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NWHL Roster Recaps: The first two weeks

How the rosters are shaping up after about two weeks of signings.

Pat McCarthy/The Ice Garden

The NWHL started re-signing players earlier than ever this season, with the first one happening on March 25. As all players are on one-year contracts, every single player has to re-sign. Thus far, 10 players have been announced for season six.

All new signings are in bold (so this time all of them are). Any player new to the NWHL will be marked with an asterisk.

Boston Pride

Defenders: 0 | Forwards: 1 | Goalies: 0 | Total: 1

Defender:
Forward: Christina Putigna
Goaltender:
Head Coach: Paul Mara
General Manager: Karilyn Pilch

The Pride are the leanest team right now with only one player signed for season six (obviously it’s extremely early, but still). Putigna is back after an extremely strong rookie season on and off the ice. She was third on the team with eight goals and a key part of the extremely deep team in addition to being the team TikTok-er.

Boston made two big moves off the ice as well, with head coach Paul Mara and general manager Karilyn Pilch inking multiyear contracts, a first for the league. This will be Mara’s third year behind the bench for the Pride.

Buffalo Beauts

Defenders: 1 | Forwards: 1 | Goalies: 0 | Total: 2

Defender: Lisa Chesson
Forward: Taylor Accursi
Goaltender:
Head Coach:
General Manager:

After not playing last season, Cheese is back in Beauts blue! Chesson is a huge addition. Her veteran presence will only aid a team that might have to rebuild, again. She’s an extremely strong defender who can also put points on the board, both aspects the Beauts needed to work on last season. With the self-proclaimed Celly Queen Accursi back too, Buffalo is not messing around right now.

Connecticut Whale

Defenders: 1 | Forwards: 1 | Goalies: 1 | Total: 3

Defender: Shannon Doyle
Forward: Emma Vlasic
Goaltender: Brooke Wolejko
Head Coach:
General Manager:

The Whale brought back two of their strongest rookies in Vlasic and Wolejko. Both fan favorites, they had immediate and huge impacts on the Whale. Vlasic was a faceoff machine, with a 57.95 winning percentage, and scored nine goals. Wolejko wasn’t the Whale starting goaltender at the beginning of the season, but played her way into the crease. She was outstanding, making more than 45 saves in five games.

Is there a Whale team without Shannon Doyle? Thankfully this season we won’t have to find out as the defender is back her for sixth year in the NWHL. Points wise, she’s had her best season in the NWHL last season with 11 points. She also blocked 65 shots, raising more than $2,200 for the literacy organization Room to Read through her #BlocksForBooks campaign.

Metropolitan Riveters

Defenders: 1 | Forwards: 2 | Goalies: 0 | Total: 3

Defender: Rebecca Morse
Forward: Kendall Cornine, Madison Packer
Goaltender:
Head Coach:
General Manager:

The Riveters opened up season six signing by re-signing Cornine for her second season in the NWHL. The RIT alumna had a strong rookie campaign with 13 goals, tying her for second on the team. Original Riveter Packer also re-signed for her sixth season. In her announcement video, she said she’s returning to continue to hunt down the all-time scoring record, which she’s currently in second for with 85 points.

Minnesota Whitecaps

Defenders: 0 | Forwards: 1 | Goalies: 0 | Total: 1

Defender:
Forward: Allie Thunstrom
Goaltender:
Head Coach:
General Manager:

The fastest skater in the NWHL is back for her third season with the Whitecaps. The co-MVP of last season averaged more than a point per game while scoring 24 goals in 24 games, a wild stat. She’s a clutch player who scored two huge game-winning goals — one to break the Pride’s undefeated streak and the other to send the Whitecaps to the finals.