The Connecticut Whale just made a huge splash in free agency. Whale general manager Bray Ketchum has signed Connecticut native and Quinnipiac University alumna Melissa Samoskevich.
“I’ve taken a lot of pride in playing CT hockey since I was very young, and I’m happy to continue to play near home in my professional career,” Samoskevich said in the league’s press release. “It will be great to see my family in the stands again! I look forward to learning and growing as a player and person through collaboration with Coach Colton Orr, the entire staff, and my new teammates. I can’t wait to get the NWHL season started!”
Samoskevich, a 5-foot-4 winger, played with Team USA at the 2018 Four Nations Cup and won gold at the 2019 IIHF Women’s World Championship. She also won a gold and silver with Team USA at the 2015 and 2014 IIHF U18 Worlds, respectively. In 2019-20, she played eight games in the SDHL with Brynäs and skated with the PWHPA.
She was a consistent scorer throughout her collegiate career. Her production peaked in her freshman season in 2015-16 with 16 goals and 16 assists in 38 games. Samoskevich led the Bobcats in scoring in her sophomore and junior seasons and never finished with fewer than 23 points in a season. Hustle and sound defensive play were the trademarks of her game during her time with the Bobcats and Team USA, but all signs point to her being a top line winger for the Whale.
like woah... Melissa Samoskevich just straight picked a Sweds pocket before taking it the rest of the ice for USA second goal of the game. like. woah. pic.twitter.com/hzKrdHrXL3— The Ice Garden (@TheIceGarden) November 9, 2018
With Samoskevich signed, the Whale now have 13 players under contract for the 2020-21 season. She is the sixth Quinnipiac alumna to sign with an NWHL team this offseason.