As of June 1, NWHL Free Agency is officially underway. This page will serve as a hub to keep you up to date on every roster move from around the league up through the regular season opener. But first, here is a quick overview of NWHL Free Agency.
Each NWHL team has 25 roster spots – three goalies and 22 skaters – to fill. With the Minnesota Whitecaps now in the NWHL, a maximum of 125 contracts are up for grabs for the 2017-18 season.
Since NWHL contracts are one-year commitments, any rostered player from last season (or seasons prior) are eligible to re-sign. Additionally, NWHL Draft Picks can sign with any of the five teams.
Typically, returning players are restricted free agents for the first month and then unrestricted after. However, since the league expanded with the Minnesota Whitecaps, all players are unrestricted free agents, according to the league.
9/18: Jordan Brickner, Sam Donovan, Elena Orlando, Jamie Goldsmith; Connecticut Whale
The Whale added four skaters today, including two more defenders.
This will be the fourth season of NWHL hockey for Elena Orlando and Jordan Brickner. Brickner has been with the Whale since the league’s inaugural season and Orlando has been with the team since 2016-17. Both defenders will play key roles as leaders and minute eaters for Connecticut.
Sam Donovan played three NWHL games last year — including one postseason game — and was the Whale’s second round pick in 2017. She was a star and an alternate captain at Brown University and should add some scoring depth to the Whale.
Jamie Goldsmith scored three goals and picked up an assist in 14 games with the Whale last year. Goldsmith played her collegiate hockey at St. Lawrence State, but was never much of an offensive threat with the Skating Saints. The Whale are hoping she can build off of the scoring touch that she displayed in her rookie NWHL season.
9/18: Brittany Ott; Boston Pride
Otter is back in black and gold. The former NWHL Goaltender of the Year joins top prospect Katie Burt and Madison Litchfield in Boston’s goal crease. Ott finished the 2017-18 season with a .910 save percentage — her worst in three NWHL seasons — but she stepped up her game in the playoffs against the Buffalo Beauts.
9/18: Erika Lawler; Metropolitan Riveters
Lawler is the most recent player to sign an NWHL contract this summer with Olympic experience. The veteran center had three points in two playoff games for the Riveters last year after averaging .57 points per game in the regular season. Lawler, the oldest Riveter under contract, turns 32 in February.
9/13: Kim Tiberi; Connecticut Whale
Tiberi becomes the latest NCAA D-III alumna to sign with the Whale. The big defender played her collegiate hockey at Norwich University. Tiberi joins a growing group of NWHL players who have roots in North Carolina.
9/13: Alexa Aramburu; Metropolitan Riveters
The New Jersey resident and former Toronto Furies forward has become the latest Riveter with ties to the Garden State. She’s the fifth rookie to sign with the Riveters this summer.
9/13: Amy Schlagel, Lisa Martinson; Minnesota Whitecaps
The Whitecaps filled the last two spots remaining on their roster by adding two defenders.
Schlagel, 23, was a former pick of the Beauts who played her college hockey at UNH where she put up some impressive numbers. She scored at least 11 goals in her last two years with the Wildcats.
Martinson, 27, is a veteran defender who played with the Whitecaps last season. She played her college hockey at St. Cloud State and, like Schlagel, is a native Minnesotan. She also has experience playing professional hockey in Germany with ERC Ingolstadt.
9/12: Alexa Gruschow; Metropolitan Riveters
The NWHL’s reigning MVP is back with the NWHL’s reigning Isobel Cup Champions. You can read about the Gruschow signing and what it means for the Riveters HERE.
9/10: Maria Sorokina; Connecticut Whale
The Connecticut Whale made some waves by signing Russian national team member Maria Sorokina. Sorokina is the second new goaltender to join the Whale this offseason, with Sam Walther being the other. She won bronze with Russia at the 2016 Women’s World Championship.
