Connecticut Whale fans rejoice! After nearly five weeks of silence, the Whale have finally made their first signings of the 2018 offseason. Connecticut has re-signed returning rookie skaters Rachael Ade and Emily Fluke.
The return of Fluke, who led the Whale in points last season, is a big deal for Connecticut, especially with the departure of Kelly Babstock to the Buffalo Beauts. Her ability to generate offense at even strength and get under the skin of the opposition made her an impact player in her rookie year.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be playing in the NWHL and for the CT Whale again,” Fluke shared in the league’s press release. “I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to play in Season 3 and knew as soon as it ended that I wanted to play another season. Being able to share this journey with our incredible fans, teammates, coaches, and my family make it all the more special and I can’t wait to be back on the ice with the team. The NWHL is filled with incredibly talented players and I’m looking forward to competing at a high level for a second season.”
Ade, who was the captain of the Vermont Catamounts prior to her rookie year, brought stability and strength to the Whale blue line last year. The 5-foot-9 defender picked up two assists in 16 games last year. Ade and Elena Orlando were the only Whale defenders to appear in all 16 regular season games in 2017-18. She’s a great player to build a defense around.
Ade was a recipient of the NWHL Foundation Award, which goes to the players that most actively apply the core values of hockey to their communities. Like Fluke, Ade is excited for the new season to begin, “The addition of the new team in Minnesota, and some of the signings that have already happened, has really set a great tone for this year, and it also presents a lot of opportunities.”
Fluke and Ade represent the 28th and 29th signings of the NWHL offseason thus far. It will be interesting to see if the Whale will be able to follow up today’s news with some more signings.
Stay updated on all the NWHL signings in our tracker.