The day following their announcement that they had secured their general manager and head coach to multi-year contracts, the Boston Pride made their first player signing of the 2020 offseason. Word was released on the morning of Apr. 9 that rookie sensation Christina Putigna will return for the upcoming 2020-21 NWHL season. The 22-year-old averaged better than a point per game in her rookie season, and finished sixth overall in league scoring.
“My experience in my rookie season was unbelievable,” said Putigna in the press release for her signing. “I’ve gotten the opportunity to play alongside some of the best names in hockey, grow and develop my game, and take part in some really special experiences. We have a lot of exciting things coming for the Pride and our fans, and I’m really humbled to be part of such a great organization.”
While the 2019-20 Isobel Cup Final is still under postponement, Putigna was a vital cog in getting the Pride to the championship game. As her team’s third-leading scorer, she was instrumental in pushing the club to a 23-1-0 record during the regular season.
A Successful Jump to Pro From Providence
Putigna had already exhibited her offensive prowess at the collegiate level prior to turning professional. In her four years of NCAA hockey with the Providence Friars, she never scored less than 24 points in a season.
The sizable forward eclipsed the 100-point mark for career points during her senior year, and finished her time with Friars having gone 46-64-110 for scoring in 135 NCAA games. Putigna stands at ninth all-time for both points and assists in Providence history.
She never missed a beat as she joined the Pride as rookie in 2019-20. Putigna proceeded to score eight goals, 21 assists and 29 points in 24 games. Her first NWHL point came as an assist in her first game as she set up the game-winning goal from Jillian Dempsey during an Oct. 5, 2019 4-2 victory over the Metropolitan Riveters.
From there, Putigna went on an impressive streak by tallying points in each of her first eight NWHL games. She scored three goals, nine assists and 12 points in that time. In fact, there were only seven games of Putigna’s 24 in which she did not record a point.
Her 29 points are the most ever in a single season by a Canadian player. Putigna hails from Grimsby, Ontario, and played her women’s junior hockey with the Stoney Creek Sabres and Oakville Hornets.
Continuing Dominance in 2020-21?
Putigna was part of a Boston Pride offense that scored a whopping 120 goals in 24 games. The next highest total was 106 by the Minnesota Whitecaps, while no other NWHL team even reached 100.
It totally stands to reason that if Boston GM Karilyn Pilch re-signs the exact same group of players that she had in 2019-20, we will see the Pride continue their league-wide dominance. Putigna is the first step in that continuation, and she is a major one at that.
“I feel a true sense of belonging with the Pride and the NWHL, so re-signing for a second season was an easy decision,” said Putigna. “The team staff, ownership, and my teammates have been so supportive, and I’m really grateful to continue my connection with the Pride and the Boston community.”
The 2019-20 Pride had 20 players signed to their roster. With the thought the league’s roster maximum remains at 25, Boston could retain all 20 players and still be able to add another five new talents into the mix. Re-signing Putigna is nice way to get started.