9/5: Dru Burns, Madison Litchfield; Boston Pride
The Pride announced two signings today, including the return of goaltender Madison Litchfield. Litchfield, 23, is the second goaltender to agree to terms with Boston this offseason. She started in one game for the Pride last year.
Boston also announced the signing of defender Dru Burns. For the past five seasons Burns has patrolled the blue line of the CWHL’s Boston/Worcester Blades franchise. She was the Blades’ highest scoring defender last season.
9/5: Melissa Sheeran, Kayla Meneghin, Juana Baribeau; Connecticut Whale
Juana “Juice” Baribeau is back for a third season of NWHL hockey with the Connecticut Whale. Baribeau scored her first professional goal last season. She was one of four Canadian players on the Whale’s roster last season.
The Whale also signed rookie forwards Melissa Sheeran and Kayla Menighan from SUNY-Plattsburgh (D-III). Both forwards cracked 40 points for the Cardinals last season. With today’s signings, the Whale now have 16 players signed for the 2018-19 season.
9/5: Katie McGovern, Tanja Eisenschmid, Winny Brodt Brown, Chelsey Brodt Rosenthal, Kalli Funk, Margo Lund, Haylea Schmid; Minnesota Whitecaps
So, where do we even start? Today the Minnesota Whitecaps signed seven players, including original Whitecap Winny Brodt Brown. Also among the signings were German national team defender Tanja Eisenschmid, University of Minnesota-Duluth alumna Katie McGovern, and 35 year old defender Chelsey Brodt Rosenthal.
The Whitecaps now have 23 of their 25 roster spots filled for the 2018-19 season. Eisenschmid and goaltender Amanda Leveille are the only two players on the team who were born outside of the U.S.
9/4: Bray Ketchum retires
Yale alumna Bray Ketchum announced her retirement after three years of NWHL hockey. Ketchum won a Clarkson Cup with the Boston Blades and an Isobel Cup with the Metropolitan Riveters during her exceptional career as a professional.
8/29: Jordan Smelker; Boston Pride
Smelker returns for her fourth season of NWHL hockey with the Pride. The Alaskan scored three goals and picked up two assists for Boston during the regular season, both of which were career lows. Smelker will be looking to bounce back on a Pride team that has significantly more forward depth than it did one year ago. She’s the 11th forward to sign with Boston for the 2018-19 season.
8/28: Mary Parker; Boston Pride
Another day, another Pride forward signed. Boston brings back 5-foot-9 winger and BU alumna Mary Parker. This will be Parker’s third season with the Pride. She had three points in 15 games last season.
8/24: Gigi Marvin; Boston Pride
Gigi Marvin is returning to Boston! Despite the Whitecaps being in her home state, Marvin has signed with the NWHL team she spent two seasons with prior to the Olympics.
8/22: Taylor Wasylk; Boston Pride
The Pride have signed former Boston Blades forward Taylor Wasylk. Wasylk, a 5-foot-9 Boston College alumna, had five points in 12 games last season in the CWHL. She’s the eighth forward to agree to terms with the Pride this offseason.
8/22: Amy Menke, Sadie Lundquist, Lauren Barnes, Emma Stauber, Julie Friend; Minnesota Whitecaps
Holy signings, Batman! The Whitecaps inked five more players, including goaltender Julie Friend. With Friend under contract Minnesota is the third NWHL team with all three of its goalie spots filled. She was on last year’s roster and has pro experience playing in Europe with the Salzburg Eagles.
Highlighting the group of four skaters that signed is Amy Menke, the former captain of the University of North Dakota. She’s joined by 2018 NWHL All-Star game participant Sadie Lundquist, forward/defender Lauren Barnes, and defender Emma Stauber.
After today’s block of signings, the Whitecaps are now up to 16 players under contract for the 2018-19 season.
8/22: Shannon Doyle; Connecticut Whale
The Whale are bringing back Doyle for a fourth NWHL season and in doing so are solidifying their blue line. Doyle has been a key leader on and off the ice for Connecticut since the league’s inaugural season. She has 17 points in 48 career games, but is best known as a physical stay-at-home defender.
