Whitecaps add two Olympians in Hannah Brandt, Lee Stecklein

The Whitecaps pick up their first two skaters for the 2018-19 season

Two Minnesota natives and Golden Gopher alumna are staying close to home. Hannah Brandt and Lee Stecklein have signed with the Minnesota Whitecaps.

“This is an exciting opportunity to be part of the Whitecaps’ inaugural season in the NWHL,” said Brandt, in the league’s press release. “It’s already an incredible organization and hopefully we can take it to another level. Women’s hockey in Minnesota gets bigger every year, and I look forward to seeing the impact a women’s professional team will have. I hope to see many young girls in the stands who dream of playing pro hockey. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to inspire future generations of players.”

Steckelin was drafted second overall by the Buffalo Beauts in the 2016 NWHL Draft.

Brandt was drafted second overall by the Connecticut Whale in the 2015 NWHL Draft. However, Brandt decided to play with the Whitecaps for the 2016-17 season.

The two have played together for quite a few years. In 2010-11, they won gold at U-18 World Championship with Team USA. Two years later, they were teammates at the University of Minnesota. They’d win three NCAA titles as Gophers. Most recently they won gold at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

“I’m really proud to join the NWHL as part of the Whitecaps, an organization with a long and rich history in the state of Minnesota,” Stecklein shared in the press release. “It’s particularly gratifying to be part of this with the Brodt family, who have had a huge impact on my playing career. It would be great to win the Isobel Cup for Minnesota.”

The Whitecaps now have three players inked for the upcoming season, all of whom are former Golden Gophers.

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