Today, the NWHL announced Michelle ‘Shelly’ Picard as the second Deputy Commissioner/Director of Player Development. She starts immediately.
Picard takes over for Hayley Moore who was named President of the Boston Pride after the team was bought in the off season.
The former Riveters defender’s role will be largely the same as Moore’s. According to the release, her duties will include “player development, free agency, game and event scheduling, grassroots programs, and building on the league’s relationships with national governing bodies and collegiate hockey programs.”
“The opportunity to accelerate the progress of women’s professional hockey and make the NWHL one of the best hockey leagues in the world is inspiring to me,” said Picard in the league’s release. “This game is a big part of my life, and my experience with the Riveters and at every level of the sport will inform the work ahead. I look forward to collaborating not only with the NWHL’s players and leaders, but all stakeholders in hockey driven to take our game to higher levels.”
Picard was drafted in the first ever NWHL draft in 2015, picked sixth by the Connecticut Whale. She signed with the Riveters, however; quickly becoming a fan-favorite and one of the top defenders in the league. In her three seasons with the Riveters she was twice awarded the NWHL Foundation Award (2016-17, 2017-18) and was an two-time All Star in 2017-18 and 2018-19. In addition, she played for Team NWHL in a two-game exhibition series against Team USA ahead of the 2018 Olympics. She won the Isobel Cup with the Riveters in 2018.
The Massachusetts-native is also one of the players whose NWHL play vaulted her onto the National Team, or in her case, back onto the National Team. Picard was a fairly consistent member of Team USA’s senior team from 2011 through 2016, winning three World Championships gold medals, one Worlds silver, and an Olympic silver medal in the 2014 Games. She returned to the roster after three years thought for the 2019 World Championships following her three seasons in the NWHL.
Her wealth of experience - including a collegiate career at Harvard University where she was the captain for her final two seasons - make Picard an obvious choice for this role. She has an intimate knowledge of how the process works and what its like to be a player in the league. She’s also the Director of Girls’ Hockey with the New Jersey Colonials.