8/20: Kaliya Johnson; Boston Pride
The Boston Pride defender re-signed for her third season in the league and her second with Boston. The Boston College alumna played for the Whale in her rookie season.
8/20: Madison Packer; Metropolitan Riveters
Madison Packer led the league in goals last year, but that was far from her only contribution. Packer is an elite power forward, passer, and agitator. She’s tough as hell, great on special teams, and is a nightmare in front of the net.
8/20: Cydney Roesler; Connecticut Whale
Roesler will be returning to the Whale as both a defender and assistant coach for her third season with the league. The Canadian has two goals in her NWHL career.
8/20: Sydney Rossman; Minnesota Whitecaps
As a rookie, Rossman was a workhorse starter for the Whale. She’s a Minnesota native and was spotted at a free agent skate with the Whitecaps earlier this summer. She’ll most likely see some starts due to Whitecaps’ travel schedule.
8/20: Nina Rodgers; Connecticut Whale
The newest member of the Whale is a physical winger. She put up good numbers in her junior season at Boston University but had a relatively quiet senior year.
8/17: Amanda Pelkey; Boston Pride
Gold medalist Amanda Pelkey is returning to the Pride. Pelkey played in the first two season of the NWHL before leaving for residency with Team USA prior to the Olympics.
8/17: Brooke White-Lancette; Minnesota Whitecaps
An original Whitecap is returning to the team. Brooke White-Lancette, a Northeastern alumna, has played with the Whitecaps since their inception.
8/17: McKenna Brand; Boston Pride
The former Northeastern forward McKenna Brand is staying in Boston to start her professional career. Brand had 15 goals in 39 games in her senior season.
8/16: Kiira Dosdall, Metropolitan Riveters
An OG Riveter Kiira Dosdall is returning for her fourth season! She put up 10 points last season (0-10-10) en route to the Riveters first Isobel Cup.
8/16: Sarah Schwenzfeier; Connecticut Whale
The Whale added Norwich University grad Sarah Schwenzfeier. The center scored 34 goals in two final seasons at Norwich.
8/16: Emily Pfalzer; Buffalo Beauts
The Beauts are showing no sign of slowing down, as they signed defender Emily Pfalzer. Pfalzer was the first captain of the Buffalo Beauts, she also captained the winning team at the inaugural NWHL All-Star Weekend hosted by the HarborCenter in January 2016.
8/15: Mallory Souliotis; Boston Pride
Souliotis signing brings the Pride up to six defenders for the 2018-19 season. The Yale alumna was the 8th overall selection of the 2017 NWHL Draft. Souliotis played two games with the Pride at the end of the regular season last year, so she’ll still be considered a rookie in the upcoming season.
8/15: Jonna Curtis; Minnesota Whitecaps
Curtis is the eighth skater to sign with the NWHL’s newest franchise. Curtis carried the University of New Hampshire’s offense two years ago and set career highs in both goals (21) and assists (21). Like so many of Minnesota’s signings thus far, she was born and raised in the State of Hockey.
8/15: Blake Bolden; Buffalo Beauts
Boom! The Beauts have done it again. This time the big, unexpected free agent signing is two-time NWHL All-Star Blake Bolden. Bolden is the seventh defender to sign with the Beauts. She’s returning to the NWHL after spending a year in Switzerland lighting it up with HC Lugano.
8/14: Jillian Dempsey; Boston Pride
The Pride re-signed their captain Jillian Dempsey. The two-way center tied for the league lead in even strength scoring last season. Look for her to step again in her fourth season with the team.
8/14: Amanda Boulier; Minnesota Whitecaps
Amanda Boulier is heading west for her second NWHL season to play with the Whitecaps. The All-Star defender had eight points in her rookie season with the Whale. She should fit in well with the speedy team.
8/14: Lexi Slattery; Metro Riveters
Defender Lexi Slattery played one season in the SDHL (2016-17). Slattery has experience with one of her new teammates — goaltender Katie Fitzgerald — from their time at St. Cloud State.
