Lara Stalder signs with SDHL team Linköping

Former Minnesota-Duluth star will play in Swedish league for 2017-18 season.

Swiss defender and University of Minnesota-Duluth star Lara Stalder has joined Linköping HC in the SDHL for the 2017-18 season, the club announced Thursday.

"She will be a very important player for us," Linköping general manager Kim Martin Hasson told The Ice Garden. "She isn't only a great player, she also makes her teammates better."

The connection between UMD and Linköping HC is already well-established: both Martin Hasson and left wing Pernilla Winberg are former Bulldogs. On the national team side, goaltender Florence Schelling of Team Switzerland has been Linköping's netminder since 2015 and recently re-signed with the club for the upcoming year.

Stalder, 23, is fresh off a stellar senior season that culminated in 56 points in 35 games in 2016-2017 as well as an Olympic qualifying spot for Team Switzerland at PyeongChang in 2018. Stalder was the top scorer in her group's qualifying matches with eight goals, four assists, and a pair of hat tricks. She was selected 20th overall by the Boston Pride in the 2016 NWHL draft.