Five of the six teams seems to be taking shape as they re-sign players from last season and add newcomers to the league. The new team, the Six, are leading the way with 14 players announced thus far. The Pride and Whale aren’t far behind with 13. The Beauts have eight while the Riveters have 11. Out west, the Whitecaps have three, for a total of 62 total players thus far.
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.
Defenders: 4 | Forwards: 8 | Goalies: 1 | Total: 13
Defender: Kaleigh Fratkin, Lauren Kelly, Jenna Rheault, Mallory Souliotis
Forward: Christina Putigna, Lexie Laing, McKenna Brand, Sammy Davis**, Jillian Dempsey, Tereza Vanišová**, Tori Sullivan, Carlee Turner*
Goaltender: Lovisa Selander
Head Coach: Paul Mara
General Manager: Karilyn Pilch
The Pride look to continue their dominance on the ice and on TikTok by re-signing Sullivan. She a strong rookie season with the Pride where she averaged just over a point per game and netted five power play goals, good for tied for first in the league.
They also added Carlee Turner out of University of New Hampshire.
Defenders: 5 | Forwards: 2 | Goalies: 1 | Total: 8
Defender: Lisa Chesson, Marie-Jo Pelletier, Dominique Kremer*, Lenka Čurmová, Whitney Dove*
Forward: Taylor Accursi, Cassidy MacPherson
Goaltender: Carly Jackson**
Head Coach: Pete Perran
General Manager: Nathaniel Oliver
The Beauts blueline is banging so far. They re-signed All Star Lenka Čurmová who was a great addition in her first season. With a full year under her belt, look for her to continue to be a strong presence. They also signed newcomer Whitney Dove out of Providence College. In her senior season she had 28 points in 36 games.
Defenders: 5 | Forwards: 6 | Goalies: 2 | Total: 13
Defender: Shannon Doyle, Elena Orlando, Tori Howran**, Taylor Marchin, Maggie LaGue*
Forward: Emma Vlasic, Kaycie Anderson, Hanna Beattie, Katelynn Russ, Amanda Conway**, Melissa Samoskevich*
Goaltender: Brooke Wolejko, Abbie Ives*
Head Coach: Colton Orr
Assistant Coach: Laura Brennan
General Manager: Bray Ketchum
Raise your hand if you saw the Whale signing Melissa Samoskevich. She’s the offensive fire power the Whale have been needing to lead the charge for the Pod. With a strong returning defense plus their goaltending, general manager Bray Ketchum is building one of heck of a team for 2020-21.
They also signed their draft pick Amanda Conway. Last season at Norwich University, she netted 59 points in 29 games and was awarded the Laura Hurd Award for top player in Division III hockey. She’ll join another Norwich alumna in Kaycie Anderson.
Defenders: 4 | Forwards: 5 | Goalies: 2 | Total: 11
Defender: Rebecca Morse, Leila Kilduff, Saroya Tinker**, Sammy Kolowrat*
Forward: Kendall Cornine, Madison Packer, Mallory Rushton, Cailey Hutchison, Kate Leary
Goaltender: Tera Hofmann**, Sonja Shelly
Head Coach: Ivo Mocek
Assistant Coach: Ashley Johnston
General Manager: Kate Whitman-Annis
On Friday, the Riveters announced they had signed Sonjia Shelly, who played last season for the Whale. It makes a lot of sense based on who the Whale have signed at goaltender so far as she’d most likely have been the third string goaltender there. Here she has a chance for a starting role.
It does beg the question of if Sam Walther will be returning. She was injured in a game on Jan. 25, but did come back to finish out the season spectacularly. Where she’ll land - if she can come back - is a big question mark now.
Defenders: 1 | Forwards: 2 | Goalies: 0 | Total: 3
Defender: Amanda Boulier
Forward: Allie Thunstrom, Jonna Curtis
General Manager: Jack Brodt
More quietness from the team furthest west. Given their geographical location, they have time to build their team of homegrown talent. Thus far, two of their draft picks have decided to place elsewhere - Patti Marshall has signed in the SDHL and Presley Norby decided to pursue her off-ice career.
Ideally, the Whitecaps re-sign goaltender Amanda Levielle as she’s been their workhorse in net. Nicole Schammel would be a key re-sign as well as Sydney Baldwin on defense.
Defenders: 3 | Forwards: 9 | Goalies: 2 | Total: 14
Defender: Emma Greco, Kristen Barbara*, Lindsay Eastwood*
Forward: Taylor Woods*, Shiann Darkangelo, Kelly Babstock, Sarah-Ève Coutu-Godbout*, Brooke Boquist*, Mikyla Grant-Mentis, Amy Curlew**, Jenna McParland*, Natalie Marcuzzi**
Goaltender: Elaine Chuli*, Samantha Ridgewell*
General Manager: Mandy Cronin
Former Syracuse captain and CHA Best Defender Lindsay Eastwood was a big addition to the Six’s blueline - and not just because she’s listed at 6-foot-1. Not that they need much more help scoring based on their forwards but Eastwood can only aid in that. She led the Orange in scoring with eight goals and 20 assists last season.