2019-20 NWHL Season Preview: Rookies to Watch

Turning an eye to newcomers who might make a big impact on the league this season

The NWHL has more than 50 rookies this season across all teams, some straight out of college and others simply new to the league itself. Here’s a look at one rookie from each team who we’re likely to hear a lot from this season.

Kendall Cornine, Metropolitan Riveters

Cornine, a New Jersey native, played 4 years of NCAA hockey with RIT, serving as captain for her junior and senior seasons. Although she only hit the 20-point mark once, in her sophomore season, she led the team in scoring during all but her freshman season. This past weekend the Riveters put up ten goals against the brand-new Long Island University women’s hockey team, and Cornine led the new-look Rivs in points with five-- two goals and three assists. Cornine was the cream of the crop at RIT, and she seems poised for a serious breakout season, especially given her chemistry with college-turned-pro teammates Brooke Baker and Mallory Rushton.

Nicole Schammel, Minnesota Whitecaps

Schammel was a top-10 Patty Kazmaier finalist last season and tied for WCHA scoring champion with 27 points in 24 conference games. She had 47 points in her final season as a Gopher, making her the fourth-highest-scoring NCAA senior last season. Schammel is a great example of the kind of talent that many thought the NWHL would have to do without this season--a Division I NCAA standout with an impressive resume and the kind of skills you can build a team around. Look for her to have an immediate impact on the pro level.

Lovisa Selander, Boston Pride

Selander is one of the best goaltenders NCAA Division I has ever seen. She graduated with the Division I record in career saves (a staggering 4,167) and was the captain in her senior season. She played all 34 games last season and was second in the nation in save percentage (.942) in spite of RPI’s 18 losses. She routinely made in excess of forty saves a game and joined the Swedish national team at Four Nations and the World Championships last season. The Pride have an impressive blueline, but Selander will almost definitely still get plenty of work this season, and may very well be a difference-maker in otherwise close games.

Iveta Klimášová, Buffalo Beauts

Klimášová joins the Beauts after spending most of her career in the EWHL. Over the course of her EWHL career she had 44 points in 60 games, 28 of which were goals--all this under the age of 21. She has represented Slovakia internationally as well, playing 10 games at the World Championship D1A level over the past two years. The Beauts lost some serious defensive firepower this offseason, but adding a player with international experience and a demonstrated ability to find the back of the net will help, and Klimášová could really tear it up this season. She scored the Beauts’ game-winner against Brock University this past weekend.

Kendra Broad, Connecticut Whale

Broad may be 28, but her first season playing in North America makes her a NWHL Rookie. She spent three years with Lindenwood University before completing her college career with the University of Western Ontario, then played a season in the SDHL and two in the SWHL. She had 16 points in 18 games last season for the Neuchâtel Hockey Academy Dames of the Swiss Women’s League, split evenly between goals and assists. The Whale struggled to find offense at times last year, but adding a seasoned forward to the mix with a variety of playing experiences may set Broad, and the team, up for a resurgence.