Yesterday a Kunlun Red Star’s team site reported that the team added its first new player of the offseason. Kimberly Newell, a Princeton University alumna and former Metropolitan Riveters draft pick, has signed with Kunlun and has designs on representing China at the 2022 Olympics.
“We are very pleased that [Newell] will grow with us in the next four years,” Rob Morgan, the head coach of the Vanke Rays, said in the report*. “She is a world-class goalkeeper, had an excellent college career at Princeton University and helped the Canadian team win the championship in the U18 World Youth Championship.”
Newell’s Chinese name is Zhou Jiaying. She was born in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada and will be 23 in October. Kunlun will be selecting her in the 2018 CWHL Draft. The CWHL reported that general managers can “pre-sign” their first and second round selections before the draft, which takes place on Aug. 26. This pre-signing window was to begin on July 1 and end on Aug. 17.
The addition of Newell leaves Noora Räty’s role with the Red Stars a little uncertain. However, the 2018 Goaltender of the Year recently shared that she will have two goaltenders from Team China attending her goaltending camp on her Instagram.
The Red Stars’ team site also reported that Alex Carpenter, Stephanie Anderson, Cayley Mercer, Hanna Bunton, and Emma Woods will all be returning for a second season of CWHL hockey in China.
Carpenter joined up with Kunlun late last season after getting cut from Team USA’s roster for the PyeongChang Olympics. Red Star selected her in the second round of the 2017 Draft, 13th overall. Anderson put up 17 points in 28 regular season games last season for Kunlun. Like Carpenter, she has played for Team USA in the past. She will be 26 in November.
Mercer, Bunton, and Woods all played with the Vanke Rays last season. Mercer was Vanke’s captain. Her 41 points in 2017-18 led the team in points by a wide margin and earned her recognition as one of the league’s top rookies. Bunton and Woods were also key contributors for Vanke last year. Bunton shared the team goal lead with Mercer and Woods, an alternate captain, made a big impact on the power play.
*= Quotes translated through Google Chrome.