8/10: Fiona McKenna; Metropolitan Riveters
The Riveters added another rookie and another Ivy Leaguer by signing Fiona McKenna. McKenna last played for the Princeton Tigers in the 2016-17 season. She was never a big scorer at the collegiate level, but her ability to skate hard, win draws, and block shots made her a valuable defensive forward for the Tigers.
8/8: Meaghan Pezon; Minnesota Whitecaps
Meaghan Pezon, a 2009-10 St. Cloud State graduate, signed with her hometown team. She plays both forward and defender, a valuable asset as teams only dress 15 skaters and the Whitecaps will be playing all back-to-back games. Pezon is the most recent player from Minnesota’s 2017-18 roster to sign with the team now that it’s in the league.
8/8: Kaleigh Fratkin, Boston Pride
Defender Kaleigh Fratkin is back with the Pack. Fratkin signed with Boston mid-season last year and had five assists in her 11 games. This is the first time the Canadian-born, Boston University alumna has not changed teams in the off-season.
8/7: Lexi Bender; Boston Pride
The Pride re-signed defender Lexi Bender for her third season in the league. The Washington-native was an All-Star last season as well as the Pride’s foundation winner. She’s the ninth player to sign with the Pride.
8/3: Haley Skarupa; Boston Pride
Skarupa returns to Boston after a whirlwind 2017-18 season that ended with an Olympic gold medal and a front row seat to a Stanley Cup Championship for her hometown team. Can she translate her good juju to a strong run in the NWHL?
8/2: Denisa Krizova; Boston Pride
The Pride signed the second Czech national team player in Northeastern alumna Denisa Krizova. She was the sixth highest scorer at Northeastern history. She’s the Pride’s seventh player to sign.
8/1: Sarah Casorso, Jordyn Burns, Taylor Accursi; Buffalo Beauts
The Beauts bring back Casorso, Burns, and Accursi to bring the number of signings on Aug. 1 up to five. The returning trio also brings the Beauts up to 19 players under contract out of a possible 25; we may already know Buffalo’s top nine forwards and top six defenders.
With Casorso, Burns, and Accursi signed the @BuffaloBeauts are the first @NWHL team to have enough players under contract to ice 3 lines, 3 d-pairs, and 2 goalies. In total they have 19/25 players signed, including 10 forwards. #NWHL— Mike Murphy (@DigDeepBSB) August 1, 2018
Casorso and Accursi are the sixth and seventh Canadians to sign an NWHL contract this offseason; five of those Canadians are on the Beauts.
8/1: Allie Thunstrom; Minnesota Whitecaps
The speedy Thunstrom is the fourth “returning” member of the Whitecaps and the fourth player who will be 30 or older on Oct. 1. Minnesota now has six players under contract for the 2018-19 season; four of which are forwards.
8/1: Kelsey Koelzer; Metropolitan Riveters
The Riveters made the first free agent signing of August by bringing back star defender Kelsey Koelzer. Koelzer is the 50th player to sign with an NWHL team this offseason, she’s also the 12th Riveter from last season’s Isobel Cup winning roster to re-sign with the club. With the former first overall pick signed, the Riveters’ elite top four defenders are now all back in the fold.
7/31: Kristin Lewicki; Metropolitan Riveters
The Riveters now have the two most recent winners of the NWHL’s Fastest Skater Competition on their roster for the 2018-19 season. Kristin Lewicki, who played for the Buffalo Beauts last season, has moved south to sign with the Riveters for her second NWHL season. Lewicki very well could be playing center in the Riveters’ top six forward group next season.
7/31: Lauren Kelly; Boston Pride
On the last day of July, the Pride add defender Lauren Kelly. The Northeastern graduate led all NCAA Division I defenders with eight power play goals in the 2017-18 season. “I am wicked excited to be joining the team next year,” said the Massachusetts native in the league press release. “I have been watching the Pride and NWHL since the beginning in 2015 and have been anxiously waiting for my chance. I feel blessed to be given this amazing opportunity.”
