The Minnesota Whitecaps made a big splash in free agency today by bringing back Kendall Coyne Schofield. Prior to winning gold in Pyeongchang with Team USA, Coyne skated with the Whitecaps in 2016-17 after her after outstanding NCAA career at Northeastern University. More recently, she played in a men’s pro summer league in Chicago.
Team USA star Kendall Coyne told @sryantribune that she wants #OneLeague. She's currently playing in a men's pro summer league in Chicago, but it sounds like she is also planning on playing pro women's hockey in the 2018-19 season. My guess: she returns to @WhitecapsHockey. pic.twitter.com/Ce8GF53MXa— Mike Murphy (@DigDeepBSB) July 12, 2018
“I am excited to return to the Minnesota Whitecaps,” Coyne Schofield shared in the league’s press release. “For over 12 years, the Whitecaps have laid the foundation, giving women a place to play hockey after college. Everyone that makes up the Whitecaps organization is first-class and I am excited to be a part of it again.”
The winger is the third member of Team USA’s gold medal squad to sign with the Whitecaps, joining Lee Stecklein and Hannah Brandt. She’s also the third returning Whitecap to sign with Minnesota, following Brandt and Kate Schipper. A Chicago native, Coyne Schofield is widely considered one of the best players in the world. She is perhaps best known for her explosive speed and ability to cause chaos for defenders in the transition game.
While skating on Team USA’s top line at the PyeongChang Games, Coyne Schofield had two goals and an assist. She put up much gaudier numbers at the 2017 Women’s World Championship with five goals and seven assists in five games. She finished her collegiate career with an incredible 249 points in 133 games. She has two Olympic medals, six WWC medals, and was the recipient of the 2016 Patty Kazmaier Award.
Coyne Schofield, 26, is about as well decorated as a women’s hockey player can be, but she has yet to win a professional championship or even play a season of pro women’s hockey. With Brianna Decker in Calgary with the Inferno, Coyne Schofield looks like the new favorite to lead the NWHL in scoring this year.
The Whitecaps will play their first NWHL regular season game on Saturday, Oct. 6th against the Metropolitan Riveters.