille is the Furies’ new general manager. Sommer West has stepped down as the team’s head coach. Jeff Flanagan will coach the Furies for the 2017-18 season.
  • Drafted: Kristyn Capizzano, Brittany Zuback, Sydney Kidd, Shannon Stewart, Alexa Aramburu, Cassidy Delainey, Grace Klienbach, Michelle Evagelou, Maeve Kehoe, Audrey-Ann Boutor, Alessandra Bianchi, Brooke Gibson, Nicole Magee

The Furies have found Sommer West’s replacement in Jeff Flanagan. Flanagan has experience coaching on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and for many different kinds of leagues, including the ECHL.

“Jeff comes to us with an extensive hockey background and a strong passion for the game,” Furies general manager Nicole Latreille shared in the league’s press release. “His vision, his experience and how he connects with his athletes will help drive this organization to success.”

Vanke Rays

  • Front Office: Rob Morgan is the head coach, Shirley Hon is the general manager. Morten Kjolby will serve as an assistant coach.
  • Drafted: Cayley Mercer, Elaine Chuli, Brooke Webster, Hanna Bunton, Emily Janiga, Ashleigh Brykaliuk, Emma Woods, Xin Fang, Qinan Zhao, Rose Alleva, Lauren Kelly, Minghui Kong, Xin He, Yue Lv, Bo Wang, Tianyi Zhang, Hongxin Yan, Jiachao Xu, Han Gao, Jinqiu Xiao

Vanke and KRS players are taking part in a joint training camp. It’s the most recent sign that the two teams will be working closely together on and off the ice.