726: Kendall Coyne Schofield; Minnesota Whitecaps
Boom. The Whitecaps signed 2018 Olympic gold medalist Kendall Coyne Schofield. Coyne is the fifth player and third gold medalist to sign with Minnesota this offseason.
7/25: Sarah Edney; Buffalo Beauts
Canadian defender and 2018 All-Star Sarah Edney is back for a second season with the Beauts. She is the eighth player from last year’s Beauts and the fourth defender to sign with the team.
7/25: Rebecca Russo; Metropolitan Riveters
The Riveters’ wingers for the 2018-19 season just got even better. The defending Isobel Cup Champs have re-signed speedy winger Rebecca Russo for her third season of pro hockey in Newark. With Russo inked the Riveters’ depth at wing is starting to look scary on paper.
7/24: Miye D’Oench, Chelsea Ziadie; Metropolitan Riveters
The Riveters are bringing back fan favorite Miye D’Oench for a third season of NWHL hockey. D’Oench assisted on Alexa Gruschow’s game-winning goal in the Isobel Cup Final and was a huge part of the team’s success last year. The Rivs also added their second rookie by signing Harvard alumna Chelsea Ziadie. Ziadie is a 5-foot-3 Canadian defender.
7/18: Kate Schipper; Minnesota Whitecaps
The Whitecaps added another Golden Gopher to their roster in Kate Schipper. She’s the first player from last season’s Whitecaps to return to the team. She’ll be familiar to fans as she was one of the two Whitecaps in last season’s All Star Game.
7/17: Courtney Burke, Michelle Picard, Jenny Ryan; Metro Riveters
The reigning Isobel Cup champions re-signed a strong defensive trio. Ryan had a good rookie year, and Burke was the Defender of the Year in her second season.
7/16: Emily Janiga; Buffalo Beauts
After spending a season with the now-defunct Vanke Rays of the CWHL, Emily Janiga is returning the Buffalo Beauts. Janiga won the Isobel Cup with the Beauts in 2016-17. She had 14 points in 28 games last season.
7/16: Dana Trivigno; Boston Pride
The Pride bring back another veteran by re-signing Boston College alumna Dana Trivigno. She had eight points in 13 games last season. Trivigno also played for Team NWHL against Team USA prior to the 2018 Olympics.
7/11: Katerina Mrázová; Connecticut Whale
The Whale continued their trend of signing international talent by signing up forward Katerina Mrázová, who plays for the Czech Republic women’s national team.
7/10: Michelle Löwenhielm, Sam Walther; Connecticut Whale
The Whale added two more to their pod: Swedish National Team member Michelle Löwenhielm who most recently played with Minnesota Duluth and goaltender Sam Walther from Hamilton College.
7/10: Randi Griffin, Sarah Hughson, Hanna Beattie; Connecticut Whale
The Whale made a splash with another big set of signings. They re-signed Beattie. Griffin is a Harvard alumna, most recently playing in the 2018 Olympics with Unified Korea. Hughson was a very productive D-III player. The Whale now have five players. 33 total players have signed in the NWHL thus far.
7/9: Audra Richards; Metropolitan Riveters
The Riveters made Richards, a University of Maine alumna, the team’s first rookie signing for the 2018-19 season. Richards led the Black Bears in scoring in her sophomore and senior seasons.
7/5: Emily Fluke, Rachael Ade; Connecticut Whale
Connecticut signed their first two players of the season: Emily Fluke and Rachael Ade. Both had strong rookie seasons the previous season.
7/2: Toni Ann Miano; Boston Pride
The Bronx-born Riveters draft pick will remain in the Boston-area to finish up her degree at Boston College. Miano is the all-time leading scorer among defenders in Eagles history. The second team All-American is now ready to make her mark on the NWHL. Read more about Toni Ann Miano in our exclusive interview HERE.
