We’re midway through July, and thus far, 84 players have signed for the 2020-21 season, meaning 56 percent of the roster spots for the season are filled.
A majority of the players are returning for at least their second season, pointing to some stability in the rosters which should pay off on the ice. Of the new players, 14 are 2020 Draft Picks.
All new signings are in bold. Any player new to the NWHL is marked with one asterisk. 2020 Draft picks who sign are marked with two asterisks.
Defenders: 4 | Forwards: 11 | Goalies: 1 | Total: 16
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*, Mary Parker, Meghara McManus**, Taylor Wenczkowski**
Goaltender: Lovisa Selander, Victoria Hanson
Head Coach: Paul Mara
General Manager: Karilyn Pilch
The Pride only made one signing in the last two weeks, re-signing goaltender Victoria Hanson. She and Selander made for a strong tandem last season, with each just as reliable as the other.
Defenders: 7 | Forwards: 5 | Goalies: 2 | Total: 14
Defender: Lisa Chesson, Marie-Jo Pelletier, Dominique Kremer*, Lenka Čurmová, Whitney Dove*, Alyson Matteau*, Meg Delay
Forward: Taylor Accursi, Cassidy MacPherson, Autumn MacDougall**, Neve Van Pelt*, Iveta Klimášová
Goaltender: Carly Jackson**, Caty Flagg*
Head Coach: Pete Perram
Associate Head Coach: Rhea Coad
General Manager: Nathaniel Oliver
The Beauts brought back Delay and Klimášová, who were both strong players in their rookie seasons.
Defenders: 5 | Forwards: 9 | Goalies: 2 | Total: 16
Defender: Shannon Doyle, Elena Orlando, Tori Howran**, Taylor Marchin, Maggie LaGue*
Forward: Emma Vlasic, Kaycie Anderson, Hanna Beattie, Katelynn Russ, Amanda Conway**, Melissa Samoskevich*, Nicole Guagliardo**, Kayla Friesen**, Alyssa Wohlfeiler
Goaltender: Brooke Wolejko, Abbie Ives*
Head Coach: Colton Orr
Assistant Coach: Laura Brennan
General Manager: Bray Ketchum
The Whale are not messing around at all.
They landed their first-round draft pick Kayla Friesen out of Clarkson University, where she had 30 points in 28 games in her senior season. Wohlfeiler also signed with the Whale, rejoining her first NWHL team. Both will line up nicely with The Pod to provide depth and firepower, something the Whale had been lacking in the past two seasons. It’s a whole new Whale out there for 20-21 and the rest of the league better watch out.
Defenders: 6 | Forwards: 9 | Goalies: 2 | Total: 17
Defender: Rebecca Morse, Leila Kilduff, Saroya Tinker**, Sammy Kolowrat*, Samantha Fieseler*, Kiira Dosdall-Arena
Forward: Kendall Cornine, Madison Packer, Mallory Rushton, Cailey Hutchison, Kate Leary, Emily Janiga, Tatiana Shatalova, Brooke Avery, Jayne Lewis*
Goaltender: Tera Hofmann**, Sonjia Shelly
Head Coach: Ivo Mocek
Assistant Coach: Ashley Johnston
General Manager: Kate Whitman-Annis
The Rivs re-signed one of their brightest rookies in Shatalova. The youngest player ever to play in the league, the forward really came into her own towards the end of the season. With a full season under her belt, expect her to really shine this season. They also brought back Lewis for a full season, after initially signing the forward at the end of her college career. She made an immediate impact on the Riveters and will look to do more of the same.
Original NWHL and Riveters player Dosdall-Arena is back as well. On a younger defensive core, her veteran status should provide some balance, especially early in the season as the rookies get their feet under them.
Defenders: 1 | Forwards: 2 | Goalies: 1 | Total: 4
Defender: Amanda Boulier
Forward: Allie Thunstrom, Jonna Curtis
Goaltender: Amanda Leveille
General Manager: Jack Brodt
Per Dan Rice, the Whitecaps plan to hold a camp, which is probably why they’ve made very few signings. However, in the latest “Player’s Corner with Madison Packer,” it sounds like Audra Richards will be returning to the Whitecaps, so keep an eye out for her. Minnesota native Corinne Buie hasn’t re-signed with the Beauts and would certainly be an interesting addition to the Whitecaps. In terms of goaltenders, there’s no shortage of graduating goaltenders, but Leveille has held down the fort in Minnesota since they joined the NWHL. I’d look for Allie Morse to re-sign in her backup role.
Defenders: 3 | Forwards: 11 | Goalies: 2 | Total: 16
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**, Breanne Wilson-Bennett*, Emma Woods*
Goaltender: Elaine Chuli*, Samantha Ridgewell*
General Manager: Mandy Cronin
It’s a forest in Toronto: they signed Emma Woods, adding to Taylor Woods and Lindsay Eastwood. Emma returns home after time in China with the CWHL and Sweden in the SDHL. where she was nearly a point-per-game player.
One of the big questions marks in Toronto is a head coach. While the 20-21 season isn’t set to start until mid-November this year, training camp and preseason are coming up quickly. Getting a bench boss in place soon will be a key to their success, no matter how talented their players are.