Things have begun to quiet down a bit on the signing front as November 6 draws near; however, there are still some teams (*cough* Minnesota) with plenty of room to spare on the roster.
Let’s take a look at where all the clubs are at with respect to their rosters heading into the last month of the offseason. Below are the players signed since our last roster roundup on August 17.
20 players signed so far
New additions: Amanda Boulier, D; Evelina Raselli, F
Sniping Boulier out of Minnesota adds even more depth to an already stacked roster. Her scoring touch and puck movement will only make the blueline more formidable, joining the likes of Kaleigh Fratkin and Mallory Souliotis. Meanwhile, Raselli will add some depth scoring and has international experience with Team Switzerland as well as in the Swiss pro leagues.
23 players signed so far
New addition: Elena Orlando, D — replaces Lisa Chesson who is an OPT-OUT for the 2021-22 season
Well, who saw this coming? It was barely a full offseason before Orlando un-retired to join the Buffalo roster after fellow vet Chesson decided to withdraw from her contract. However, the more things change, the more they happen to stay the same. Although Chesson is the more offensive-minded of the two blueliners, this is a pretty even swap, and we already know what to expect with Orlando’s shot blocking ability. It’ll be super exciting to see what she’ll do with this loaded defense. With this signing, the Beauts remain the fullest roster in the league with 23 players.
17 players signed so far
New addition: Taylor Marchin, D
Marchin signed on for a fourth season with Connecticut at the end of August, marking their only signing for a little over a month now. Still, it’s a good sign for a blueline that just lost its two biggest cornerstones to retirement (and then un-retirement in Orlando’s case). You can expect Marchin to play a bigger role this year alongside fellow veteran and new Pod member Rebecca Morse.
18 players signed so far
New additions: Kelly Babstock, F; Romana Kosecka, F
Babstock’s signing announcement came during the early morning hours on Friday, which bodes well for the Rivs’ offense. Culture-wise, we have yet to see what that means for an organization that has seemed to turn over a new leaf since Anya Packer took over as general manager. As for Kosecka, she brings versatility as a swing forward/defender as well as some great skating ability.
5 players signed so far
New additions: Ashleigh Brykaliuk, F; Jonna Curtis, F; Mak Langei, D; Audra Morrison (Richards), F; Allie Thunstrom, F
All is no longer quiet on the western front. After a signing-free summer, the ‘Caps decided to spend their September shoring up their cornerstones. Three of the five Minnesota signings are returners, including reigning Fastest Skater Thunstrom and key depth player Morrison. Brykaliuk may also be a familiar name to those who followed the twilight seasons of the CWHL, as she played for the Vanke Rays in 2017-18.
Meanwhile, Langei comes in out of Bemidji State, continuing the tradition of homegrown talent with this Minnesota roster. She looks to take over where Boulier left off, providing strengths on both sides of the puck. With the start of the season just over a month away, it’ll be interesting to see what Minny does roster-wise during the home stretch.
18 players signed so far
New additions: Cristine Chao, D; Taylor Davison, D; Taylor Day, F; Sarah Steele, D
After the Whitecaps, the Six were the busiest team when it came to signings — which almost (but didn’t quite) distract from the unfortunate comments made by their team’s president. The overall focus seemed to be on the blueline, as three of the four signings were defenders including returner Steele and first-round draft pick Davison. Day and Chao were teammates at the University of Toronto, and each is representative of some trends I’ve seen throughout free agency — Day providing pro experience overseas (having played with ECDC Memmingen in the Frauen-Bundesliga in Germany prior to coming back to North America), while Chao makes the jump from the PWHPA to pro hockey with the PHF.