Since NWHL free agency began, we’ve seen plenty of action. Thus far, 18 players have signed, seven of whom will be in their rookie season.
This season is the first since 2017-18 that players salaries are being reported. However, players can elect to not disclose them. The salaries so far range from $4,000 to $13,000, and each team has a cap of $150,000.
Forwards: 4 | Defenders: 4 | Goalies: 0 | Total: 8
Last season’s head coach Paul Mara has been quoted in all of the signing press releases, meaning one could reasonably assume that he will be returning as the head coach for the Pride. They’ve been the most active in signing players with eight so far.
- 5/20 | Kaleigh Fratkin - Fratkin, a five-year pro, was the first player to sign an NWHL contract this offseason. She has spent the last two seasons in Boston and is the only player in NWHL history to play for three different teams.
- 5/21 | Tori Sullivan - Sullivan was the first rookie to sign an NWHL contract this offseason. She played her collegiate hockey at Northeastern where she averaged 0.64 points-per game (Pts/GP).
- 5/22 | Christina Putigna - The Providence alumna is the second rookie forward to sign with the Pride for the 2019-20 season. She’s signed for $5,500 and averaged 0.81 Pts/GP with the Lady Friars.
- 5/28 | Jenna Rheault - Rheault was the first rookie defender to sign a contract for the 2019-20 season. Her $7,500 contract is also the largest — that we know of — for a first-year player in the NWHL this season. The Pride drafted her 25th overall in the 2018 Draft.
- 5/29 | Lexi Bender - Thus far, Bender’s $13,000 contract is the largest that we’re aware of. The Boston College alumna was an All-Star in her first two seasons in the league and is considered to be one of the best defenders in pro hockey.
- 6/3 | Lexie Laing - Lexie is the third Laing sister to play with the Pride in the team’s history. She played her collegiate hockey at Harvard and was the 12th overall pick of the 2017 Draft.
- 6/5 | Mallory Souliotis - The Yale alumna broke out with a three-goal season last year after struggling to stick in Boston’s lineup two years ago.
- 6/6 | Mary Parker - Parker is back for another season with the Pride. Last season, she scored three goals — all at even strength — and was one of Boston’s best forwards in the second half of the year.
Forwards: 0 | Defenders: 0 | Goalies: 0 | Total: 0
Thus far, the Beauts are the only team that have not signed a player in free agency. Last summer, Buffalo — then owned and operated by Pegula Sports and Entertainment, who have since ended their relationship with the league — signed its first 10 players in a span of just 15 days.
They do have a general manager though: Mandy Cronin.
Forwards: 3 | Defenders: 1 | Goalies: 0 | Total: 4
The Whale have been slow and steady in their signings. Their general manager Bray Ketchum has signed two long-time NWHL-ers and two newcomers.
- 5/22 | Shannon Doyle - Doyle had a breakout offensive season last year after years of stalwart defense on Connecticut’s blue line. She was also an All-Star last year.
- 6/3 | Taylor Marchin - Marchin was a late addition to the Whale last season, but immediately made an impact on the team’s ability to move the puck up the ice. Before joining the Whale, Marchin played one season in the CWHL with Kunlun Red Star.
- 6/4 | Kendra Broad - Broad was the first rookie and forward to sign with the Whale. She played her collegiate hockey at Lindenwood where she averaged 0.52 Pts/GP.
- 6/5 | Elena Orlando - Orlando is a shot-blocking specialist that has been in the NWHL since its inaugural season. The former Riveter is as tough and physical as they come, but has very little flair to her game.
Forwards: 2 | Defenders: 0 | Goalies: 0 | Total: 2
Outside of signings, the Riveters have had a bit of bumpy off season. They’re in search of a new home rink after their partnership with the Devils ended. Last season’s assistant coach is their general manager: Kate Whitman Annis.
- 5/20 | Madison Packer - Packer was the second player to sign an NWHL contract this offseason. She is the Riveters’ all-time leader in goals and has been in the league since its inaugural season.
- 5/28 | Cailey Hutchison - Hutchison joined the Riveters late last season as another body on the ice for team practices. The University of Maine alumna was the 21st overall pick in the 2018 Draft. Hutchison, a forward, averaged 0.16 Pts/GP as a Black Bear.
Forwards: 3 | Defenders: 0 | Goalies: 1 | Total: 4
The Whitecaps thus far have the only goaltender in the league in Amanda Leveille. They’ve brought back two of their top players in their hunt to be the first team to repeat as Isobel Cup champions.
All of their press releases have quoted either of last season’s co-coaches, Jack Brodt and Ronda Engelhardt, so we’d expect to see them back with the organization.
- 5/24 | Allie Thunstrom - Thunstrom is an All-Star forward and one of the fastest skaters in the league.
- 6/5 | Amanda Leveille - Leveille, the 2017 NWHL Goaltender of the Year, was the first goalie to sign a contract for the 2018-19 season. Leveille is the only goalie to win the Isobel Cup more than once in her NWHL career.
- 6/6 | Jonna Curtis - Curtis was last season’s Newcomer of the Year.
- 6/7 | Nicole Schammel - Schammel was the first rookie to sign with the reigning Isobel Cup Champions. Last season, the Golden Gopher alumna was a Top-10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award.