Today, one of the founding members of the Metropolitan Riveters and the NWHL has decided to hang up her skates. After six seasons of professional hockey in the CWHL and NWHL, Bray Ketchum has announced her retirement.
This isn’t a goodbye, it’s a “see you later!” Thank you to everyone who has let me live this incredible journey. I will forever be a Riv and a fan of this league! pic.twitter.com/u0aUbjlh18— Bray Ketchum (@bdk27) September 4, 2018
The crafty winger’s best NWHL season was likely her first. On a New York Riveters team that was starved for offense, Ketchum developed immediate chemistry with Wisconsin alumna Brooke Ammerman Reimer. That chemistry propelled Ketchum to score 10 goals in 18 games, which accounted for one-fourth of the Riveters’ total offense in 2015-16. She finished that season tied with Reimer for the team lead in points (14)
That same year Ketchum was one of two Riveters players loaned to the Boston Pride — the other was Meghan Fardelmann — for the 2016 Women’s Outdoor Classic.
Ketchum’s production dipped in in her second NWHL season, but she still played a crucial role in what proved to be a transformative year for the franchise. As a top-six winger, Ketchum finished 2016-17 with seven points and 27 shots in 17 games. She adapted to her more complimentary role with aplomb, playing disciplined two-way hockey all year long.
The Connecticut native’s production bounced back with a vengeance last season. Ketchum piled up 11 points — including five goals — and 34 shots in 16 games. She finished her third and final NWHL season tied for fourth on the team in plus/minus and tied for fifth in goals. She was also one of the six Riveters to score a goal in the 2018 Isobel Cup Playoffs.
Ketchum also had a distinguished collegiate career. She was a top-three scorer for the Yale Bulldogs in all four of her seasons and never finished a season with fewer than 18 points. She received recognition for her excellent play in her junior season in the form of a nomination for the coveted Patty Kazmaier Award. Ketchum’s 84 career points at Yale are the 11th-best total in program history.
There’s so much more to understanding who a hockey player is than looking at their point totals. Ketchum switched from defense to forward during her sophomore year of high school, which is part of the reason why her game was always so well-rounded. She was also a leader in the Riveters locker room from day one. And, as a board member of the Mandi Schwartz Foundation, she has done an immeasurable amount of good in the name of her friend and teammate.
Ketchum’s time playing professional hockey may be over, but she is certainly going to keep busy. For over two years she has been collaborating with her brother to run Upwild — a family-run business with a mission to create plant-powered protein shakes. It’s been the perfect way for the Yale alumna to pursue her passions of nutrition and fitness.
Ketchum retires with both an Isobel Cup Championship and a Clarkson Cup Championship to her name. She won the Isobel Cup last season with the Riveters, and the Clarkson Cup in 2015 with the Boston Blades before jumping over to the NWHL. She’s currently tied for fourth among the Riveters’ all-time leading scorers with Alexa Gruschow.