6/29: Kelly Nash, Rebecca Morse; Metro Riveters
The Riveters re-signed two of the depth players in Kelly Nash and Rebecca Morse. Nash, an assistant coach at Princeton, played eight games as a rookie last season. Morse played in 13 and had two goals. The Riveters have six players signed now.
6/28: Emily Field, Alyssa Gagliardi; Boston Pride
The Boston Pride re-signed two key players in Emily Field and Alyssa Gagliardi who have been with the team since the very beginning. Both are all stars, both stepped up big for the team after they lost nine players ahead of last season.
6/27: Shannon Szabados; Buffalo Beauts
Like woah! The Beauts keep shocking the women’s hockey world. This time it was signing legendary Canadian goaltender Shannon Szabados. It was a shocking signing that no one saw coming.
6/25: Katie Burt; Boston Pride
The Pride signed their first player in goaltender Katie Burt, their 2017 Draft first overall pick. The Lynn, Mass., native and Boston College alumna is the record holder of NCAA career wins.
6/22: Katie Fitzgerald, Kimberly Sass, Sarah Bryant; Metro Riveters
The reigning Isobel Cup Champions re-signed their all three of their goalies. All three are fan favorites as well with strong fan bases. The Riveters now have four players signed as Amanda Kessel signed earlier in the free agency period.
6/21: Jordan Juron, Jacquie Greco, Julie DiTondo; Buffalo Beauts
The Beauts re-signed another three players, bringing their total to 13 total signed. DiTondo will most likely be the second goaltender behind teammate Nicole Hensley.
6/20: Hannah Brandt, Lee Stecklein; Minnesota Whitecaps
The Whitecaps picked up their first two skaters for the 2018-19 season in gold medalists and Minnesota natives Hannah Brandt and Lee Stecklein. They’ll join former college teammate Amanda Leveille on the newest NWHL team.
6/18: Amanda Leveille becomes first player to sign with Minnesota Whitecaps, leaves Beauts
The Whitecaps’ first player is star goaltender Amanda Leveille. Leveille, the 2018 NWHL Goaltender of the Year, had spent the previous two seasons with the Buffalo Beauts where she played a pivotal role in the team making its second and third trips to the Isobel Cup Final. Minnesota knows what they are getting in Leveille: a workhorse starter who plays her best hockey in crunch time.
6/16: Kelly Babstock signs with the Buffalo Beauts, leaving the Whale
The Beauts picked up an inaugural NWHL player in forward Kelly Babstock. Babstock spent the first three season with the Whale where she was the offensive firepower the team needed. Her four goals last season (tied for first on the team) accounted for about 15 percent of the Whale’s total goals. Losing the Mississauga, Canada-native is a big hit for the Whale.
6/14: Savannah Harmon, Annika Zalewski, and Julianna Iafallo join the Buffalo Beauts
The Beauts have added a trio of rookie skaters: Savannah Harmon from Clarkson University, Annika Zalewski from Colgate University, and Julianna Iafallo from the Ohio State University.
3️⃣ Captains— Buffalo Beauts (@BuffaloBeauts) June 14, 2018
3️⃣ Frozen Four Contenders
Defenseman, Savannah Harmon and forwards, Annika Zalewski and Julianna Iafallo will trade in their college colors for #BeautsBlue this season! Welcome to Buffalo! pic.twitter.com/Y0M11b7oQi
Harmon and Zalewski were the Beauts’s 6th and 14th overall picks in the 2017 Draft. Harmon won the ECAC Defender of the Year in 2017 and in 2018. She also led all defenders in the nation in plus/minus last season. All three rookies were captains on their college teams.
6/13: Nicole Hensley, Buffalo Beauts
Gold medalist Nicole Hensley signed with the Buffalo Beauts. Hensley posted a 13-save shutout for Team USA against the Olympic Athletes from Russia at the 2018 Olympics. The year before, she was a standout at the 2017 Women’s Worlds, posting two shutouts and finishing the tournament with a tournament-leading .964 save percentage and a gold medal.
