Did you blink and miss the summer? Don’t worry, so did we. With September right around the corner, let’s look at some of the most recent additions to PHF rosters for August. Before we begin, I’d like to point out a very nice observation by our own Mike Murphy earlier in the month regarding free agency and the recent changes in the signing game:
We are now up to 14 (out of 98 total) European-born players signing with PHF teams for the 2022-23 season.— Mike Murphy (@DigDeepBSB) August 8, 2022
For context, 9 Europeans played in the PHF in 2021-22; 6 played in Lake Placid.
The new $750k salary cap has definitely changed the FA market.
F: McKenna Brand, Becca Gilmore, Meghara McManus, Allie Thunstrom (2 yrs), Christina Putigna, Élizabeth Giguère, Taylor Wenczkowski, Sammy Davis
D: Kali Flanagan (2 yrs), Lauren Kelly, Aneta Tejralová
G: Corinne Schroeder
Not quite the splash the Pride made back in July, but it’s a good mix of new faces and familiar ones. Isobel Cup MVP Wenczkowski was pretty much a given, as was Davis. Hockey Canada let slip last month that Schroeder had signed a contract with Boston (whoops), so it’s not a surprise that they announced her. Schroeder has an impressive resume coming out of college, with her most recent season at Quinnipiac yielding a .951 save percentage (?!) and six shutout wins. With the relative depth in goaltending Boston has (Lovisa Selander’s injuries notwithstanding), it’s going to be a very interesting Season Eight if both Selander and Katie Burt are brought back into the mix.
Tejralová is a newcomer to the PHF, but brings a lot of professional and international experience. Her most recent pro action was with SKIF Nizhny Novgorod where she tallied 46 points in 36 games played, meaning Boston is pretty much continuing its tradition of having some mean offensive talent on the back end as well as up front.
F: Mikyla Grant-Mentis, Courtney Maud, Jenna Suokko, Emma Nuutinen, Cassidy MacPherson, Claudia Kepler (2 yrs), Autumn MacDougall, Anjelica Diffendal, Madi Nichols, Grace Klienbach, Michaela Boyle, Summer-Rae Dobson (2 yrs)
D: Dominique Kremer (2 yrs), Jess Healey (2 yrs), Allison Attea, Antonia Matzka, Samantha Fieseler, Maddie Truax
G: Lovisa Berndtsson, Kassidy Sauvé
It’s clear Buffalo is approaching the end of their signing spree as they are up to 20 signings of a possible 25. In August, the Beauts’ focus was on what needed the most TLC — the blueline — and they brought in one more newcomer, as well as a returner.
Fieseler was a good depth defender for them last season but struggled a bit to find a steady D partner, something that might be the case again this year. Truax, meanwhile, has a solid reputation as a shot blocker and stay-at-home defender for UNH. Defense down low has been a need for Buffalo for a while, and it might be a tall order to ask a rookie to fill the gaps left by Emilie Harley, M-J Pelletier, and Elena Orlando. But we’ll see what happens. Fun fact, in addition to MJP being a fellow UNH alum, Truax has also been coached by former (then) NWHLer Sam Faber at New Hampshire. Connections abound.
F: Kennedy Marchment (2 yrs), Taylor Girard (2 yrs), Emma Vlasic, Amanda Conway, Caitrin Lonergan, Alyssa Wohlfeiler, Lenka Serdar, Justine Reyes, Janine Weber, Katerina Mrazova, Melissa Samoskevich, Janka Hlinka
D: Allie Munroe (2 yrs), Tori Howran (2 yrs), Hannah Bates, Emma Keenan
G: Abbie Ives, Meeri Räisänen
Dan Rice talked about it last month, and the rumors were finally confirmed. Olympian Meeri Räisänen returns to the pipes alongside Abbie Ives after playing around Europe the past couple of seasons, and it’s a happy homecoming indeed for the former MVP contender. Add to that some serious firepower with the four forward signings announced in August, and I don’t think we’re going to see Connecticut slowing down anytime soon. Emma Keenan comes to the Whale from Buffalo and brings a good physical edge, as well as some offensive ability on the back end.
F: Madison Packer (2 yrs), Kendall Cornine, Amanda Pelkey, Sarah Bujold, Reka Dabasi, Kelly Babstock, Kaycie Anderson, Kennedy Ganser, Leah Marino, Catherine Crawley
D: Ebba Berglund, Taylor Marchin, Minttu Tuominen, Anna Kilponen, Emilie Harley, Sarah Forster
G: Eveliina Mäkinen, Rachel McQuigge
Just two more signings from Metro this month, bringing the roster up to 18 total. Crawley’s game is very much the Riveters’ style, with a strong net presence and tendency to get under opponents’ skin. Meanwhile, Marino brings a ton of skill from a deep Toronto roster.
F: Sydney Brodt, Ashleigh Brykaliuk (2 yrs), Jonna Curtis, Denisa Křížová, Liz Schepers, Natalie Snodgrass, Brittyn Fleming, Ronja Mogren, Anna Klein, Stephanie Anderson, Meaghan Pezon
D: Sidney Morin (2 yrs), Sydney Baldwin (2 yrs), Patti Marshall, Olivia Knowles
G: Amanda Leveille
The Whitecaps have always been a homegrown kind of team, and their signings this month are emblematic of that. Klein joins from UMD, where she played five seasons and served as captain. She has a nice scoring touch that should help out a Minnesota team that didn’t always bring a ton of fire on the front end (and lost a considerable amount of that fire with Allie Thunstrom headed to Boston). Anderson and Pezon also return, bringing back a decent core for the Whitecaps. Still very curious as to who’s going to be supporting Leveille in net...
F: Sarah Lefort, Kristina Shanahan, Ann-Sophie Bettez, Kim Deschênes, Jade Downie-Landry, Alexandra Labelle, Catherine Dubois, Alyssa Holmes, Samantha Isbell, Brooke Stacey
D: Brigitte Laganière, Catherine Daoust, Christine Deaudelin, Kaity Howarth
G: Tricia Deguire, Marie-Soleil Deschênes
Dubois, Daoust, Isbell, Howarth, and Deschenes all come over from PWHPA play, while the rest of August’s signings are almost exclusively out of the U-SPORTS system in Canada. Stacey, meanwhile, makes a comeback after playing in Lake Placid for the Beauts. It’s shaping up to be an exciting roster so far for Montreal, who have yet to be named, but the level of talent and experience in this lineup is really impressive.
F: Shiann Darkangelo, Brittany Howard, Lexi Templeman, Emma Woods, Breanne Wilson-Bennett, Courtney Gardiner, Nadine Edney, Michela Cava
D: Taylor Davison, Taylor Woods, Saroya Tinker, Lindsay Eastwood, Emma Greco, Kati Tabin, Alexis Woloschuk, Dominika Laskova
G: Elaine Chuli, Carly Jackson
Cava re-joins the Six roster after spending half of last season with the Vanke Rays in Russia’s WHL, where she earned WHL Finals honors tallying over 2 points per game in eight matches. Her creativity with the puck is definitely going to help boost this Toronto offense, which admittedly hasn’t lacked for that at all in their first two seasons but could use more of it after losing Mikyla Grant-Mentis to Buffalo. Woloschuk is also an exciting addition, bringing some speed and heat on the back end. Team Czechia standout Laskova, meanwhile, becomes the first European player to wear the Six jersey.