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NWHL Roster Recaps: May 9

Four picks from the 2020 Draft have inked #NWHL contracts.

Al Saniuk

Last week, the NWHL held its 2020 Draft. Four of the players selected in the draft have signed with their respective teams for the upcoming 2020-21 season.

All new signings are in bold. Any player new to the NWHL will be marked with an asterisk. 2020 Draft picks who sign are marked with two asterisks.

Boston Pride

Defenders: 4 | Forwards: 5 | Goalies: 0 | Total: 9

Defender: Kaleigh Fratkin, Lauren Kelly, Jenna Rheault, Mallory Souliotis
Forward: Christina Putigna, Lexie Laing, McKenna Brand, Sammy Davis**, Jillian Dempsey
Goaltender:
Head Coach: Paul Mara
General Manager: Karilyn Pilch

The Pride made some big moves in the last two weeks re-signing four players, including co-MVP and captain Jillian Dempsey. They also signed the first overall draft pick Sammy Davis out of BU. She’ll add even more firepower to a roster that, to be honest, didn’t need much more firepower to stay successful.

However it does raise the question: who else is returning (and who isn’t)? The Pride had three highly productive lines last season. They have no gaping holes to fill in their roster, unlike other teams. They could use the depth, in case of injury (which they somehow managed to mostly avoid last season), but the focus here will be reconstructing the deep roster that earned the Pride the title of regular season champions.

Buffalo Beauts

Defenders: 2 | Forwards: 1 | Goalies: 1 | Total: 4

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

The Beauts signed one of their 2020 draft picks: Carly Jackson, a goaltender.

The debate as to if the Beauts need to shore up their defense or the goaltending after last season rages on. Both areas were issues for the Beauts last season. It’s still unclear whether Jackson will be next season’s starter — she certainly has the talent to step into that role — or if she’ll be a strong second option. Either way, the Maine alumna should help the Beauts improve in the goal crease.

Connecticut Whale

Defenders: 3 | Forwards: 2 | Goalies: 1 | Total: 6

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

The Whale also added one of their draft picks in Tori Howran from UNH. The defender racked up 57 blocked shots in 37 games in 2019-20 and led the team with 20 assists. She was also second on UNH in scoring. Given her balance of production and defensive acumen, she is a big addition to the Pod’s defense.

Metropolitan Riveters

Defenders: 3 | Forwards: 4 | Goalies: 0 | Total: 7

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

The Riveters only made one signing in the last two weeks, but it was a huge one. They added their first round draft pick Saroya Tinker out of Yale. Last season, injuries and a lack of depth hindered the Riveters’ defense. Tinker should help shore up some of their problems and fit into the top-four, provided she makes a smooth transition to post-collegiate hockey.

“Signing with the Riveters means that I not only get to pursue my dream of playing professionally, but also play alongside strong, amazing women who want to inspire a younger generation and grow the game as well.” - Tinker in the league’s release.

Minnesota Whitecaps

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

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

You all good, Whitecaps? Since re-signing Allie Thunstrom on April 7, the Whitecaps haven’t announced another signing.

NWHL Toronto

Defenders: 2 | Forwards: 4 | Goalies: 1 | Total: 7

Defender: Emma Greco, Kristen Barbara*
Forward: Taylor Woods*, Shiann Darkangelo, Kelly Babstock, Sarah-Ève Coutu-Godbout*
Goaltender: Elaine Chuli*
Head Coach:
General Manager:

At this point, the new Toronto team is shaping up to be Quinnipiac North as they’ve now signed four alums from the ECAC school, including the just-graduated Coutu-Godbout. They also signed former NWHL All-Star Babstock, a huge pick up for them offensively. In her 65 previous NWHL games (three seasons with the Whale and one with the Beauts), she has 60 points. She’s currently tied for fifth in all-time scoring in the NWHL, expect her to climb that chart.