So excited to be part of the Buffalo Beauts Organization! Can’t wait for the season to start! https://t.co/025t1zGhV3— Nicole Hensley (@NicHens29) June 13, 2018
What this means for Amanda Leveille, the 2018 Goaltender of the Year, and Buffalo’s goal crease remains to be seen. With Hensley under contract, the Beauts now have two gold medalists from PyeongChang and one silver medalist from Vancouver on the roster.
6/12: Dani Cameranesi, Buffalo Beauts
Gold medalist Dani Cameranesi signed with a surprising team for a Minnesota native and Golden Gopher alumna - the Buffalo Beauts. The Beauts are not messing around as they’ve now signed five players. This was a huge signing for them.
6/6: Ashley Johnston announced her retirement from the NWHL, Riveters
Say it isn’t so, Stretch?! The three-time Riveters captain and 2017 All-Star announced she hanging up the skates. Our own Mike Murphy has the story.
Additionally, two-time Isobel Cup Champion Harrison Browne (pictured below) announced his retirement on April 30. Erik Wollschlager shared his thoughts on Brownie’s retirement.
6/5: Corinne Buie, Buffalo Beauts
The Edina, MN native may be excited the NWHL is expanding to her home state, but she will remain in Buffalo for season 4. Buie is the first of the original players in the NWHL to re-sign. She played with the Boston Pride in the first season before being traded to Buffalo where she has made a name for herself.
6/4: Lisa Chesson, Buffalo Beauts
Can't wait to get back on the ice with the @BuffaloBeauts for another season!! Humbled to help grow the game while continuing to play 🏒💙— Lisa Chesson (@lchesson11) June 4, 2018
The Beauts re-sign 2010 Olympian Lisa Chesson. The Ohio State alumna returns for her third NWHL season, all with Buffalo. She helped the Beauts win the 2017 Iosbel Cup championship her rookie season. Chesson represented the Beauts in the 2018 All-Star Game in Minnesota and her first NWHL All-Star selection in 2017-18.
6/4: Amanda Kessel, Metropolitan Riveters
Gold medalist Amanda Kessel returns to the Riveters. She signed with the then New York Riveters for the 2016-17 season. She dealt with nagging injuries her rookie season, yet returned healthy for the last several games of the season. Kessel also served as captain to the winning team in the 2017 All-Star Game.
6/2: Maddie Elia, Buffalo Beauts
Elia returns after a stellar rookie year. The Boston University alum posted 14 points en route to the Isobel Cup Final. Elia is a strong, tall forward with good hands.
“Maddie played an important role as a rookie last season, and brought skill and a high level of compete to the team,” said General Manager Nik Fattey in the team press release. “We’re looking forward to seeing Maddie continue to prove she is one of the top players in the league.”
6/1: Hayley Scamurra, Buffalo Beauts
Overjoyed to be playing for the @BuffaloBeauts again this coming season! It’s such an honor to play for my hometown team. Can’t wait to make another run for the Isobel Cup this season 🏆🏆🏒🥅— Hayley Scamurra (@HScamurra) June 1, 2018
The 2018 Rookie of the Year will return for her second full NWHL season. She won an Isobel Cup with the Beauts in 2017 after only three games. Scamurra is a true scorer with good speed.
Offseason coaching/personnel changes
5/30: Paul Mara announced as new head coach of the Boston Pride.
Mara is the third coach for the Pride. The former NHL defenseman was an assistant coach for the 2018 Women’s Olympic Ice Hockey team. Will Mara be a selling point for Olympians looking to return and/or join the league?
5/22: Robb and Shivaun Stauber named co-coaches of the Minnesota Whitecaps
The news broke in a story by the Pioneer Press but has yet to be recognized by the league. The Whitecaps has been the home to 2018 gold medalists Kendall Coyne, Hannah Brandt, and others. For an expansion team, The Stauber’s might have quite a leg up on recruiting. Although, travel could be a recruiting disadvantage.