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NWHL Roster Recaps: April 24

What the last two weeks looked like for next season’s rosters, also a whole new team.

Al Saniuk

The NWHL had a pretty eventful week announcing their draft, a few more signings, and...oh yeah, a sixth team! The Toronto expansion announcement brought along five signings. With two more following that, the total for the league in season six is up to 24.

All new signings are in bold. Any player new to the NWHL will be marked with an asterisk.

Boston Pride

Defenders: 1 | Forwards: 3 | Goalies: 0 | Total: 4

Defender: Kaleigh Fratkin
Forward: Christina Putigna, Lexie Laing, McKenna Brand
Goaltender:
Head Coach: Paul Mara
General Manager: Karilyn Pilch

The Pride brought back some heavy hitters this week with McKenna Brand and Lexie Laing who combined for 63 points their rookie season. They also re-signed original NWHLer Kaleigh Fratkin who led the team’s defense in points as well as collecting three alone in their one playoff game last season. She was named the NWHL’s defender of the year and with good reason. To put it simply, it’s not the record-breaking Pride team we’ve come to know and love without these three.

Buffalo Beauts

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

Defender: Lisa Chesson, Marie-Jo Pelletier
Forward: Taylor Accursi
Goaltender:
Head Coach:
General Manager:

The Beauts added just one player this week. It may be the biggest in the smallest package. Marie-Jo Pelletier, or Notorious MJP as some might know her by, was named one of three stars of the season during her rookie year. Aside from Accursi, she led the team in points with 21 and by far had impact on Buffalo’s blue line.

Connecticut Whale

Defenders: 2 | Forwards: 2 | Goalies: 1 | Total: 5

Defender: Shannon Doyle, Elena Orlando
Forward: Emma Vlasic, Kaycie Anderson
Goaltender: Brooke Wolejko
Head Coach:
General Manager:

Connecticut brought back another original season member with Elena Orlando, as well as Kaycie Anderson who was tied with Doyle at 11 to lead the team in points. Both of these names were synonymous with the Whale’s success last season and are great foundation layers for a team.

Metropolitan Riveters

Defenders: 2 | Forwards: 4 | Goalies: 0 | Total: 6

Defender: Rebecca Morse, Leila Kilduff
Forward: Kendall Cornine, Madison Packer, Mallory Rushton, Cailey Hutchison
Goaltender:
Head Coach: Ivo Mocek
General Manager: Kate Whitman-Annis

The Riveters made a pretty massive trio of signings early this week with alternate captain Cailey Hutchison, and two vital players in Leila Kilduff on defense and Mallory Rushton. Together the three produced 29 points and played major roles in defending for the Rivs. Unlike this point last year where the Riveters were the last team to fill their roster, they currently have the most signings for the 2020-21 season.

They also announced the return of last season’s head coach, Ivo Mocek in a thrilling Madison Packer-led news break. Mocek led the team to a third place spot in the standings and a semi-final appearance, their best since winning the Isobel Cup two years ago.

Minnesota Whitecaps

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

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

Nothing has changed since last week for the Whitecaps. While they only have one signing so far, it’s a pretty significant one with the speed queen herself.

NWHL Toronto

Defenders: 2 | Forwards: 2 | Goalies: 1 | Total: 5

Defender: Emma Greco, Kristen Barbara*
Forward: Taylor Woods*, Shiann Darkangelo
Goaltender: Elaine Chuli*
Head Coach:
General Manager:

Obviously a new addition to the roster recap is the currently unnamed Toronto expansion team. Digit Murphy was announced as the team’s president who will look to hire a General Manager and Head Coach before the season begins. All five signees have professional hockey experience, with Greco and Darkangelo being former Connecticut Whale players in the NWHL. Darkangelo also played one season with the Buffalo Beauts where she was tied with Corinne Buie for most points during the 2016-17 season.